Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Overly Intuitive?

Here's a random thought...what if we are making technology too easy to use? I hear in my line of work that if some tool we design isn't intuitive, it won't get used. I just wonder if perhaps this leads us to follow well trodden paths that don't help us make anything truly great.

In other words, when some tool is complicated and takes effort to master, we might learn more about it and thus figure out new, unexpected ways to use it. But if it is simple and easy to understand, we may never appreciate the possibilities because our use of the tool is purely transactional.

Old computer programs were like may not use all the keys for all songs, but you need to know them all to play whatever song you want. Modern 'apps' are more like player pianos, doing the hard work for you. So, are the benefits of convenience worth the loss of discipline and mastery?

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