Don’t make me think…

We have become a culture of easy, quick, right at your fingertips. The iPhone has changed the way we look at the world, what we expect, and how we expect to consume information, apps, and really anything that is easily accessible.

On my flight back from Shanghai I finished reading a book called: “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability” by Steve Klug. I love the title of his book as it is spot on. I would rather frequent a website that does not make me hunt and peck for the information I need. Obviously there are plenty of websites that you do not have a choice and have to use. Your banking, credit card, local water company or trash service website all mean you either call them or get what you get on their website.

I am still always in awe of how quickly smartphones, the web, and apps have made it that we do a zillion things all within a tiny little device. I remember maybe 5 years ago, I was still using an old school flip phone that did not even have a camera, while Chris had a Razr phone. At the time the Razr was so slim and such a big deal. Eventually I upgraded from my old school phone to an iPhone 3 and well, my life was just never the same. Klug explains this well in this comment:

“Just consider how many things the smartphone allowed you to carry in your pocket or purse at all times: a camera (still and video, and for many people, the best one they’d ever owned), a GPS with maps of the whole world, a watch, an alarm clock, all of your photos and music, etc., etc.” page 144

Think about how much you do on a daily basis on your phone. How many people do you communicate with daily, hourly, each minute? How many pictures and videos do you take and share? How often do you check your stocks? The news? How many games do you play? How often do you interact with social media? How much do you manage your finances right from your phone? Do you check the weather daily? Get directions to that new restaurant? Listen to music? Track your flight? Surf the Internet? Do you manage your life, grocery, and errand lists on your phone? Oh, and the old school part of it all, how often do you even use your phone to talk to someone?

Later Klug says:

“And think about the fact that for most people in emerging countries, in the same way they bypassed landlines and went straight to cellphones, the smartphone is their first—and only—computer.” page 144

It would blow my mind if my cellphone was my first computer. That would be like driving from zero to 100 in seconds. We have become so picky about user interface. We want easy, clean, and simple. The great part is that most of the time we have access to so many options. The even better news is that our options are only going to get better and better. Allowing us to do so many things on autopilot without having to think. With great design our lives become that much easier. My only concern is that we do not lose our capacity to think critically.

“Worry about yourself”

I cannot get this little girl out of my mind. “Worry about yourself.” That is her tagline. She makes me think of me as a little girl. I was a bossy little one. My sister can attest to that. I do not know where I learned to be bossy or where it came from. The only thing I can think of is that I was the youngest. My sister and brother are four and six years older than me. I wanted so badly to be included in their world. I wanted to know that I belonged and that I mattered.

Maybe my way of trying to fit into their life was to learn things as quickly as possible so they could never tell me that I was “too young” to play or be involved in their world. That meant I tried to learn board games quickly and early in my life, and it meant I was competitive. I wanted to be included, and I hoped that if I was good, competitive, and I won, then just maybe they would want to play with me. I hoped it would make them want to try to beat me next time. Sometimes I think my deliberate actions meant they did not want to play with me in the future. Live and learn, right?

When I found the below video, I could not help but laugh and laugh. I love the sassy nature of this girl. She reminds me of a young version of myself. She wants so badly to figure it out on her own, without help, and then tell her dad to drive. That was me. Enjoy, “Worry about yourself.”

About To Kick Your Butt

For those of you that know me well, I am insanely competitive. I think it comes from being the youngest child of three. My brother is 6 years older and my sister is 4 years older than me. So as I grew up, I had to hold my own if I wanted to stay up late or if I wanted to be part of game nights when I was fairly young. To overcompensate I would try as hard as I could to learn the rules of the game, and figure out a competitive edge so that I could win. My thought was that if I could win, then I would be allowed to stay up and play with the rest of my family.

What I did not know was that by growing up and “trying” so hard to be a participant would mean that my competitive streak would not leave me. Yes, I admit it, I am still competitive while playing board games. I love Taboo, Cranium, and other similar type games. I am the one that yells and hollers and lets my mind go as fast as it can to participate and be part of the game. I think Jimmy Fallon must be the youngest, because he plays the same way on his show. If you have not watched him play games with his guests, watch a few shows and you will see what I mean.

So if you have the opportunity to play a game with me in the future, you now know in advance that I am competitive. I am still a kid at heart, and sorry in advance for being so overzealous about kicking your butt!

ready to kick some butt (who knows why I am wearing a backpack)…

By the way, don’t you love the kitchen I grew up in with the yellow stove? We also had an olive-green refrigerator! Thank you 1970’s!