Paul Thurrott, Warming to iPad

No sarcasm intended, I’m enjoying Thurrott’s perspective on the iPad. I found this perspective intriguing:

Further unclear is why we would want to learn yet another user interface. Phones, by nature, are simple to use and limited by onscreen real estate. Laptops, of course, offer more expansive screens and more powerful capabilities. But the iPad introduces yet another UI, one that is based on that of the iPhone, of course, but one that is different and more advanced (and complex). Not as advanced and complex as a PC, perhaps. But different from both the iPhone and laptop.

The starting point Thurrott is espousing here, more or less “Let’s start with something the user will already be familiar with” sounds good, and many times it is the right approach. That’s the consistency argument for Mac software being Mac-like, and Windows software being Windows-like. But if you shackle yourself to starting with something already familiar, then the state-of-the-art is never going to make a great leap forward. This sort of thinking is why Microsoft’s tablet computers all run Windows 7.

Clearly, the way Apple approached the iPad was that of course the iPad was going to introduce a new UI. They’re really rather fearless about it, because, I think, they’re so confident in its obviousness. Unfamiliar and new isn’t a problem if the whole thing is obvious and easy to figure out.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010