Friday, September 3, 2010

Sometimes turning around is wise

Apple has released a new version of iPod Shuffle. The previous one (on the right) was even smaller and had no control buttons, somehow culminating the trend towards minimalism that this product has developed through.

So, it seems that the lead innovator in GUI design has discovered that it has somehow made a bad design decision with this product. The interface was perhaps too simple for a good first-hour experience?

As Gizmodo said it: "If you need something like this for exercise, or if you just hate the fact that there are no buttons on this one, buy the last-gen shuffle before they're all gone, or wait till next year when Apple changes its mind. To tell the truth, this new shuffle is just okay. We don't know what kind of a statement they were trying to make with it, but suffice it to say, the message wasn't received."

Now, this kind of feedback reminds me of how Viewer 2.0 was received. Add to this the fact that 2.0 is used by less than 20% of the labs customers, and that it has not increased the user retention rate notably, it makes me wonder: When will the Lab do as Apple has just done: Realize it's threading the wrong path, and turn around? And when it does, will they be able to make an innovate back turn?

/me can hardly wait :-)

Because what we really want is this: Not just a U-turn back to the 1.23 GUI, but something with the "I just want this" feeling. Like Apple just did when combining the "new" retro-shuffle design with the iPod Nano screen. That's sexy! Just like we want Second Life to be!

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