I’ve recently been reading up on product development and user experience design, where the emphasis is creating a product or service that will feel natural to use. For most of the electronic devices in our lives, the design has been geared towards what already feels natural for people. Web services have also focused on making their website intuitive to even the most un-savvy tech user.
While startups striving to create a very natural user experience on the web and it’s interesting to observe how web services have also been affecting the way we behave in real life. Since the early days of AIM and MSN messenger, I remember my peers using acronyms like “LOL” in conversations. Our devices have been able to change our physical habits as well – the Japanese youth have been nicknamed the “thumb generation” for how much mobile phone usage have altered their fingers’ dexterity. I’ve even caught myself in numerous occasion trying to add a hashtag to in-person discussions.
While the human experience has played a major role in the designs of our products, these products have in turn come to shape how we experience and interact with the rest of the world. In the same vein, I wonder whether Twitter would help us become more succinct in our daily conversations. Or would Siri cause our questions to be more carefully worded?