The 2012 Experience

Do you know that feeling when you use or look at some kind of device, software, technology or service and think that there is an easier, faster, nicer or simply better way to do it? To put it simply, when something is just inconvenient to use. Earlier this year, in a discussion we had about some inconvenient every day technology the phrase “That does not feel like 2012!” was used to describe this feeling. Since then, the “2012 experience” has become kind of an inofficial commendation we award in our discussions.

For me, this sentence says it all. In the year 2012 (that some claim to be our last) there are still more than enough products that make every day life and work unnecessarily complicated. Despite various existing techniques, good practices and, most important, lots of examples that can show producers how to create a good 2012 experience.

Even though the phrase was originally coined describing a scientific API, the last few weeks taught me that this phenomenon is by no means unique to our profession. The worst non-2012 experiences I had thus far were with service hotlines. While there are many examples of good 2012 experiences leaving me with the feeling that my issue is taken care of, there are also those that leave me with the urge to immediately dial again and hope for another service employee.

Regardless of the work I do, be it developing an API, designing a GUI or providing customer support, I always try to imagine how I would expect it to be done by someone else to leave me contended.

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