How apple is giving design a bad name (article)



  • http://fastcompany.com/3053406/how-apple-is-giving-design-a-bad-name

    A bit unfocused and rambly article, but with some good points. By the sound of it, written by ex Apple engineers.

    I can personally relate the most with the back button rant. Every time I move from android to iOS, I am amazed by this oversight. Such a simple feature, but makes Android so much easier to navigate.



  • I have never liked the design of Apple products. Even the early computers were designed to prevent you from opening them to see how they work or make repairs - the entire philosophy was (and still is) "I know better than you about what you want and need" which is a huge turn-off to me.

    The designs I see in Apple products always give me that same impression: they look nice, but they really want to control your experience. Computers are supposed to put me in control, not the other way around.

    Apple is destroying design. Worse, it is revitalizing the old belief that design is only about making things look pretty. No, not so!

    Case in point.



  • Ugh, didn't make it more than about half way through, but interesting.

    Do you think the trends they're talking about were something that Jobs started, or did people just take the easy stuff that Jobs professed (making it minimal and pretty) and drop the emphasis on ease of use?

    I've only actually used Apple products newer than a IIe a handful of times.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Do you think the trends they're talking about were something that Jobs started, or did people just take the easy stuff that Jobs professed (making it minimal and pretty) and drop the emphasis on ease of use?

    They dropped that when they put the NeXT people in charge of their flagship product.

    But actually there were warning signs prior to that, like the infamous QuickTime 3.0 Player app.


  • area_deu

    How can a design blog fail at SIMPLE FUCKING LAYOUTING?!

    Not ok. NOT FUCKING OK.

    (And yes, private mode so it won't pollute my history)



  • I love how the pullout quote "The legibility of the text is only one of Apple’s many design failures" is barely readable because the font is sans-serif all-caps extra-light extra-condensed. (Also :wtf: serif headings in the middle?)



  • @aliceif said:

    private [browsing] mode

    It's for browsing privates.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @ben_lubar said:

    It's for browsing privates.

    Judging from the amount of sex jokes you make lately, you really need to get laid.


  • Dupa

    Good thing there is a reset view available for this article in this pesky little design-piece-of-shit Safari.



  • Pretty and shiny sells. Usability apparently doesn't.


  • Fake News

    @asdf said:

    get laid out

    <post isn't empty



  • Are we having a layout fight?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I'd rather have a z-fight.


    Filed under: Bad computer graphics jokes


  • BINNED

    Worse, other companies have followed in Apple’s path, equating design with appearance while forgetting the fundamental principles of good design. As a result, programmers rush to code without understanding the people who will use the products. Designers focus entirely on making it all look pretty.

    <obvious reference to a familiar piece of software>

    It matters. It matters when people end up thinking they are stupid because they can’t seem to use an interface that has been made to seem perfectly clear even though it isn’t.

    :doing_it_wrong:

    Please learn about the power of signifiers, visible indicators that help the poor, befuddled user.

    :magnets_having_sex:

    We never know whether something is permitted or not.

    It's (500) OK, you'll figure it out.


    Filed under: Someone had to do it



  • I happen to own a 2011 Macbook Pro which I recently maxed out by ditching its SuperDrive and putting two SSDs into it (a striped RAID0 setup). To do that, I had to deal with around 25 or 30 screws, all different. I had to remember precisely which one was unscrewed from what exact spot. I had to dislodge unrelated components to be able to access the SuperDrive.

    I'm still uncertain if I reassembled it correctly. That is, it holds together, but the antenna wires I had to disconnect and reconnect, might just as well be laid out wrong.

    In comparison, I can disassemble my Thinkpad X220 and reassemble it completely in the same amount of time as it took me just to get to access the DVD drive in the Macbook Pro. So far, I have replaced its motherboard twice already (and I'm planning to do that again once I get my hands on one with an i7 CPU).

    Then, OS X complained to me that a recovery partition (which is created by resizing the main partition on the main volume) is impossible. So is FileVault (filesystem encryption). Like, OS X cannot into multiple partitions on a software RAID volume (:wtf:), and it cannot encrypt its filesystem on its own software RAID volume.

    Also, in the latest OS X, the graphical Disk Utility cannot shown a RAID slice as being such. It can be unsupported and shit, but it can't even show what it is.

    Design, muthafukkas.



