mrgan

mrgan:

Just about the most asinine, presumptuous, hubris-filled thing a designer can say is that someone else’s design is “wrong”. That word is reserved for judgments of absolute truth or ethical guidance; for flawed mathematical proofs and crimes. And yet, allow me to declare the following: Jony Ive’s icon grid in iOS 7 is wrong.

Everyone was clapping that Apple embraced open source. Happy, happy, happy. And they were just certain what was coming next. Then Steve moved a new slide onto the screen. With only one word, “KHTML” — six-foot-high white letters on a blue background.

If you listen to that video I posted, notice that no one applauds here. Why? I’m guessing confusion and complete lack of recognition.

What you also can’t hear on the video is someone about 15 to 20 rows behind where we were sitting — obviously expecting the word “Gecko” up there — shout at what seemed like the top of his lungs:

“WHAT THE FUCK!?”

KHTML may have been a bigger surprise than Apple doing a browser at all. And that moment was glorious. We had punk’d the entire crowd.

Apple’s design problems aren’t skeuomorphic

A really thorough look at the issues beyond skeuomorphism in Apple’s design; it targets their functional design issues. Of note:

  • Notifications, dark linen background or not, is woefully under-designed.
  • Six items that drain mobile device batteries (GPS, WiFi, cellular radio, Bluetooth, notifications and screen brightness) still require laborious, multiple clicks in multiple places, not immediately obvious to non-savvy users to turn on and off, without any simple, thematic or geo-fenced grouping.
  • iCloud-desktop integration and direct file sharing among Apple devices are circuitous and short of “It Just Works.”
  • Many Apple apps, like the iWork suite, are begging to be updated. Others, like Preview, TextEdit, Contacts, desperately need UI and UX overhauls.
  • Core functionalities like the Dictionary or the iOS keyboard layout and auto-correction are not the best of breed.
  • iOS app organization in tiny “folders” containing microscopic icons on pages without names borders on illegible and unscalable.
  • Navigating among running iOS apps (inelegant and opaque for users) and data interchange among apps in general (vastly underpowered for developers) remain a serious problem.