30 March 2006

Palm got it right ten years ago. So why are we still suffering?

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Palm Pilot 1000
Adam Richardson, strategy director at frog design, reflects on the fact that ten years ago this week, Palm Computing debuted the Pilot 1000:

"1996 seems like eons ago, but the major PDA market has been around for a very short amount of time, really. The primitiveness of that first machine is striking today; but what is even more striking is how the limitations of its hardware made it easier to use. It is a supreme example of constraints leading to superior creativity and execution."

"Today even our cellphones have more computing power and graphics capability than those first Palms. In part, I think the relative lack of constraints on our cellphone designers have led them to become sloppy with their design choices, leading to products that are harder, less efficient, and more confusing to use. The designers are not doing their editorial duties. How many clicks, for example, does it take to edit an address book entry on your cellpone?"

"Why are we still having crappily designed electronic devices foisted on us?"

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