Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Beauty of it all Working

Hold your breath guys - it's yet another Casey blog about the greatness of Apple.

But really - it's not just about Apple, but rather the idea of high end companies and how their products are supposed to work.

See the thing is - companies like Apple, Sony, even Mercedes release a myriad of products which on their own are unbelieveably good - yet they design with the bigger picture in mind.

Now granted - not everybody, in fact not a lot of people have the money or time to spend on stocking their house with every product that one of these companies release - but nonetheless, my hat goes off to the designers.

See the thing is, the designers in these companies don't really design a product - they design a lifestyle. In software engineering its called use-case design. Instead of designing a product and giving it features and such - the people at these companies design an activity, and then build products around it.

For example, when Apple designed the AppleTV v2 - I have a feeling they thought to themselves - alright, I come home, I turn on the TV and I want to watch whatever movie I want right now, or listen to any piece of music I want. How am I gonna get a product that does that.

And companies who pay attention to these scenarios really soar. Yet, it takes some part on the public to understand these amazing designs. That's why Apple's keynotes are so good. Steve Jobs always go through typical scenarios.

Actually, come to think of it - the greatest demonstration of what I'm talking about are the first iPhone commercials.

Here, Apple had one of the most coveted electronic products this world has seen - but to really prove just how cool it was - the commercials went something liek this:

"Let's say your watching your favourite movie, Pirates of the Carribean, and then you think - hey, I feel like some seafood. Just simply browse to a seafood restaurant, and google map it."

Those typical use scenarios really shine for the product. I mean the product can do all these amazing individual things - but its these use cases that prove to the public - that hey - it's not just cool, the product actually makes a lot of sense to use in our life.

The same goes for OS X Leopard - things like Spaces, Expose (albeit Tiger), Quick Look just make the workflow so much better.

I think more companies should really base their designs around use cases - rather than just introducing new technologies. The iPhone had nothing brand new - it was all borrowed technologies - as was a lot of Leopard - but its how its executed where Apple succeeds. Bringing it to the mass market with a real use behind it.

Why did I bring this up?

I recently set my place up with streaming music, a wireless hard drive, and a nice TV. All Apple and SOny - and it all just works so perfectly together. It all just makes sense.

And coming home every night from work is such a pleasure as I can sit down and really enjoy my place.

So do yourself a favour. Building an "electronics foundation" is no different than furnishing a house. You can't just buy a bunch of random things here and there. Think about the big picture and how it'll all integrate with each other- and slowly build that up. Chances are, you'll enjoy your electronics so much more.

Thanks for reading.

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