Our future is about products of desire. In the technology world, it's time we looked at products for what they do and not how they do it. Products are not at all about their parts anymore. People don't care how it happens, they care it works. This is the definition of products of desire: a product that does what it's intended to do in intuitive and compelling ways.
The shift is underway and accelerating because technology has now reached a point where everyone uses it. There is Microsoft and a computer in every home, Apple and an iPod in every pocket, and now touch UI which is in its own way so much more intuitive - all are playing a big part. The challenge is bridging together two separate disciplines and ways of thinking - design and technology. Products of desire hook people emotionally and tame the technology challenges so that ultimately the technology disappears and all that they are left with and only then is a great product.
Users Expectations Are Going Up!
The expectations of users are going up and up and up. We have seen the limits of technology pushed so many times and then some. The keyboard is one of many ways to interact with our computers or mobiles. We also have voice and we have touch UI. We are all much more aware of what is possible it seems and because we know, we have very high expectations of the products we use.
Then and Now
Looking back, my world was all about finding and pushing the limits of technology. It was also about finding new applications of existing technology. Now this is business as usual for the rest of us. We expect technology to push the limits; we expect to find it in ways we haven't thought of. Looking forward, people will just expect technology to work and frankly I don't see them caring about how it happens. By then, people will have seen plenty of beautifully designed products pushing the limits in their own rights and the bar for new products will be that much higher.
The technology world still has plenty to give us. Put in the context that the user's expectations are much higher now and will only be higher with time, I see only one way to build software and products - it's to build Products of Desire.
Does My Organisation Value More the How or the What?
Products of Desire are about the what. They are difficult to create. Hooking users emotionally and taming the technology challenges so users are not experiencing technology but rather experiencing their life better is where the bar is going to be at! Gentlemen, start your engines.