Beyond disintermediation

I don’t think of Uber as a force that dis-intermediates—as we olds used to say—transportation, but one that creates value for itself, its drivers, and its users, by developing a new layer that integrates them all with maximum utility. A very talented developer once told me that the secret to a world-beating service like Dropbox was to make something very, very complicated seem devastatingly simple. To me, uberizing meant trapping a series of innovative processes—phone-enabled geo-location, payments and driver management and distribution—into an app-accessible service.

That’s good framing. It’s not (just) removing a middleman, it’s better overall UX. One might even say “design.”

Beyond disintermediation

Three screens

Microsoft shot for consistency with Metro, putting the square interface on its tablets, phones and PCs under something it called three-screens and the cloud. Yet Microsoft was wrong to lump PC users in with device users, as it turned out neither customers nor developers wanted Metro on their PC – they hated it.

There is a notion that Metro was a failure there, which would be good to see the proof points in (low Window 8 uptake?). But, putting that footnoting aside as a distraction from interesting noodling, there’s a fun idea in there that we’ll see a lot in the coming years: do mobile devices need different UIs and UX than PCs, and Bice versa?

Three screens

This is a classic Sterling, cyber-noir line… Describing and then confirming an everyday, banal artifact, sort of hooked up to his desires to see the works through the eyes of design. Usually the snarky point is: no one thought this through, so there it is.

From Love is Strange.