About the iPad

All right. I feel as if i should tell you about the iPad. And i won't only say positive things. I'll say negative things too, like i type too fast on it for the autocorrect to capitalize my I's. And that kind of drives me nuts. But there are things that i must share.

Number one. Why we bought an iPad. I know you're all sitting out there in front of your computers, thinking that we are big big suckers. But we are not. I promise. Here's the thing. When the ipad was announced, we looked into it and couldn't find a practical purpose for the ipad in our lives. We did not need it. At all. It didn't fill any technological void in our lives. So we almost immediately dismissed it. And we laughed over and over at all the iPad hitler videos on YouTube.

But a few weeks ago, we all of a sudden realized what the iPad could do for us. We'd been talking recently about doing physical portfolios. And let me tell you, a physical portfolio is a lot of work. And a lot of money, actually, once you factor in 1) an attractive binder or folder, 2) the printing costs 3) the time involved in preparing print-ready files of all of our work, taking them to a printer, babysitting said printer while they screw up your stuff on the paper you've supplied and paid for, etc. Not to mention the maintenance. Any time you need to add a new piece requires more money and more trips to the printer

Enter the iPad.

1) It is attractive.

2) It is not much more, or possibly the same price as printing our portfolios, buying good paper, binder, etc.

3) It is super-easy to update. We can do it instantly, and without worrying about setting up a crop, and making sure that the colors match, etc.

Beyond this, it is more versatile than a paper portfolio. Even forgetting the fact that I'm not going to watch a movie, up surf the Internet, or type up a blog post on my portfolio, the fact is, i also wouldn't travel with my paper portfolio, or bring it to conferences with me.

The iPad on the other hand is perfect for conferences. I can have it to keep notes, use Twitter, or surf the Internet if I'm bored, AND i can bring it out if i happen to strike up a conversation anywhere with a potential client. And no, i wouldn't do this in an obnoxious way. I'd do it in a totally appropriate, only if the person is looking for services like mine, sort of way where it is completely natural. Like, "Actually making repeat patterns is one of my favorite things to do, and i even teach a class on how it's done! If that is the sort of thing you're looking for, i have some samples here with me both of the patterns themselves and of how some clients have produced them, in mediums ranging from print to textile to web! You can take a look if you're interested and see if i have anything that matches the aesthetic you'd like to achieve."

I meet a lot of potential clients at conferences. Most of them are brief encounters where they possibly tune out a lot of what i say until at the end of the conversation i give them my business card and THEN they say, "Hey, this is really cool! So often, i meet people who are graphic designers, and then they give me their card and it sucks, and I'm like, really? You do this for a living?" (I have been told that, and similar things a few times.) So if the business card (one sample of my work) can have that effect, then i believe that having my whole portfolio at the ready--again, only for those who are actually interested--will lead to even greater business/new client opportunities. (And it would not, actually be appropriate to use my laptop in a situation like this, since most of these encounters happen while standing in a hall or something. And it's awkward to haul out the laptop, balance it, wait for it to boot up, etc. I would never do that.)

So. Practical application. The iPad will likely pay for itself rather quickly.

Once we established the practical application, then we were free to enjoy every other joy that the ipad has to offer. And believe me. There are many many many.

A lot of what people say is that it's like a giant iPod. Well, yes, sort of, but maybe in the same way that my 24-inch iMac is like a giant 15-inch laptop. It's true that my iMac and my laptop are capable of the same things but it's a much different experience using my iMac. A much better experience.

Same with the iPad. Better, far far far better experience than using my iPhone. It's incredibly cool, very fast, very intuitive and very fun. It's very comfortable to surf the Internet in bed when I can't sleep, or just take a bit to catch up on blogs without staying in front of the computer. It's just nice. Really really nice.

But to be honest, like I said, until we realized its potential as a business tool, there was no practical need for it. And as cool and wonderful as it is, i wouldn't buy one if there were no need. But something i eradicate pointed out that the iPad is a new platform, which is really exciting, and which should encourage innovation. So what is already good will continue to get even better as people continue to develop for it and find new uses for it. And i think that that is pretty exciting.

So there you have it. My thoughts on the iPad.

-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.


DP said...

Congratulations! I am a big fan of finding solid rational reasons for doing cool things.

Saule Cogneur said...

I appreciate your take here. The ipad is unique because it's one of the few Apple products that suits the professional better than the average user.

Every person I know who has made a justifiable (imo) pro ipad argument has done so in talking about their work.

Gwen said...

Fabulous insights. Thanks!