Apple's products are getting harder to use because they ignore principles of design. (

almost 6 years ago from Radley Marx, Creative Design & Development

  • Brian HintonBrian Hinton, almost 6 years ago

    Both Android and iOS have design concerns, and with each iteration some are solved while new ones are created. I think blatantly stating that Apple, and Android are ignoring principles of design is insulting to their design teams, and while some of his examples may have merit…some are absurd.

    “..the magic mouse is different from the trackpad which is different from the iPad…”. -Don Norman

    Well trackballs are different from mice which are different from joysticks. I’m sorry but you can’t always unify the same experience across completely different input devices. And rumors are flying that iPads, and iPhones are getting force touch (same as on current generation MacBooks). Seems like Apple is working to unify in that area.

    ”Inscrutable icons litter the face of the devices even though the research community has long demonstrated that people cannot remember the meaning of more than a small number of icons.” -Don Norman

    Where is Don seeing a large number of icons without labels? I look at Safari on iOS and I see three that are apparent. The mobile platform concept itself doesn’t allow a lot of icons within the available screen real estate. Notes has three icons on it’s home view, and 5 when editing a note. All of them except for the draw functionality (iOS 9) are used throughout Apple’s apps. So you learn once, and it’s the same in all of their apps.

    Don needs to review older versions of iOS: since the design hasn’t changed much beyond decluttering, and making things more readable. Same use of icons, and lack of labeling in the same apps.

    And Android has made HUGE leaps in improving it's design language, and UX. The problem with Android is the varying experience between devices, and that's beyond Google's control.

    Maybe the "detailed and comprehensive article" will bring things into perspective. I'm sure it will be an interesting read.

    4 points
    • Eugene RossEugene Ross, almost 6 years ago

      All of these are great points.

      There are so many different applications and uses for user engagement. Whether it be a mouse, trackpad, joystick, or touch, what ever fits best and works best for the user is the right choice. Pick your poison.

      I agree too that users learn the meaning and use of icons without labels being required. Just the icon in itself echoes out simplicity for a visual aspect too. Another example of icons without labels is Snapchat. I can almost guarantee that frequent users know each action that the icons posses. New users will eventually get used to the "no labels" because humans best remember things in an aesthetic way, more so than a literal way.

      0 points
      • Brian HintonBrian Hinton, almost 6 years ago

        Yep. Really I feel Don is attention seeking instead of trying to inform. I mean looking at the updates coming in OS X and iOS you can see that Apple is working on design consistency.

        El Capitan has the same general look as Yosemite, but includes a new systemwide font --- San Francisco. The same as in iOS.

        OS X's window management feature, Mission Control, has also been revamped introducing a new Split View feature that mirrors the iOS 9 multitasking feature on the iPad.

        Mail on Mac supports new iOS-style gestures for managing messages. Sharing of gestures between the platforms (something Don says they aren't doing).

        Metal support is on Mac and iOS something this isn't visual design, but it is a development design choice that will likely make development across the platforms easier.

        On a large screen, it can sometimes be difficult to locate a small cursor, especially when waking a Mac. In El Capitan, there's a new cursor feature that causes the cursor to grow larger when you move your finger back and forth on a trackpad or shake a connected mouse so you can see right where it is on the screen. This is brilliant design UX.

        1 point