Grant McCracken: Low Fidelity Culture
What is the strange appeal of the lo-tech aesthetic?
A couple of days ago, Addy Dugdale observed a paradox:
One of the things that excites people most about technology is that it is seen as a gateway to the future. So how does that explain the recent glut of lo-fi adverts, software, and user interfaces that seem to be being spewed out by so-called hi-tech companies?
Addy offers into evidence a Rube Goldberg ad from Google Chrome. Very low fi indeed. It show tests begin performed on the speed of Chrome versus the speed of sound, lightening, and a potato being fired from a gun. The lab looks like a mechanic’s garage in the 1950s. It is manifestly the world of an enthusiastic amateur pretty much flying by the seat of her pants. It’s all very duct tape and “there, that should hold it.” This is the kind of lab where you really only feel comfortable in full body armor.