Tech that’s supportive is not only useful, easy, and pleasing, but also helps users flourish.
That means it actively tries to support positive psychological states and traits such as clear thinking, self-discipline, focused attention, and a strong sense of purpose, and does its best to avoid triggering negative psychological phenomena, such as impulsiveness, apathy, or prejudice.
When technology is not supportive, it’s often because it’s clumsy and it’s sometimes because it’s evil.
Clumsy technology lacks people-skills. It’s awkward and unhelpful to interact with, and sometimes even downright harmful, but out of incompetence, not malice.
Evil technology uses people-skills to benefit its creators and/or choosers at the expense of its users. Like a con artist, it may undermine your well-being without you even knowing that you’re less well off than you should be.
As has been true for milennia in human-human interactions, people-skills can be used to support others or to exploit them.
Sometimes people rationalize evil technology by claiming it’s supportive. Sometimes people unintentionally create or choose evil technology, sincerely intending it to be supportive.
Most often, though, people create or choose clumsy technology, because when they think about tech, they think about functionality and features, forgetting how much the impact of tech comes from how it interacts with and affects people.
If your desire is to make your technology more supportive, less clumsy, and less evil, we’re here to help.