I’m on vacation this week, relaxing, reflecting and recharging on Crawford Pond in the town of Union, Maine. It’s seven glorious days to spend with the family and friends, sleep in, and finish several books which I’ve started, and maybe start a few more which I’ll someday finish.
When the iPhone team was discussing whether or not they should include a hardware keyboard on the iPhone (the Blackberry, which was still the gold standard for devices in 1995, had a keyboard), Jobs vetoed the keyboard. His reason:
“A hardware keyboard … is constraining. Think of all the innovations we’d be able to adapt if we did the keyboard onscreen with software.”
Jobs felt that a physical keyboard would mean less space for the screen. He recognized that the content or the application that’s running on the screen is what ultimately makes the experience that the customer will remember. An iPhone user doesn’t show other people how they called up the video on their phone; they show the video. And the larger screen makes for a larger video, and the larger video means a larger user experience.
Here’s the point:
Define the customer experience, before you define the product or service. Then design a product that will support the experience; not the other way around.
Great products, like great vacations, are all about the experience.