[FoRK] PDAs (was: Sony Reader for sale, and thoughts on e-books)

Aaron Burt <aaron at bavariati.org> on Fri Aug 31 11:34:32 PDT 2007

On Fri, Aug 31, 2007 at 10:45:39AM -0700, Ian Andrew Bell wrote:
> TREOs and even more certainly all of the early-generation of Palm  
> devices are examples of technology that has failed to exit the  
> confines of technology industry culture. <snip> 
> 
> My mother has no idea what a "lifedrive" is or how that benefits her,  
> and doubtfully ever will.  If members of this and other groups  
> continue in general to use themselves as benchmarks for what the  
> market really wants, then they can only  really hope to be massively  
> successful in marketing products and services to people like themselves.
> 
> Think Wal-Mart.  Think 97%.

Please forgive my cluelessness here, but *why*?  Would you try to sell
sledgehammers to soccer-moms?  Even with careful UI engineering and
collaborative stakeholder-focused task-oriented blahblah design?

Lots of people have a use for LifeDrives (whatever they are),
cherry-pitters, fuzzy dice, islands in Second Life, and sledgehammers*.
These people are all minorities, market-wise.

People make or buy the tools they think they need, and chuck the ones
that don't work for them.  And if someone's not designing for themselves,
they're designing for a stereotyped impression of someone else.

Besides, Design for Wal-Mart sounds like (Design for Manufacturability)^3.

Sheesh I've been chatty lately,
  Aaron

*We use ours to bust up firewood and whack bowling balls around the lawn.

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