Friday, June 29, 2007

iPhone Inspired Thought: When is 'Fun' Going To Become Milestone in The Product Lifecycle?

Today is the big day. At 6pm the real user experience professionals will step forward and make their judgment; The Consumers. The parodies have been on Conan, Colbert, MadTV and all over the YouTubes. There have been dozens of reviews and articles about the iPhone leading up to today. One review by Steven Levy of Newsweek had commentary that made me think about something missing from the prodcut lifecycle. He talked about how much 'fun' the device was.

...What's more, with the exception of learning to type on the iPhone, which requires some concentration, doing all those things on that five-ounce device was fun, in the same way that switching from an old command-line interface to the Macintosh graphical user interface in the mid-1980s was a kick.

I don't think I've ever been at a company that has a "Fun Review Committee" or that I've ever seen the "Fun Metrics Report" emailed on a daily basis. Fun is a probably more often than not a core component of getting a product rapidly adopted by consumers. There has to be a way to get quantitative data on fun, since it is such an important aspect to product design. Who wouldn't want to work in the "Fun Certification" department? I wonder if there is a "Fun Evangelist" at Apple.

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