The Click Wheel – iPod

Let us consider for this post, our object to be ‘Listening to music on the go’. As we have seen throughout history , there have been multiple attempts at designing and creating user interfaces to allow users to attain this goal. Technologists knowingly or unknowingly have been disrupting the system by changing, adding or removing subjects from the system designed to support the above goal. As part of this system, we have seen at one time or the other that the daily user, tapes, CDs, etc and the different devices used to play music have all been the subjects. Looking at all the audio players that I owned, a major device that in an inexplicable way cemented my love for music was the first ever classic iPod. The key differentiating factor was the design of the operating method for the iPod – ‘The Click Wheel’.

The iPod revolutionized for me the way I was able to use my iPod and access my entire music collection using just 4 buttons laid out on a click wheel. This design removed multiple unintended and mostly confusing and non-useful actions from the system. The click wheel made me able to swiftly move through my entire library in a manner that felt much more intuitive to my mind. I was essentially scrolling through a list of items (in this case my music). Not only did it beat audio players by removing the hassle of inserting tapes, CDs, but it also made the action of playing your music much easier as compared to other digital audio players. It didn’t take much time for these actions to become an operation when it came to listening to music. No longer did I need to stop, look down and figure out how to get to my next favourite song.

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