  • Please don’t tell us stories of grandparents who can now use technological devices such as tablets whereas before they could never master computers. Just how much of the new technology have they mastered? Yes, gesture-controlled devices, tablets, and phones have easier barriers to initial use. But they have huge barriers to anything advanced, such as selecting three photos to send in an email, or formatting some text, or combining the results of several different operations. These and myriad other operations are far easier and more efficient on traditional computers.

    Grandparents are fundamentally incapable of attaching more than one photo to an email. Adding an “attach three photos to this email” button would just confuse them.

    Filed under: if they wanted to be good at computers, they shouldn't have had grandchildren.



  • @Buddy said:

    Grandparents are fundamentally incapable of attaching more than one photo to an email.

    Now hold on, that's some microagressive shit right here, have you checked your privilege, young man?



  • @asdf said:

    I'd rather have a z-fight.

    Haven't you heard? The first rule of z-fighting is that you don't talk about z-fighting.

    (The second rule is that you use 24-bit depth and no more than a ~1000 ratio between near and far.)



  • Don't knock the grandparents, we invented computers.



  • If I ever decide to not get offended by something that I see online, I'm going to use this image as a macro:

    Source (nsfw)



  • Nuh-uh. iPhone invented computers.



  • @brotherelf said:

    I love how the pullout quote "The legibility of the text is only one of Apple’s many design failures" is barely readable because the font is sans-serif all-caps extra-light extra-condensed.

    I had much the same thought about the typeface used for the main text (well, other than the condensed bit). Changing their font-weight: 300 to 500 certainly strains my eyes less.



  • Fun story: I tried to use an iMac recently. I literally sat in front of it for two minutes before I could figure out how to turn it on.

    I talked to other people and they all had the same experience. The power button is fucking hidden in the back. Why would you hide the power button?!?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @anonymous234 said:

    I talked to other people and they all had the same experience.

    I thought I was the only one… :snowflake:


  • BINNED

    Every time I go to turn on my wife's iMac I try the wrong side, then hunt around on the other side, then turn it around to look and see that the first side was right in the first place.

    Then I log in and try to find the app I want. Is it in the Applications folder? Launchpad? Fuck it, I'll just search. Now I have two windows open in this application and I want to switch between them. There used to be a button to show all windows in the current app in that fancy Expose thing. Nope, no more keyboard shortcut*. All I can do is show all windows, which will be tiny if I have more than a few open. Fuck this, I'm just going to do it on my Windows computer.

    Apple: it just works™

    *Speaking of keyboards, why would you sell a desktop with a shitty laptop style keyboard that's completely flat with no travel? What's wrong with including a numpad? I'm using this on a desk. I have the space.



  • @Jaloopa said:

    There used to be a button to show all windows in the current app in that fancy Expose thing. Nope, no more keyboard shortcut*. All I can do is show all windows, which will be tiny if I have more than a few open.

    WOMM. You just need to enable it. Or it's a 3 finger swipe on the mouse/trackpad.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Jaloopa said:

    What's wrong with including a numpad?

    Nothing. For only $100 extra, you'll get an actual keyboard with a numpad.


  • BINNED

    Discoverability, baby


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    To be fair, at least it's cheaper than the Surface Type Cover.



  • @Jaloopa said:

    Discoverability, baby

    Actually, I remembered wrong.
    The CtrlDown keyboard shortcut is enabled by default (in Yosemite, anyway) it's the 3 finger swipe down on the mouse/trackpad that needs enabling.


  • BINNED

    I have a hot corner set up for it on my login, the same as I had when I had a 10.4 mac



  • @blakeyrat said:

    QuickTime 3.0 Player app.

    Why did it suck?



  • @LB_ said:

    Even the early computers were designed to prevent you from opening them to see how they work or make repairs - the entire philosophy was (and still is) "I know better than you about what you want and need" which is a huge turn-off to me.

    Absolutely does not apply to the Apple ][ series, or anything else that Wozniak had any say in the design of. The whole computer-as-appliance closed-ecology thing was Jobs's doing. At some point he stopped listening to Tog, and that was a bad mistake.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    My most recent Apple experience:

    :older_man:: @Placeholder, my company finally got me a Mac so I can test my software on it.
    :man:: It's about time! What do you think about it so far?
    :older_man:: It's alright, but the text is small enough that I'm having a hard time reading it. I can't find the setting to change it.
    :man:: *Glances at settings*. Hmm. I can't find any settings for font size either.
    :older_man:: Maybe they are just hidden somewhere obscure. Google it, maybe?
    :man:: *Googles*.
    :older_man:: Anything?
    :man:: No. Apple doesn't let you change the font size. You have to get a third party application to change it.

