Keeping your tech simple

I love it when machines emit and understand simple messages. I love the “START” button in my car. It makes me feel slightly understood.

There’s no need to study some kind of secret handshake to get from A to B. No searching for a hidden away keyhole and twisting an old fashioned iron key to ‘unlock’ the car’s engine. That gesture is probably based on a concept that’s as old as Mr Ford himself.

I just need a piece of plastic in my pocket that tells my car it’s me and let’s me in. The car tells me to hit the breaks and press the clearly visible ‘START’ button. Done. I’m off.

Computers should be like that. That’s why I’m a recently converted Apple fanboy. Simple messages.

Internet video should be like that. Also beyond YouTube That’s why I recently started this bootstrapping. Simple embedding.

I can only imagine what monsieur Renault’s, or it’s current successor’s, surprised face looked like when someone said: “Do I really need this old iron key to start this modern machine that’s filled with electronics and computers?”.

“euh”.

Or: “Do I really need to convert this video in, at least 2 or 3 different, specific formats to make them playable on superfast computers that are infinitely more powerful than the computer that landed the Americans on the moon?”.

But that question is only the start. Next is to find out what is the most user friendly way to achieve simplicity. And to lay out a design that will also satisfy the most experienced of users.