A few weeks ago, I complained about the iPad’s lack of multi-tasking. Along these lines, many have pointed out some compatibility issues with different applications relating to word processing and presentations, both of which are critical many of us. Frustrating? Sure. Although I don’t own an iPad, they would drive me nuts as well. (As my friends know, I’m hardly the most patient person in the world. There. I said it.)
Then yesterday I listened to an interesting podcast with my friend Scott Berkun on the “boring” future of user interfaces. Scott questions why many people unnecessarily complain about traditional UIs and platforms. Aren’t our existing ones good enough? What specifically is so deficient about mouses and keyboards? Are they preventing you from doing something in particular?
I started asking myself the following questions:
- Am I becoming permanently ingrained using “my” technologies in a certain way? Like many, I was outraged at the new UI for MS Office 2007.
- Am I looking for reasons to reject new technologies, applications, and versions–especially when they’re not essential and very different?
- Technology-wise, how many things can one try (much less effectively use) on a regular basis?
- Is this just prudence? (I can’t tell you how glad I am that I never upgraded to Microsoft Vista.)
Now I know that this isn’t just me. More than a few people have told me that they’ve struggled without a “right click” button on Apple computers.
Simon’s Second Law of Technology
All of this leads me to my second law: Change becomes harder the longer that you work with existing technologies. This accompanies my first law: Never buy the first version of anything.
What do you think? Are you finding change harder as you get older and more accustomed to doing things in a certain way? With so many new things out there, are there limits to how many technologies and toys that you can digest?