Andrew, I'm fascinated by something you mentioned to me when we spoke last--FifityThree's focus on "creativity/productivity" products. Do you view this as a new market?
And is there any reason the time is right for you to be working in this space now in particular?
I'm guessing that brings us back to the verb-based design rather than the physical object based design we were discussing earlier.
In which case, what verbs are driving you today?
We always joked that with Paper we were building more of a game than a productivity tool. And I think there's truth to that because play is such an integral part of creative thinking.
Do you consider Post-Its more playful than keyboards, then? I do, but I can't say why. It brings me to this idea I hear from designers a lot--designing for "delight"--and I've always considered delight the great intangible. But it seems like that's what creativity/productivity is, in part, going after.
Yes. Keyboards (the typing kind) have come a long way since the typewriter days, but they're holding us back now. We need new kinds of input to allow new forms of expression that are more visual. Great creative tools are like scissors—they do one thing really well yet open up so many new possibilities. True delight comes not from the interface but from what the interface allows you to create or accomplish.
I love that idea. So you actually see something like playfulness or delight stemming from empowering the user. But it has to be more than just that, right? Because macros are powerful but not very fun.
Ha! Yes, you also need a dash of surprise.
So how can you maintain the element of surprise in an interface, or a product over time?
(Thinking back at how Paper surprised me, I think it was through the empowerment we were talking about. I was empowered to draw WAY better than I ever could on analog paper.)
That's tough. We try to keep applying our approach by rethinking basic tools (like mixing color) for simple, beautiful creation that anyone can jump into.
A lot of the audience has asked, is Paper as we know it a completed product?