Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So what do you do once you know your phone turns sideways

The "user interface" could be a really cool name for a blog. (Quickly checks if there is one....and finds there is). Unfortunately they use it all too seriously!!

After all the user interface is far more than just the screen or keyboard or pointing or pulling devices in computer land. Everything we interact with has a user interface - the fit of the steering wheel in your hands, the balance of your favourite knife, the dimensions of your favourite chopping board, the height of the kitchen bench....(hmm three out of four are cooking references ...?).

Apple has developed a reputation as the "ants pants" in user interface design. The reality of course is that the original WIMP interface (aka GUI) was developed at Xerox and lifted by Apple. After that Apple made the "break through" of the pin wheel on the iPod and have followed that up with the features of the iPhone - notably the orientation sensitive display and the touch screen feature that detects motion as well as pointing (which is just an extension of the pin wheel).

It does make you wonder why Apple has had three hits? There have been other innovations - heck the touch screen itself has been around a long time but never made it on consumer devices. Perhaps, and I haven't researched this, they just bought it all three times. Perhaps it is the only bit of marketing genius that Steve Jobs has. Or perhaps it is just the bandwagon effect - because its Apple its good. The pinwheel on the same MP3 player from any other brand would not have had the same cache?

All this, of course, is just a lead in to blog the greatest line on an iPhone yet:

An iPhone is like a penis. It's fun to play with when you're on your own but it's rude to take it out at the dinner table. Tom Gleeson on GNW last night.

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