Reducing Friction: The Difference Between Good and Great Design →

Joshua Topolsky:

And that’s part of the reason why Apple’s “me too”s end up feeling like “me-first”s. In the age of digital, execution is staggeringly important, and there isn’t a single company in existence that can pull off polish and simplicity like Apple. While other companies struggle just to get all of their devices and services talking to one another, Tim Cook and friends are worrying over the details that actually make consumers pay attention. The products don’t just work the way they should; they feel the way they should. Reducing friction, even a single click, can change the way a user perceives an entire product. […] [Emphasis mine]

That’s partly Apple’s magic show: being able to blend the familiar, the known, and the obvious with something (even a little bit) totally new. The company’s senior vice-president of marketing, Phil Schiller, told Businessweek “You can’t just say, ‘Here it is. It does the same thing 5 percent better than last year.’ Nobody cares.” But that five per cent is often the difference between making something that people talk about, and making something they forget. That five per cent is where Apple lives.