“Become the other person and go from there” is the best piece of coaching advice I ever received, and it applies equally to influence, negotiation, conflict, sales, teaching, and communication of all kinds.
Great user-interface design doesn't kill complexity, it clarifies it. But even so, there's a fine line between empowering users and infantilizing them. Last week, Bloom's president railed against "the urge to make everything into one giant likable button" -- an image of reptile-brain stimulus/response at its worst. Now an artist named Lukas Franciszkiewicz has created a "fictional prototype" called Beta which envisions a bizarro version of the world Bloom wants to create: sterile and sinister, where "simple" user interfaces lull us to accept happiness in slavery.
Google's Android OS has made great strides in seizing marketshare among smartphones, but the fragmentation of devices has finally caught Google's attention--for its Honeycomb tablet OS, hardware specs will be much tighter. It's a lesson from Apple.
Growing pains: Internet startups feel them too--and in a big way, when they're valued in billions. Among Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon, and Zynga, who will first become a man? (Yes, we push the bar mitzvah metaphor, but we didn't start it!)