UX as God Value

God Value

Whatever our feeling brain adopts as its highest value, this tippy top of our value hierarchy becomes the lens through which we interpret all other values. Mark calls this highest value the God value. Some people’s God value is money. These people view all other things (family, love, prestige, politics) through the prism of money, and believe their
family will love them only if they make enough money.
 [Everything is fucked by Mark Manson]

us·er ex·pe·ri·ence

the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or computer application, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use.

In the last year and a half I have gone from being a Windows/Android guy to making a gradual shift to the Apple world. Had you told me this two years ago I would have been quite surprised and likely would have denied it.

Why make this transition?

I have had a bit of a philosophical revolution occur in my mind when it comes to technology. Most of my life I’ve always wanted to maximize features. Lots of knobs. Tons of buttons. But after a time I came to a realization that this is not the only way. Looking back this is now the philosophy I refer to as additive technology. An additive technology is one that adds features and complexity to your life. It requires a fair amount of effort to maintain and operate. From this I also derived the opposite. A subtractive technology. A subtractive technology reduces human effort. It seemingly integrates with our very own humanity and feels organic like an extension of the body. It reduces the potential for feeling overwhelmed by our tools, which I believe is a more common reality than we realize. It certainly varies from person to person.

Thinking about these things has caused a shift of my values and priorities when it comes to the technologies that enter my life. From phones to kitchen knives to bed frames. Shifting my focus away from features and complexities has allowed a new top tier value to rise: UX. The study of UX has been around for a while now, yet I think it is still a dreadfully underutilized tool. UX more seamlessly integrates the human mind with the tools we use, thus allowing them to be simpler and more intuitive to use. I think the best example of this is AirPods. AirPods are a simple tool. You pull them out of the case and they’re connected to your phone before you put them in your ear. When you put them in your ear they play your music or audiobook you were last listening to. You remove them and they pause what you were listening to. No superfluous interactions are required. No button clicks, no menus to navigate, no annoying Bluetooth startup sounds.

I’d like to think this is the future of technology. Right now Apple seems to be leading the pack in terms of practical application of UX, but that definitely does not need to be the case. Many other players in the game are capable of embracing these ideas too. Who else does? Who else will?

What are your thoughts? What other technologies do you think reduce instead of add? Which brands are best and reducing?