Sure, there are plenty of occassions when first = best…races and the like. First-past-the-post and all that.
But there are many times when first really doesn’t equal best. For me, this was most recently brought to focus when Samsung launched their Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Amid all the hype of smart watches and wearable tech, it was Samsung who brought a product to market first.
The smart watch with one-day battery life…that got there first
I’m a massive Apple fan and therefore a massive fan of legendary British designer, Sir Jonathan Ive .
There are so many pictures of Jony Ive, this one makes me laugh…but he is good
One of my favourite quotes from him is:
“We try to develop products that seem somehow inevitable. That leave you with the sense that that’s the only possible solution that makes sense,” he explains. “Our products are tools and we don’t want design to get in the way. We’re trying to bring simplicity and clarity, we’re trying to order the products.
“I think subconsciously people are remarkably discerning. I think that they can sense care.”
Great design is design where the user instinctively knows what to do with it. It is, in Jony Ive’s words, inevitable. All design leads the user to action – whether that be to sit on a beautifully crafted chair, hit a nail with a solid hammer or move something with wheels. But how often do you, as the user, feel forgotten about? Like the product you’re using is one of millions, made impersonally, isn’t easy to use, uncomfortable, cheap, or you just have no idea what on earth you’re supposed to do as a result of this piece of design. Nasty. Poorly designed.
I heard a very interesting point yesterday about marketing and the distribution curve thing, which got me thinking about daring to choose a target audience.
The point being that in traditional terms, marketers try to target the ‘mass audience’ – i.e. that there is a large group of people who would want or need what you’re trying to sell and you make it as attractive as possible to that large group of people. On the left hand side of the mass audience would be the ‘early adopters’ who would buy what you’re selling anyway, and on the right hand side would be the ‘never evers’ who will never be interested in what you’re selling. The middle ground was the hallowed ground.