I recently came across a really interesting article on technology development and how this changes our lives. Technology has become ubiquitous in our lives, making a lot of our everyday tasks easier. At the same time, there are enough technological innovations out there that may not necessarily ease, but paradoxically, complicate our lives. We all come across innumerable examples of complicated design in our lives, be it a badly designed door handle, a telephone system (I still don’t get the telephone system in our office) or user-unfriendly software.
The article talks about a new camera, which allows you to focus a picture after you take it. Called the Lytro, this camera packs in the power of a 100 digicams and a supercomputer. However, it is almost knob-free, with touch screen controls, and extremely simple and easy to use. To quote the founder, Ren Ng, “With all their modes and dials and buttons, the majority of cameras today are too complicated for most people,” says Ng. “You can’t use powerful technology for technology’s sake. Our focus is always to make it simple.”
In his book, The Design of Everyday Things, Donald Norman says that there are no stupid users, only bad design. If I cannot figure out whether I am supposed to pull or push a door (especially the first time), it is because the door was not designed to give me the correct message at the right time. According to Norman, user-centered design is the most important, essential thing to keep in mind while designing anything, from a pen to a palace.
I couldn’t agree more. The purpose of all technology is to make our lives easier. This is one of the guiding principles of our company’s solutions. VSSOD solutions embody the paradigm of Exceptions First, filtering out the noise from business process data… much like Lytro helps focus pictures after they are taken. VSSOD solutions are truly aimed at making the life of enterprise end users easier. With our easy to understand and quick deployment solutions and apps, we hope to transform the enterprise software space. Not make it more complicated, but simpler. Simplicity is the key to future technologies, because that affords ease of adoption and use. In Norman’s immortal words, we need to humanize technology. Make it easy to use. With as few knobs and buttons as an iPad. Or even, a Lytro!
Here is the article that started this train of thought. http://www.hemispheresmagazine.com/2012/01/01/next-big-things/