    :older_man::man:: :wtf:



  • @Placeholder said:

    No. Apple doesn't let you change the font size. You have to get a third party application to change it.

    You make the text bigger OS-wide by changing the scaling on the display. There's a "Larger text" end of the scale and a "More space" end of the scale with levels in between.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    Neither of us have any real experience with Macs, hence the confusion. I'll bookmark this just in case the topic comes up again.

    :fa_pencil_square_o: Unless Discourse keeps throwing 500s at me every time I click the bookmark button.



  • @marczellm said:

    Why did it suck?

    Oops, it looks like QuickTime 4.0 was when the Player app went to shit.

    Here's a UI Hall of Shame page on it from... 1999!?: http://hallofshame.gp.co.at/index.php?file=qtime.htm&mode=original



  • @Jaloopa said:

    *Speaking of keyboards, why would you sell a desktop with a shitty laptop style keyboard that's completely flat with no travel? What's wrong with including a numpad? I'm using this on a desk. I have the space.

    When I was doing iOS development, I plugged in one of my mechanical keyboards (Cherry MX Brown switches so they don't quite sound like a jackhammer in the office). Our resident Apple fanboy thought I was crazy and would switch to the crappy laptop-style keyboard when he needed to use the iMac.

    Also, the laptop-style keyboard was Bluetooth or something and only had like 2 feet of wireless range, even on full batteries. You had to have everything on your desk spaced just right for it to work.

    The old CS forums were full of my griping about Apple.

    @asdf said:

    To be fair, at least it's cheaper than the Surface Type Cover.

    I paid $54 for my Surface Type Cover. :trolleybus:




  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @mott555 said:

    Our resident Apple fanboy thought I was crazy and would switch to the crappy laptop-style keyboard when he needed to use the iMac.

    I've got a wired USB Apple keyboard. Hardly ever use it (I move around too much, so I stick with the laptop keyboard) but it works without the annoying bluetooth issues.



  • Are you guys talking about chiclet keyboards?

    Laptops usually have that kind.

    My new desktop PC came with a weird hybrid one - it looks like it is a chiclet keyboard but it sounds like it is a more traditional keyboard.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    It's 500


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    That's not very comforting.



  • @LB_ said:

    Laptops usually have that kind.

    Yes, the Apple desktop keyboards are those too.

    I use one of these standard HP Windows keyboards with my OSX laptop when in the office.


  • BINNED

    "Hey, Steve, our laptops sell better than our desktops"

    "It must be the wonderful keyboards and mice. Sell all desktops with a trackpad and a laptop keyboard. Also, use a laptop GPU."


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Jaloopa said:

    "Hey, Steve, our laptops sell better than our desktops"

    "It must be the wonderful keyboards and mice. Sell all desktops with a trackpad and a laptop keyboard. Also, use a laptop GPU."

    Several months later: "Hey, Steve, nobody's buying our desktops at all any more..."

    Filed Under: Wish that were true, Fanbois, iSheep, etc



  • They sell enough of the damned things they must be what most users want.

    I'd imagine anyone who's buying an iMac doesn't need things like desktop-grade GPUs or they'd buy a Mac Pro.



  • @Jaloopa said:

    "It must be the wonderful keyboards and mice. Sell all desktops with a trackpad and a laptop keyboard. Also, use a laptop GPU."

    That brings back painful memories of dealing with Apple hipsters in college. How they'd tell me their Mac is so much better than my homebuilt Windows PC for gaming (and especially video editing!) because it has a great GPU in it. Further investigation revealed they were using laptop GPUs with about 25% of the power of my mid-range desktop GPU. :facepalm:

    Of course, they bragged about how great the Macs were for gaming and video editing, but really only used them for Facebook and Farmville :facepalm:



  • Presumably they weren't doing any heavy gaming on a Macbook with it on their lap or they'd have melted their legs.



  • @cartman82 said:

    Pretty and shiny sells. Usability apparently doesn't.

    Anyone who works in business software sales can tell you this.


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