Delight Can Trump Efficiency

David Sparks, writing for Macworld:

We’ve been using computers with keyboards and mice for decades now, and many of us are quite adept at bending this traditional paradigm to our will. Then along come the iPhone and iPad, with no hardware keyboard and much less power, and they still manage to turn the computing world on its head. “But it’s not as powerful and I can’t script it,” some power users argue. True, but there’s a reason why we love our iOS devices despite these supposed inadequacies. Simply put, they delight us.

They delight us less when they randomly reboot or apps crash, but the underlying idea is absolutely true for me as well.

When people ask me why I like to get work done on my iPad, the hardest point to get across is that I have more fun with my iPad than my Mac.

Initially, I thought that novelty could be the reason, but after four years of iPad I don’t think that’s the case anymore. It may also be that I liked working around the limitations of iOS, but ultimately that’s a weak argument because I don’t like productivity masochism and most readers aren’t interested in complex workflows or scripts.

It’s difficult to quantify it, but I believe it’s important to have fun when working. I’m constantly amazed by the things modern iPhones and iPads can do, and I find a peculiar kind of geeky satisfaction in writing and publishing articles on the iPad or talking to people around the world with Tweetbot for iPhone. That’s why I’m always concerned when I read rumors of Apple trying to make iOS devices more like Macs – if that ever happens, I hope they won’t take the fun away but still combine delight with efficiency.