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Designing for everyday use

Now we’re in an age of ubiquitous connectivity [or near ubiquitous] and
PCs are more about being intermediaries in a social network, why are we
still stuck with machines that take little account of the context of
use? 

Forget the plethora of web 2.0 services that spring up by
the hour to take care of every conceivable need.  What about the
brick itself!  How many times have you needed to check an email /
IM / blog whatever whilst getting your breakfast, feeding the kids,
or doing the gardening that won’t result in ruination? How inappropriate is a delicate
laptop for these situations?  I mean we can create a $100 laptop
for people in developing countries to resource and a hole manner of supplmentary digital lifestyle add-ons without a real purpose but we can’t think of
more radical and yet mundane use cases closer to home.

April_004

I’d forsake chip speed, looks, screen size for a tough machine that
could withstand knocks, crumbs, jam, soil.. everyday life shit.
I’m not one of those early adpoters that fetishes over design.
No, I don’t fetishise my machine so much as the desire to
communicate… so come on Mr. Ives et al let’s have some thought to the
‘commonal’ everyday situation as use case not a ultra modern geekified
desk.
 
addendum – just seen Intel’s ruggedized PC.  Why India?  Why not Surbiton or Swansea?  The rugged need isn’t exclusive to ‘poor people in developing countries’.