It's even worse than it appears.
Monday July 26, 2021; 1:18 PM EDT
  • One of the perks of being on Guy's podcast is you get a reMarkable tablet to play with. I tried using it, and sent him an email which he has forwarded to the development team at the company. Here's the email.#
    • I have two physical issues that make it hard for me to use.#
      • My eyesight sucks, and if I'm not mistaken the screen isn't backlit. I was going to keep it near my tv-watching chair, I usually watch the news in the evening, and I thought this would be a good time, but the light isn't good, and as it got darker, I had to give up, I just couldn't read the screen.#
      • My handwriting, which used to be great, is now a pretty slow way for me to record my ideas. Obviously the reason is I've spent the last 40 years using a keyboard all day every day. #
    • Now, as a user -- I found your pitch, on the podcast, compelling. It was a very familiar one. ;-)#
    • If I could have quickly found that model, take notes, quickly send it to my desktop somehow, I would overcome the other two problems. #
    • In reMarkable, the path to success is cluttered with lots of tutorials that show me how to be an expert user, but I haven't become a newbie yet. A lot of software devs do this. They don't set up their product so it quickly hooks you. And therefore it doesn't get hooked.#
    • I learned this over years, the hard way, by failing. It started with the first internal release of what became ThinkTank at the Visicalc company, which I was part of. No one would use my product. I never did figure out how to get them to do that. But by the time the product got those fabulous reviews in the NYT and Infoworld, the software did present itself with the minimum info, and clear clues as to how to be successful. #
    • There are engineering techniques to getting a product set up for new users. It involves making lists of steps, and finding ways to eliminate them one at a time. So when you turn the tablet on, the first thing it presents is a wifi login, then immediately, a box you write in (the prompt makes that obvious), and a big button that says "send it to me" where you enter your email address and off you go. Nothing else on the screen, no other "important" information. Give me success, and give me something I can repeat, and later when I decide to use it regularly, I can go looking for other things to do. That should be easy too, but at the right time.#
    • The hardware is good Guy. The pencil has a nice feel. I'm sure inside the software it has all the functionality I just described, but it has to be presented in the right way in the right order.#

copyright 1994-2021 Dave Winer.

Last update: Monday July 26, 2021; 1:29 PM EDT.

You know those obnoxious sites that pop up dialogs when they think you're about to leave, asking you to subscribe to their email newsletter? Well that won't do for Scripting News readers who are a discerning lot, very loyal, but that wouldn't last long if I did rude stuff like that. So here I am at the bottom of the page quietly encouraging you to sign up for the nightly email. It's got everything from the previous day on Scripting, plus the contents of the linkblog and who knows what else we'll get in there. People really love it. I wish I had done it sooner. And every email has an unsub link so if you want to get out, you can, easily -- no questions asked, and no follow-ups. Go ahead and do it, you won't be sorry! :-)