Thank you for considering litl as your home computer. Not many people have the opportunity to design a complete computer experience. Usually one influences a part, like the hardware or the operating system or the software. At litl, we have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to design all the parts at once. So over the last two years we took our jobs very seriously. We want to give you the best possible web experience at home. We want something better than the same old computers we had growing up.
But before we jumped willy-nilly into cool technology, we figured we’d better ground ourselves in purpose. It’s easy to get caught up with the latest gizmo. It’s much harder to remember what the customer wants. So we jotted down a few principles that we’d like to share with you. We hope you like them because our computer fulfills these principles very well.
The computer works for me (not the other way around)The computer exists to do things you care about, not for its own sake. Today, we liberate your photos, view web sites as channels, and provide a great web experience. Over time, we'll only add capabilities that home users care about. Everything else, we'll keep small.
Furthermore, we want our customers to use the computer, not take care of it. As we like to say, the computer isn’t a pet, you shouldn’t have to worry about its care and feeding. Companies have whole departments to worry about computers, but you don’t. So when we created litl we did everything possible to free you from computer administration. When you own a litl, the computer automatically handles viruses, updates, installs, plug-ins, backups, and drivers forever. After all, it is a computer!
Our next goal was to improve the user interface. We used a simple rule: Any computer task that had the word "management" next to it had to be eliminated. File management. Gone. Window management. Gone. You get the idea. All this management came from the earliest days of computing. The definition of an operating system is an interface that lets humans interact with hardware. Yeech. I don’t want to interact with my hard drive; I want to interact with my friends. So we focused our user interface on interactions with your content (stuff like photos, mail, web sites) not your computer hardware.
Lastly, ever notice the bewildering array of settings in existing computers? That’s because these machines are designed for everyone from a six year old to the largest employers on earth. A jack-of-all-trades computer needs to do a lot. Well, (luckily) litl isn’t building computers for multi-national corporations—we’re building computers for the home. So we get to eliminate the stuff that only large organizations need. Trust us, it’s a lot! We then applied two tough criteria for any remaining settings. 1) Does the customer care? If not, 2) Do what the customer wants, don’t make the customer decide. We cut a lot of junky settings this way.
We hope you like this principle. We found that by remembering who’s boss we can eliminate a lot of computer administration work.
Reuse what I already knowWhen we talk about reuse we aren’t talking about saving the environment. We’re talking about saving your time. Our customers are very busy and the last thing they need to do is invest time in learning lots of new stuff. As we like to say, the easiest to use application is the one you already know.
So when we built litl we did not reinvent what already exists. Rather, we make sure to work really hard to integrate what you already use. Let’s take photos as an example. We pride ourselves in better enjoyment of family photos. But that doesn’t mean you have to transfer all you photos to our system. Rather, we build upon the services you already use (like flickr, Picasa, SmugMug, and Shutterfly) to do even more. litl plays well with many of the services you use today. We will continue to play well with technologies of the future.
The principle of reuse can also be found in our user interface. We don’t like icons because they have to be learned while text is already understood. We might use a well known icon here and there, but we’ll reuse your ability to read rather than make you learn a lot of symbols.
Reuse can save you a lot of money. Did you know that the most expensive component in a laptop is the screen? Some people pay big bucks to get a 17” or 21” screen on their laptop. However, the same people might already own a 48” TV. At litl, we thought it would be nice to reuse the giant screen you already have in your house rather than buy an expensive laptop screen that’s actually kind of small. So we made litl really easy to connect to a flat screen TV. Reuse, save and see it big!
Focus my attention on my taskCurrent computer design lets you see lots of information at once. You can have many open windows and a blizzard of indicators to tell you just about anything you would ever want to know about your computer. However, a desktop isn’t an airplane cockpit. No one dies if your wifi drops from four bars to three. Instead, we’ve crossed the line from utility to continuous partial attention.
We thought helping our customers focus would be a more useful goal. We set about eliminating distractions and time wasters. So no more monitors and status indicators. litl will monitor these things in the background and bring things to your attention only if necessary.
When you need to see your stuff we show it to you neatly. But when you want do something specific, we automatically take everything else away to let you focus. You won’t have anything in the background or lingering around to distract you.
litl uses one whole screen at all times. No more working in little windows or on the edges of your screen. litl also removes unnecessary menus and icons. By eliminating window clutter and computer administrative debris, you will be able to focus on your stuff.
Many computers call attention to themselves as if they are the star in the room. We believe our customers are the stars, and we prefer to help behind the scenes. Our design philosophy is to get all the computery stuff out of the way and let the customer’s content shine, whether it is photos or video or e-mail. The computer should never compete with the content.
Our customers are our friendsNot only did we set out to design technology, but we wanted a better service experience too. The fundamental tenet that guides us is that our customers are our friends. We’re inspired by family stores in small towns everywhere who genuinely know and like their customers. They treat customers with respect, honesty, and trust. We combine those attributes with the family or neighborhood computer person who is always there to lend a hand.
We expect that you’ll love your litl and we’re completely committed to providing you with a great experience. And if your webbook does sputter out in the first year, you're covered by our limited warranty.
You’ve got a friend in the computer business.