“The Myth of Apple’s Great Design”
“In truth,” writes Ian Bogost in The Atlantic, “Apple’s products hide a shambles of bad design under the perfection of sleek exteriors.”
Examples of bad Apple design? Bogost offers nine:
- The new MacBook Pro: Requires dongles to connect USB-A devices to its USB-C ports
- Touch ID: The slightest disturbance on a finger makes it unreliable
- Autocorrect: How much typing has become retyping, correcting corrections?
- Big iPhones: Reaching the edges of the screen with one palm difficult, even for users with large hands
- iTunes: Makes managing music libraries difficult and confusing—even destructive
- Mail: Still can’t search for emails effectively or accurately
- iMessage: frequently stops working; iPhone sends text messages less reliably than before
- Keynote: Randomly changes the formatting of text in presentation notes
- iWork: Never came close to competing with Microsoft and Google’s commensurate products, “horrid though both of them are”
Bogost, a game designer and professor of interactive computing at Georgia Tech, doesn’t entirely blame Jony Ive. “Apple products’ inattention to detail in design was already easy to see during the Jobs era,” he writes.
And like many architects, he’s not a fan of Apple’s “spaceship”:
Like every Apple product, the company’s new headquarters is a monolith meant to be worshiped at sight and by touch. Just don’t ask too many questions about how it works in practice.