Linked by Michael Reed on Wed 21st Nov 2007 14:13 UTC
Apple When computer company Apple announced that they were planning to make a phone, most pundits felt sure that Apple would produce something a bit different from the crowd. An Apple phone would have to be a plush, prestige unit and the product of a thoughtful design process.
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Functional vs. non-functional
by Larz on Wed 21st Nov 2007 14:58 UTC
Larz
Member since:
2006-01-04

Sometimes I think that people in the "geeky" crowd tend to overestimate the importance of functional demands vs. non-functional demands. Of course functions (or features) are what gets the job done. But non-functional demands (ease of use, simplicity, "feel good factor" etc.) tells us about how the job gets done.

I am certainly not saying that the "bling" factor is not a major reason behind the iPhone hype. My point is that valuing non-functional attributes is not in itself irrational, but actually very important. Its just that the process of valuing non-functional aspects is very hard, and the process will often be based on emotions.

Edited 2007-11-21 15:01

Reply Score: 7

Network23 Member since:
2005-07-11

Sometimes I think that people in the "geeky" crowd tend to overestimate the importance of functional demands vs. non-functional demands. Of course functions (or features) are what gets the job done. But non-functional demands (ease of use, simplicity, "feel good factor" etc.) tells us about how the job gets done.


This is very true.

I had the beautiful Nokia N95 with 5 megapixel camera etc and found it to be absolutely piece of shit since it takes at least eight seconds to focus and actually take a frigging picture. I now have some 4 GB worth of useless pics and it doesn't really matter that these useless pics have a 5 megapixel resolution.

Reply Parent Score: 4

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Introductory vignette:

When I choose a gadget, the first criteria that comes to mind is: which gadget would I most like to have a beer with or have sex with (depending on the gadget's anthropomorphic gender identity). Usually the relationship ends in heartbreak and betrayal. Why don't the gadgets in my life love me for who I am rather than who they want me to be!?!...

The problem with consumer culture is that we seek emotional and social validation through our purchasing decisions. There are three distinct subconscious desires that motivate these behaviors: to fit in, to stand out, and to rise above. Whichever desire dominates in a particular individual determines their reaction to products and advertising. A fourth desire, to be oneself, is the least common, but it's the fastest growing market in much of the world.

These so-called "reformers" (from the perspective of the prevailing establishment) dominate the technical and creative intelligentsia. They don't want to be like everybody else. But they certainly don't want to be told how to be different, nor do they feel like they're better than everybody else. Why do they insist on being different? Because they are different, and they universalize this idea to suggest that we're all different.

But not totally different. Ironically, of the four groups, the reformers are the most likely--and the conformers are the least likely--to acknowledge that everybody is fundamentally similar. We're not the same, but we share a broad range of values. The difference between the reformers and the competitors is that while they both believe deeply in their own uniqueness, the reformers believe that these differences can be reconciled, whereas the competitors believe that they must battle for superiority.

The symbiotic relationship between the competitors and conformers is a cultural juggernaut, whether in politics, religion, or society. However, the relationship between the aspirers and reformers is tentative and uneasy. The reformers tend to think that the aspirers seek empowerment in all the wrong places. The reformers are broadly criticized for having an overly optimistic faith in humanity.

The conflict mainly centers around whether or not we embrace difference and whether or not we seek an active role in decision-making. The four quadrants define the four underlying social motivations.

To quote the not-so-great Donald Rumsfeld, "freedom is messy". But I believe that it's a beautiful mess so long as everybody's voice is equally heard and everybody's opinion is equally respected.

I hope you've found this comment vaguely on-topic.

Edited 2007-11-21 20:52

Reply Parent Score: 9