The iPad will sell despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth

Despite the all the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the tech community about how “closed” or “limited” the iPad is, it is going to sell.

I can’t take credit for the above line, though I wish I had thought of it. Instead, it comes from a comment from ‘Ryan‘ at UX Magazine that continues to read:

iPad will sell despite any shortcomings of a closed, limited operating systemBecause these users, who represent probably at least 60-70% of the market, don’t give a rip about whether the thing is “open” or “closed” or “made of kumquats” (they couldn’t tell the difference anyway). Does it provide an easy way to see their peeps on Facebook, watch some YouTube clips, and find and play some casual games? Yup. Does it get viruses, stash their files places they can’t find, and need to have the HD defragged or the OS reinstalled every 6 months? Nope.

Despite the unsubstantiated metric of 60%-70% – I think its safe to say that Ryan has nicely summed up the most important aspect of the iPad user experience – it does what the target audience want’s done without engaging in what Steve Krug refers to as ‘rocket surgery.’

Want to Tweet? No problem, just pick from 1 of a number of free or $0.99 apps that’ll have you tweeting about what your cat had for dinner faster than Kim Kardashian can out an air marshal!

Facebook your thing? Go ahead and annoy your high school peeps with constant Farmville & Mafia Wars updates from locations and times you’d otherwise be snoozing through a committee meeting.

On a more serious note, I found myself using the compass feature earlier this week while wandering about Piccadilly Circus,  keeping photos of my travel receipts, receiving useful notifications about my plane departures and arrivals, sent a few pictures to mom, and even Skyped with the wife & kid without having a single issue with the operating system, nor needing a single moment of  training on any of said apps.

That my friends is a successful user experience.

Point is, regardless of open or closed operating system, or the costs of starting up an apps development effort, or irritations from ATT’s spotty coverage outside major urban coastal areas … the iPad is going to sell because it makes fun and easy the things its users want to do …

… and does them simply, and well.

Something to think about next time you design a facilities use system for an emerging audience of gamers.

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