Readers outside the tech sphere are upset about Path because they understand “address book.” They’ve never understood keywords, behavioral targeting, demand side bidding, or cookie based data.
Path is pretty in the same designy way as our modern museums…These museums are very exciting when they open. You show up and marvel along with all of the other fans of architecture. Maybe you return for one of those nights where they stay open late and there is a band and drinking. “A great space,” you think. Maybe one day you’ll be rich and rent out the atrium for a private party. The art doesn’t get talked about so much at these museums. The museum itself is the “social object,” as it were. Eventually the particulars around which the museum was designed fall out of fashion. A fresh crop of architects finds it to be too flashy, or too dull, or to have been guided by faulty principles. There is congestion where there should be flow. Certain rooms are simply exhausting. Maybe it is even an eyesore. This is good for the museum. Now they can really fuck up the place…Path is a monument to Path. It is no place to scribble in. I wish it longevity so that it might find shabbiness.
This is the best thing I’ve read about Path, and it perfectly articulates something I’ve thought not only about Path, but also a lot of other exemplars of the fussy, post-Apple wave of “high design” in tech products. Khoi Vinh has written about the same phenomenon, arguing that the obsessive design polish we in the industry have come to fetishize can lead to products without the “breathing room” to feel truly lived in by users.
The precursor to kicking ass is getting your ass kicked. –Jason Calacanis