Making informed choices with none of the work

David Pierce, writing for Wired:

What does a tweet feel like? What about an important text? To answer these questions, designers and engineers sampled the sounds of everything from bell clappers and birds to lightsabers and then began to turn sounds into physical sensations…Ive was the decider and was hard to please: Too metallic, he’d say. Not organic enough. Getting the sounds and taps to the point where he was happy with them took more than a year.

Some people like to spend hours researching a particular topic before making a decision. Before making any large purchase, they’ll spend weeks reading every product review available and comparing prices across multiple sources. They won’t be happy with any decision unless they feel they’re educated enough to make the best choice.

That process, unfortunately, takes time. Time that could be spent doing other, more valuable, things. Things like working on personal projects or spending quality time with friends and family.

An alternate way to make big decisions is to spend only a small amount of time finding someone who is already an expert in said field. Someone who already knows all relevant information, and who’s opinion you respect. Find out the choice this person has made/would make, and make the same choice yourself.

You’re getting all the benefits of that vast amount of knowledge without spending the hours it would take to come to similar conclusions yourself.

This is one of the reasons I’m most excited to try the Apple Watch. Not because I particularly feel that I need a smart watch (at this point in time, at least), but because a company that I trust to create a compelling user experience has spent months (years?) honing the product. If it does turn out that a smart watch can enrich my life, it’s the Apple Watch that’s going to show that to me. That’s exactly what happened for me with the iPad*.

If I was tasked at choosing what vibration I wanted for a tweet, I’d be lost. I could try out a bunch of different patterns, and eventually find my favorite, but I’m definitely not an expert at things like that — nor do I want to me. I am, however, excited to feel what Jony Ive believes a tweet and text should feel like.

I’ll gladly defer to the experts and get the benefits of their years of research, testing, and training while putting in none of the actual work.

*I laughed when Apple announced the first iPad, swearing I’d never buy one. Then I bought one, swearing I’d return it within 14 days for a full refund. Then I tried it and have been using one since.

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