Gimme Pleasure

John Gruber made an interesting remark the other day:

“In hindsight, I think the use cases for the original iPad are simplicity and delight.”

This suggests that delight itself (the beautiful execution) is the feature, rather than merely a characteristic of a feature.  That is, I buy and use the iPad not to do things I couldn’t otherwise do, but for the pleasure involved in doing those things.

I find this point of view intriguing.  It gets at some of what I’ve had in mind for new Adobe mobile apps: that they should be about JOY, about pleasure–more like games, maybe, than very sober, precise desktop tools one associates with Adobe.

In a similar vein, Prerna Gupta, CEO of music startup Khush, writes that Not all Products Need To Be Painkillers:

It’s easy to say today that Twitter solves the problem of dispersed information, or Facebook the problem of dispersed friends. But who thought of these as “pain points” back in 2004? I don’t believe Twitter and Facebook are painkillers. Just ask yourself, Is “acetaminophen” really the drug you feel like you’re on when you’re using Twitter? Or does “methamphetamine” sound more appropriate? […]

If you focus only on painkillers, you’ll likely miss out on a completely different, and potentially much larger, set of opportunities: those that target pleasure. Pornography, sports and coffee are, for example, three insanely lucrative industries, and each of them sells the promise of pleasure.

Your desktop/laptop already offers pain & pain killers. So, in building new mobile apps, can we focus more on aphrodisiacs? What would you like to see?

11 thoughts on “Gimme Pleasure

  1. Yes, the iPad gives me great pleasure. I love the variety and surprise of having lots of task-specific apps. Perhaps you can take advantage of this by making not one big Photoshop-like app, but instead a whole series of image apps-one for fixing photos (that includes non-automatic features like curves), one for preparing images for various online services like Facebook in just a few clicks, one for designing logos, one for making cartoons, one that turns 2D into 3D, like Repoussee, etc.

  2. One thing I don’t like about the iPad and related products is that they try to fix my spelling. Please try to elminate that if any or your apps use the keyboard.

  3. It beats me why apple havnt already created an app for sorting images and adding metadata on the iPad.
    This just dosnt fit in as the first step in a photo workflow(as it needs to be currently)
    An app that takes low-mid res images of your librarys with you, so you can finetune and add more metadata keywords on the go would be awesome.
    If adobe created an app like this to work with images and combined it with both online sharing and backup solutions based on tags / keywords I would be likely to switch to lightroom.
    I get the fun part of ios apps but alot fun apps end up as one hit wonders

  4. how about
    an app which is about telling stories with photographs and video clips.
    showing your snaps to other people in an incredible way.
    for showing directly to people standing next to you on your ipad and for sharing over the web.
    think somewhere between the template systems in iMovie, the Indiana Jones travelling sequences, cartoon panels, The Wilderness Downtown video. maybe recordable voice-overs for web shared copies.
    and it has to be so well designed that it’s fast and fun (semi automatic) to make these things not a huge labour. make guesses from timestamps, GPS, faces&places (if from iPhoto) as to how images relate to each other to auto generate the narrative.
    we all have lots of pictures, no one prints them, sending everything to facebook is ok but there’s value to be had in a more personal communication.

  5. Sometimes I wonder if this joy is like an insiders joke. The long time computer users realize this is a looking glass illusion that finally works thus feel joy, while the 3-4 year olds just feel this is real thus less joy since they don’t perceive they have taken part in a magic act.

  6. This is why the iPhone was such a treat. Not only does it make tons of new apps available, but every single one of them is fun to use and most of them are far more intuitive to use. This makes the phone much more enjoyable as well as more useful.

  7. Does this finally admit that products such as the iPad are more like toys that tools?
    If we enjoy using a tool does it become a toy? if our toys accomplish work do they become tools?
    also, this would be the first time I’ve ever seen coffee and porn categorized together. and that makes me feel…. icky.

  8. One of the things I’ve liked about the evolution of PS over the last 5+ years is the internal separation into central engine(s) and plugins. If you were to remove ALL the plugins, you’d have just a shell with almost no functionality.
    So why not actually make this possible? Not just for mobile apps, but for desktop users as well. Provide a system for configuring your own packages of plugins into your own mini-PS apps. Let us remove, say, everything but masking facilities, and then bring those front and center. Or let’s make a PS that just does a particular subset of image manipulation functions. Or a dynamic load model, where none of the plugins are loaded at startup, and I can choose from one beautifully structured master menu of everything PS can do.
    I’m sure there are interdependencies among plugins, but perhaps those should be sorted out, too. Once this model is perfected, then a mobile user could pick a subset of actual PS plugins and export a mobile app of his own design.
    Hope I haven’t oversimplified anything….

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