Changes happen in the first place gradually, like filling a bucket with water. Quantities sum up until a critical point is reached and it “jumps” into a new quality. In the example of the bucket and the water the water starts running over the edge of the bucket or the bucket even falls over from the weight. It was full. A bigger example of the same is the financial crisis we are in. The quantities piled up until in September 2008 the bucket was full and fell over. The system “jumped” into crisis.
This process applies also to product developments and innovations. When looking very closely on the circle Apple made, the same routine becomes visible. The Apple I had already a small screen almost the size and shape of the iPhone/iPad. Only there was still an extra box necessary for all the operating hardware that wouldn’t fit in the screen yet. So research and development were focusing on the improvement of the parts that were still in the extra box until all parts were so small that they could “jump” into the screen. After developing part after part in a smaller and better way at the end the “bucket was full of water” and could flow over into a new product, the iPad. The screen from the initial Apple I became the computer.
This jump into a new quality of computers has consequences for the user interface and how a computer is experienced. One uses a tablet different from a laptop or desktop computer and a tablet feels and looks different from a laptop and desktop computer. On intuitional level we experience them in a different way and the user’s feeling gets disturbed when this is not reflected in the user interface. The user interface is the embodiment of the connection between the user and the tool tablet or computer. And if it isn’t an expression of that intuitional connection between user and tool it will disrupt the intuitional flow of working with the tool. The tool is not longer an extension of the user.
When developing the tablet the software was adjusted and with it the user interface, which was the right thing to do, because the intuitional connection of a user with a tablet is different than with a laptop or desktop computer. But the same new user interface was also applied to the laptops and desktop computers. That causes problems, because there the intuitional workflow is different and people are using them for different purposes. Maybe one day we will have only tablets for everything and if the screen is to small to do photo editing, we just project the image onto a wall or as a hologram into the room and work on it, but we are not there yet. For now, the wrong interface on laptops and desktop computers is disturbing intuitive work. We need segmentation.
As any email marketer knows, the email lists need segmentation in order to send the right content in the right way to the right client. A client in Spain needs a different approach than a client in China or a client in Houston. The same applies to the tablets and computer interfaces. We are still using both tools and in order to get the best out of them we need to be able to work intuitionally through an interface that reflects this specific intuitional connection. And it is specifically disturbing that a tool like an Apple computer that is highly intuition focused and therefore highly successful lost it, hopefully only for a moment, to see that. We need segmentation in the user interfaces, although the operating system is the same in order to continue intuitional workflow with these incredible tools. There is that “Chinese” client using a desktop and that “Spanish” client using a tablet. They represent segments of the same clientele, yet they are using different tools that represent essentially the same, but represent a different intuitional workflow.
And as marketers know, ignoring that leads to Unsubscribes.
Ute Sonnenberg, www.rohoyachui.com