This morning I was watching music videos on our new Apple TV. I had gone through all of the featured videos and wanted to watch more, but I didn’t want to search because I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to watch something fresh and that isn’t a useful search term.
Apple Music has been heavily criticized as being too complicated and difficult to use. Those criticisms bounced around in my head and amplified my frustration.
Then I fumbled around a bit, did a search for an artist and watched some more videos. Then I figured out a better way. I could find an artist I liked and choose the “Artist” option to see more of what they’ve done, including videos. I’d discovered a new way to use this tool and I was delighted by it. It felt good to overcome that frustration.
I think we’re placing far too much emphasis on making everything easy to use. Complicated processes and powerful tools should not always be able to be learned in a few minutes. By adding training wheels to everything digital we create we remove the depth from the product and make it less useful. We also rob our users of the opportunity to discover something new on their own.