Within seconds, Josephine's phone beeps with a message from Richard, her boyfriend. "WAN2CAPIC?" reads the small screen. "He wants to see a movie," she explains. They agree to see "TRFC" at a theater near Piccadilly Circus. But she's still fuming at Sophie for standing her up, so she taps in a "screaming face" ":-@!" to express her displeasure. Why not just telephone her? "This is easier," she says.
How can reading a tiny screen and writing using tiny keys be easier than talking on a phone? Well, the mechanics themselves are not easier. Easier may be the wrong word. Convenient is more like it. See, making a call, you have to wait for the other person to answer. You also have to pay attention to what the person says right there and then, in real time, as they speak. With text messaging you decide when to pay attention. You can comprehend at your own pace. You can initiate and finish a communication without having to wait for the other person to "pick up the phone". People will find a way to use technology that makes things easier for them. It's not that a device's interface is easier, but that a task or objective is easier to accomplish with technology (even, sometimes, if the technology is difficult to use).
Just scanned a thread on Slashdot where someone asked for advise on software/coding solutions for creating formatted reports of several hundred pages. The answer is simple: don't do it. No one reads reports that long in either digital or paper form. People do ask for reports that long. People who feel a need to prove that they have important things to do, like reading several hundred page reports, ask for such reports. Of course, no one knows what they do after plowing through several hundred pages of data, except to ask for more reports (perhaps to validate what they read in the first report?). There are some people in some organizations who would provide value (perhaps tremendous value) from plowing though such massive reports. If plowing through that much data would provide value, however, wouldn't it make more sense to give the person a way to wade through the data directly themselves, rather than pay (in time or money) a developer to create a system for generating canned reports? If you are sucking tons of data out of a computer and putting it on paper so someone can look at it, both you and the person who wants to look at the data that way are doing something very, very, wrong. You're not creating value, you're only spending money.