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When it comes to iOS productivity, delight can trump efficiency

David Sparks | May 14, 2014
People argue against iPads and iPhones as productivity tools--not that getting work done on the iPad or iPhone is impossible, but rather that it's more tedious. But to my mind, the argument's really not about productivity at all: It's about efficiency.

Whistle while you work
As I continued to consider this battle royale between efficiency and delight, I couldn't help but look back at the reasons I initially started using a Mac. That first Mac, with its smiley face icon, delighted me long before it ever made me a powerhouse of productivity.

This experience has me re-thinking a lot of the apps in my life, both on iOS and the Mac. Picking apps that let you crank 10,000 widgets at a time is great—so long as you need to crank 10,000 widgets. Cranking 10,000 widgets just because you have an app with the capability of doing so, on the other hand, is crazy. If you only need to crank three widgets, maybe widget-cranking shouldn't be your first consideration. Instead find an app that makes you smile as you crank those three widgets.

In the end, it's worth remembering that both efficiency and productivity are about your time. And your time isn't simply a scalar quantity, with shorter being better—it's a vector that takes into account whether that time is spent in enjoyment or frustration. Moving forward, I'm going to let delight win over efficiency more often.


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