• Deniz Mistepe

Being able to control life with a single touch…

It was in the book of Dear Tom Peters, titled Re-Imagine, where I first came across this idea. Being able to control life with a single button, with a single click, with a single touch… You can definite it however you desire. What is important is for the action to be single.

Just stop for a moment and have a look around. Have a look at the devices you are using at this time. It can be a computer, a mobile phone, a car, a remote control or a website. Just imagine them being made up of only a single button, please. How many of the dozens of buttons you have on your TV remote control do you use? How about the number of features that you use that is available in your mobile phone’s menu? Do you know what the buttons on your car’s console do? Or have you tried changing the sound settings of your music player? One of my friends who owns a car that costs more than $300,000 once told me that she wouldn’t touch any of the button on her car because she was afraid that something bad would happen if she did! To this day, I haven’t met anyone who knew how to use the remote control of their satellite receiver. I’m part of this ignorant group too. Whenever I take the remote control to set up a channel, I end up having to call the technical service. I also get the same feeling on web pages. I can’t do what I want, can’t find what I need and end up getting angry. Every time, I remember Master Tom Peters’ question: Why can’t this website do what I want with a single command? It is as if the company executives whisper into their designers’ ears’ that it’s better if it’s complicated. Almost all of the companies appear to have forgotten about two of the most important design principles: functionality and simplicity. Why do they not want to see these two indispensable concepts? I haven’t been able to find the answer to this question yet. Those who have been born in 1970s had the chance to witness the beginning of the age of computers. The first computer that I ever used was an IBM. Later I got to use Commodore 64 and Amiga 500. My relationship with computers continued with PC 286 and reached to this day. In Commodore 64 and PC 286-386 series there was no mouse. In order to be able to use our computers, we had to know commands for the programs and even running a simple game required typing at least 3 commands. In addition to that, there were no graphics on the screen. While working on the computer, we felt like were were in a universe consisting of only letters and numbers. After a while, an insane* person put and end to this. Maybe he wanted to answer the question Tom Peters asked. Maybe he was captivated with the idea of being able to control one of the world’s most complicated devices using a single button. I wouldn’t know! The only thing I know is that what he did was insane. And he changed the world with a single button.

With the invention of the mouse, graphical interfaces took place of letters and commands. We no longer needed to dance over the keyboard to run a game or program; we would just press the button on this little device that we held with our hands. A single button changed all our habits and saved us from redundant and meaningless actions, and waste of time.

Years passed and this same insane* person (perhaps because he got bored with this single button) decided to close a period that he himself opened, with his own hands. We no longer use a single button to control these complicated devices; we do it by touching them. In other words, we use the method most suitable for the human nature: by feeling it! It is the insanely great dreams of Steve Jobs that made it possible to be a step ahead of a world made up of a single button imagined by masters such as Tom Peters, today. Rest in peace Mr Jobs… We will continue to stay hungry and foolish…

* insanely great: The way Steve Jobs defines himself, his dreams and his work.

#Design #Technology #Innovation #Management

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