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

almost 5 years ago from Radley Marx, Creative Design & Development

  • Adrian HowardAdrian Howard, almost 5 years ago

    A bit of anecdata.

    I've been doing usability testing (amongst other things) for about 20 years.

    These days I see folk using Apple systems fairly often having problems like:

    • missing that areas can scroll
    • missing tabs
    • not understand what's happening with window zoom
    • not understand how to delete things
    • … and so on …

    All. Of. The. Damn. Time.

    All the sort of things Norman talks about in this piece. Because of lack of contrast, perceived affordances, etc.

    20 years ago, 10 years ago, even 5 years ago — not so much. Not never of course, but not so much.

    I have these conversations with other folk who do usability testing. They report the same sort of issues.

    So yeah, from my perspective "Apple's products are getting harder to use" is spot on.

    Not unusable. Just worse than they used to be.

    But then perhaps I'm just another grumpy, complaining old man ;-)

    3 points
    • Johnny JuiceJohnny Juice, almost 5 years ago

      ^ What he said

      0 points
    • Drew BeckDrew Beck, almost 5 years ago

      This is a great perspective. I think one of the difficulties — that Norman touches on briefly — is that Apple of today is managing touch interfaces whereas Apple of Norman's heyday was all on the desktop. Affordances on touch are hard. I do think Apple — and indeed everyone working in touch — can be working harder on this problem. But I don't envy them!

      0 points