Interaction design

On multi-tasking and future shock

With the internet overflowing with mostly similar takes on the iPad, I find these two pieces worth a read for their analysis of the reception of the iPad and how it may, through what is broadly perceived as defects or missing features, usher a change in the perception of ‘computing as usual’.

Frasier Speirs: Future Shock

“I’m often saddened by the infantilising effect of high technology on adults. From being in control of their world, they’re thrust back to a childish, mediaeval world in which gremlins appear to torment them and disappear at will and against which magic, spells, and the local witch doctor are their only refuges…
What you’re seeing in the industry’s reaction to the iPad is nothing less than future shock.
The tech industry will be in paroxysms of future shock for some time to come. Many will cling to their January-26th notions of what it takes to get “real work” done; cling to the idea that the computer-based part of it is the “real work”.
It’s not. The Real Work is not formatting the margins, installing the printer driver, uploading the document, finishing the PowerPoint slides, running the software update or reinstalling the OS.”

Milind Alvares: Understanding Multi-tasking on the iPad: What is it really?

“… the iPad’s multi-tasking is more than just speed. It’s a brand new user interface bringing in a new a new workflow. Something that’s simple, logical, focussed, and human. It’s multi-tasking dictated by end goals. What are you trying to achieve on this device? The iWork applications exhibit completeness within the user interface, including the media browser, file manager, and I’m sure it can send those documents as attachments via email as well.”

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