Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sensitivity lead evolution


I was happy to see all the reaction on the technology popularity yesterday - where I still owe you a response. If you live in technology and use it everyday obviously you have a different connection. And I guess the main ingredient there is sensitivity.

Sensitivity is an interesting human behavior. It's something we all have - in different levels. But what is common is that it evolves. Just like technology. And there is more connection than you thought. Do you remember playing with Doom? Or Screamer? The very first version. I would start with Pong but I'm afraid there is no Pong II. Right? Anyways. If remember of those games you must know their screen resolution. It was 320x200 to 640x480. You know how low-quality the bitmaps were in the game. I mean - now you know. That time it was supercool. After all the Amiga and C64 years. Probably the only retina device was the quartz games.

Same with the time you spent waiting. I didn't mind just sitting for 5 minutes and seeing the loading screen. Gaming was a big thing anyways. Nowadays for 5 seconds I would literally set the world on fire.

Also the complexity of a game. The number of in-game elements, number of key combinations. Now if you see a new game it's ten or hundred times more. Our senses are all adjusted to the new technologies. And if you think about it the experience didn't change too much. Touching my first iPhone was the same 'whoadude' feeing as touching my C64 when I was 5. It's just the momentum that technology can cause this surprise all the time. You don't have it if you eat an apple these days, or go to the dentist, or see a new dress. I guess that's why it feels a bit misleading in technology - it feels that improved the experience. For me it's the same happiness over and over again, nothing else.

So how sensitivity helps development, products and software? First you help the evaluation process. By improving your sensitivity you get more closer to the actual experience. You know your requirements, your wishes and expectations against a piece of software. You may want a different design, or a better game logic. It's proven that language helps thinking. If you don't have a word you less likely to experience the meaning of it. It's something that was discovered among different cultures. Sensitivity helps this common language to refine. The more you discover and can identify the more you can improve on.

The other thing is that applications aimed by technology are scattered around mediums and devices. An email experience contains the email, the icon, the badge with the number, the notification. Probably synchronization as well. If you don't have it all you cannot evaluate it. Most times it doesn't even give you a full experience. The more consciously we use these separate mediums the more productive environment we can earn. I'm not saying we need Wuphf and everything be so scattered. There is an optimal level. But I think it makes sense to distribute software responsibilities wherever it servers the best.

And last the more sensitive you are the better attention you can pay to an experience. That means you can practice them and give space to new ones. It can be an incremental update, such as new resolution, more sensitive and precise touch screen or sound quality. It can be also new features.

Sensitivity in this sense leads evolution. Perfecting tools for us, having it making more, making better. More personalized for us and for human. Sensitivity has a small difference from abstraction - it has to be learned. But the pace is accelerating. We don't have to teach too much about smartphones for kids. Or reading manuals how one can play WoW. The more sensitive we are we harder be demand technology to be seamless. And that's also great. Just be sensitive.

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Peter

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