Why no one should know what your best idea is, was or will be

There are very few of us out there who don’t like to receive recognition and praise for their achievements. Even if it is just a “thanks” and a pat on the back, having success acknowledged feels good and can make the process feel worthwhile.

The problem with that is in order for it to happen, people have to notice what you’ve done, what’s been created. Looking at technology fields specifically, I argue that we are at a point where new developments and features should fit seamlessly in with the user and the way they interact with the product. If it stands out, to me, it could have been done differently, done better.

I’ve quoted this before, but I feel it highlights an important approach in the world of tech right now - at the release of the latest iPhones Apple Design VP Jony Ive said “We believe technology is at its very best, at its most empowering, when it simply disappears.” It is a statement that seems both logical and a little controversial, but the key word, and a key distinction to make, is the use of empowering, rather than powerful.

The difference here is the focus on the person using the tech. Powerful advances and products are brilliant, but they should be built on what they allow the user to do with them, what they are empowered to do which they couldn't before.

This notion is tough to take on as a creator, engineer or entrepreneur. You want people to know what you’ve done, because you need them to want it, so they will pay for it - and ultimately so you can eat.

It can be a real challenge to design a product which doesn't flash, spin, whir and pop with all the fantastic tech inside, rather it fits together and simply does the job it claims to (the claim can still be grand and revolutionary). More and more the user (whether enterprise, commercial or consumer) is looking for the right mix of features and user experience, how easy it is to use can be more important than being the most modern, feature laden choice.

There is really only one way, as the creator, to ensure your product is as user focussed as it can be. You have to check your ego at the design door. It can be really hard to do, but your work will be the only victim if you are focussed on showing how great what you have achieved is, rather than letting the users tell people because they love it.

I’m curious to hear other perspectives on this - use the hashtag #hiddentech, comment on the Coaster Facebook or drop us an email to let me know your thoughts.

~A.