dConstruct 2007: Peter Merholz

Eastman-Kodak’s promise ‘You press the button, we do the rest’

I’m fed up with presenters mentioning Apple and the iPhone already, especially American presenters who wouldn’t know a decent phone if it hit them.

       /\            ^
      /  \           |
  Exp/erie\nce       |
    /___\         | Evolution of the product category (further up is better)
   /Features\        |
  /____\       |
 /    Tech    \      |
/___________\     |
Makes a point about the VCR exploding into complexity and that the blinking 00:00 on the clock was a sad indictment of the ‘experience’ industry. I then thought about how time is one of those things, like email, that falls into feature lists and that every product grows to encompass. Note that the mobile phone has essentially killed the cheapo digital watch industry, the VCR had the same potential, but it wasn’t fulfilled.

Some more handwaving

Triangles are cool.

‘Products are people too’ - we should emotionalise lastminute.com more. Those 404 pages, whilst a bit dubious do have a certain ammount of value.

Most people so far are talking about ‘things’ rather than websites, or for them, websites are just a part of the value chain. You need to be bigger than your own website.

He’s against building stuff from the inside out (starting with the data model and layering an experience on top of that) but suggests that you should start with the experience and attempt to make the data fit it. Whilst I find this laudable in many ways it seems totally unrealistic to anything that has an existing pile of data and also kind of dangerous. After all, isn’t a large part of design supposed to be about how you manage constraints and a prexisting data model is one of the biggest constraints of all. Plus I like cool (if grubby) hacks that do things you thought impossible with something you already have.

He then showed a video about a concept experience for diabetics that Adaptive Path (who he works for) created. Seemingly the core of it is storing the insulin inside the diabetic’s body and having a remote sensor/doser that looks a bit like an iPod Nano. I find this quite interesting since the disease is basically that you can’t make insulin yourself (or regulate the ammount) so storing the resevoir within the patient rather than in a doser pen or somesuch seems more… wholesome.