I’ve had the same computer bag for 6 years.
It’s made of a canvas-like material, faded green, with leather zipper pull tabs and the name “n*rich” in brown and pastel-blue on the flap. It was given to me by a colleague who felt it didn’t match her style. Due to its lack of padding, I use a laptop sleeve to ensure the safety of my MacBook Air. Its design is generic; a simple messenger bag with a few pockets of various sizes.
I don’t love this bag. Though one might assume after such a long relationship, I may bear some feelings of attachment to it. But, I don’t. In fact, it’s not uncommon for me to spend a few extra minutes poking through the accessories section of the local Apple store, hoping perhaps to find the holy grail of computer bags.
I bought my first iPhone from an Internet friend. It was a black 3GS with a bit of wear in its plastic, but overall in fantastic condition. As I expected, owning such a piece of hardware made me feel cool, but I couldn’t have anticipated the level of intimacy I felt with this slate of glass.
This 135g technical marvel became privy to my secrets, my dreams, my work and personal life. Since that time, I’ve worn my way through several iterations of this device, yet my feeling for “it” grows stronger as the months and years go by.
There’s been discussion of late surrounding the idea that Apple needs to do something new with the user interface of their mobile operating system. “We want to be wowed!” bemoan the pundits, waving their iPhone-clenched fists in the air demanding to be heard. The clamouring hit an all-time peak when Sir Jony Ive was handed the reigns to Apple’s entire design effort.
And it’s hard to argue against “synergizing” the beautiful minimalism of Ive’s hardware designs and Apple’s software design. No more linen! Down with Corinthian leather! Begone, bookshelves!
The geek in me wants all these things and more. Get rid of the fake shadows, gradients, and highlights. Away with superfluous textures. Rip out the stitching!
But the user in me is afraid. I love my iPhone. Not only because of its sleek shape and comfortable feel — though those are certainly important — but because of my intimacy with the user interface.
I don’t think I want iOS to radically change. Not because I wouldn’t enjoy it, but because of the familiarity I have with how it is. Would flattening the interface reduce that level of intimacy I have with it?
Of course, things must change, adapt, grow. My precious 44×44px icons may not be the way of the future. I’ll get used to whatever’s next.
At least I’ll still have my computer bag.