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Feb 21, 2019 20:21:18

Friction as privilege

by @santhoshguru PATRON | 254 words | 🐣 | 267💌

Santhosh Guru

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Whenever there is friction in a process, you need an expert to fix it or get things done. Editing digital photos or setting up a smartphone is an expert-intensive thing. There is a famous quote, 

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

 It is very true. Apart from being magical, it democratises for people. Instagram or an iPad make grandma’s to share beautifully retouched pictures. We can extend this to many more things like ETFs for investments, ePayments for bills, etc.

I had a realisation of this today, after I experienced Apple’s AirPods. 

Give this a thought. Connecting with a bluetooth earphone was a friction filled process. First, you need to pair it (which as a process will fail a grandma’s test). Then you need to switch it on. You need to remember it to charge it. If you miss any of these steps, your intent to do that action with that earphone will quickly steam down. Your regular wired earphones always become a backup. To use a bluetooth earphone, you need to be a little bit tech-savvy.

AirPod smashes these assumptions and makes it a breeze to use. 

IT REALLY IS MAGIC. It is so simple to pair. Very easy to connect and know the battery status. It is a delight to use.

Once a technology or product reaches that magic threshold it explodes in growth. Cost of it comes down. Everybody gets access to it.

What are things (product/technology/process) you feel are still in the pre-magic realm for you? 

  • 1

    @santhoshguru This a really interesting point, I've always attributed that "advanced tech = magic" to things that are NOT particularly user friendly (e.g. coding, blockchain) that make the people who can use seem like wizards. But there is a magic in how easy something can be that was always difficult. Often though I think people just assume "well this is just how it's supposed to work" when in fact making it that simple is extremely difficult (or at least costly). Anyway gives me a different perspective on "magic"!

    Paul Lorsbach avatar Paul Lorsbach | Feb 21, 2019 09:42:26
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      @uuunk I can fully understand your POV. As a geek, I used to marvel at the dial-up modem. That thing using the phone line to connect me on Internet, so I can chat with someone in Yahoo Messenger ?. It was the 8th-wonder-of-the-world, during my teens. But the kind of hoops you need to jump to get that done was a geek's privilege ?.

      Santhosh Guru avatar Santhosh Guru | Feb 21, 2019 21:48:22
    • 1

      @santhoshguru "a geek's privilege", like that ?

      Paul Lorsbach avatar Paul Lorsbach | Feb 21, 2019 12:23:16
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    @santhoshguru that's why I love UX design and branding. It's cool to build things, but in my opinion it's much cooler to know how to build things that people would love and be able to use with ease. Anticipate what people would want, and give it to them before they know it.

    • 1

      @zyumbik True. I am still awed at the ease with which my grandmom started swiping and zooming the photos in an iPad for the first time. It was my aha-moment and started to dig into the rabbit holes of Don Norman and David Rose.

      Santhosh Guru avatar Santhosh Guru | Feb 21, 2019 21:51:03
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