One of the guys I work with, Jon, just bought his dad an iPad. His dad isn’t tech savvy, to the point that he didn’t use his home computer much any more, so when he asked for an iPad his son was perplexed but excited.

Jon shared an email with me that his dad sent him after spending about 20 minutes with the iPad. I was amazed at some of the comments enough that I had to jot them down, and some of the ideas and questions they raised.

Dadquote #1: I assume APPS, means applications.   Never seen it explained anywhere.

The concept of “Apps” seems very easily adopted. I wonder why that is?

Dadquote #2: Did not see where you get into the web

The mail app is called “Mail”. The Photo app is called “Photos”. The Calendar app is called “Calendar”. Etc.

In comparison, “Safari” is only relatively obvious to a Mac user as a web browser, or “The Internet” as my mom calls it. Why wouldn’t Apple call their internet app “Internet”?

Dadquote #3: as not sure how to shut it off…just turn it off with the same button at the top that I used to turn it on…wasn’t sure if there was a certain procedure to get out of things so I don’t lock things up.

Ah, the mark of a PC user. “I have to turn this thing off a certain way or else it breaks” is something that I don’t miss from my days of building and repairing PCs. I thought it was particularly interesting that he actually intuited the correct answer, and then based on past experiences, thought to himself, “no, there must be a harder procedure I have to go through to do it right”.

Dadquote #4: Once I have it in front of me other things may come to me.

He’s already committed to exploring the product more, one of the greatest achievements that I think any product designer can aspire to. The difference between that and the alternative approach to new technology – being afraid or intimidated, or worse, frustrated – is remarkable.

If the thing you’re making is ever meant to be used by anybody but you, there are some great lessons in these dadquotes that I’d encourage you to consider.