Designers initially thought hard to make products that worked, that accomplished certain tasks. After that was possible, designers made the products more visually appealing. Your choice of colors, textures, sizes and shapes for whatever product one was seeking. Today, all of that is possible, and people are looking to take the development of new products to the next level. New technology today is being designed not only to work, and not only to look cool...but to be fun and pleasurable to use.
Obviously, computers come to mind first. In the beginning, the fact that they even existed at all was practically a miracle, then we started getting fancy looking computers (candy colored iMacs, or your sleek-silver MacBook Pro). Now there is the iPad, with the biggest draw is the ergonomically satisfying touch screen. Dozens of every day products we use have become more pleasing to hold, turn on, put together, carry around etc. because of more sophisticated design. I really don't look forward to sweeping my kitchen floor, but the wonderful Michael Graves broom and dustpan set in my hands with the soft rubber handles make it a wee bit more enjoyable.
A place where the joy of simply using technology is best put to use is in schools. Remember going to the computer lab in elementary school? We had to play the most basic math-learning games that could have easily be done without a computer, but since we got to answer our questions using a mouse and keyboard instead of pen and paper...it was more tolerable. Today, schools are allowing kids to work on regulated class assignments with their iPod touch. We used to do multiplication equations on small personal whiteboards in 5th grade, now it is only a matter of time before whiteboards will be replaced with iPads.
What happens when the novelty of touch screens, soft hairbrush handles and gratifying signal sounds wears off? How will we get our next sensory fix?
McCrea, Bridget. "Measuring the IPad's Potential for Education." T.H.E. Journal (2010). Web.
Winston, Eliza. "Technology Makes Lessons Fun, Engaging for F-C Students." Martinsville Bullitin (2010). Web.