Saturday, October 15, 2011

Checklisting Is A Big Problem

How often have you heard (or read) a conversation like this?
"The voice recognition in the iPhone 4S seems pretty amazing."
"What's the big deal? [Some other operating system] has voice recognition too."
This is bad. The difference between a good voice recognition system and a bad voice recognition system is huge. Same with the gap between lots of other features: GUIs, touch interfaces, and so forth. They're not things you can check off on a checklist. It's like comparing two restaurants by treating bread as a checklist-able thing.
"Wow. The fresh-baked bread at Restaurant XYZ is amazing. Light, flaky, still steaming hot when they serve it."
"What's the big deal? They have six-packs of hotdog rolls at 7-11. Why pay more?"
What's depressing is that a lot of smart, knowledgable people treat technology that way. I feel like it's almost the dominant way of thinking, even among the technology-savvy. How do we change this?

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