Click here to show or hide the menubar.

Home >  Archive >  2010 >  September >  19

Previous / Next

How a Facebook "phone" can be easier than iPhone
By Dave Winer on Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 4:55 PM.

Following up on today's previous piece. permalink

There's an assumption built into every Internet debate that anything that comes from Apple must be easier than anything that comes from anyone else. It's not true, of course. Ease-of-use isn't always a mystical or magical thing, sometimes it's mathematical.  permalink

Ease-of-use is inversely proportional to the number of choices. permalink

Fewer choices ==> easier to use.  permalink

No, not always (anticipating that someone would say that). If you're really stupid at design, you can have fewer choices and still not be eaiser to use. Your classic lose-lose. permalink

Take email for example. The iPhone email app has to allow all kinds of options that a Facebook device wouldn't have to, because I can use an iPhone with any email server I want to. And any number of them. This is great for people who understand how email works, but a lot of people don't.  permalink

A picture named phone.jpgIt gets even more complex if you want to synch contacts. So complicated that Google had to put up a page explaining, in 13 steps, how to do it if you want to use their contact system on an iPhone.  permalink

I'm not saying choice is bad, it's not! I wouldn't use a phone that didn't offer lots of choices. But there are plenty of people who can't do the setup. They just can't wrap their minds around how these things work. (And if you think they're all old, think again. It's amazing to me how little at least some of today's college students know about how computers work. Yes, I took the time to actually find out.) permalink

Ideally, to configure a Facebook phone, you would enter your username and password. All the other configuration data would be pre-determined. permalink

PS: I put "phone" in quotes because that's how people are referring to these devices. It's anachronistic. Looking back from the future we'll wonder why people thought of these devices as phones. They are very little like their non-mobile counterparts.  permalink

PPS: I'm not saying this is good or bad, it just is. permalink

RSS feed for Scripting News
This site contributes to the community river.

© Copyright 1997-2012 Dave Winer. Last update: Monday, September 20, 2010 at 8:14 AM Eastern. Last build: 8/26/2012; 5:56:55 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

RSS feed for Scripting News

Previous / Next