nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Bad Design at Apple

It fell apart after Steve Jobs.

I'd wondered whether people who care about good design (a combination of of beauty and usability) were that rare. The answer is yes. The link is the sorry story of a company which was built on good design, which had codified simple principles of good design.... and then forgot it all. Apple is making a partial effort to make its devices easy to use again, but it doesn't seem to have a solid grasp of the idea.

I'm seeing this as a failure of empathy, and not specifically a problem at Apple. It's apparently really hard to think about whether a product is easy to use, and to do the checking to find out whether real people are a good match for your idea of what will work.

This being said, how could anyone have thought it was a good idea to take away the undo button, and then substitute shaking the device to undo? You can't tell what sort of shaking is needed, and it isn't available for all applications. Aside from the unreliability of shaking, it seems to me that shaking would interrupt your train of thought.

I'm bewildered by the folks who believe you can get people to do what you want by applying the right incentives, both positive and negative. The truth is, people can be distracted by incentives so that they don't think as well. They may decide to resist your incentives. And people's capacities vary, so you, you all-dominant incentive supplier, might be trying to make them do something they can't do.

I think modern corporations and possibly some theories of economics are built on the premise that people respond in a simple and reliable way to incentives. This isn't just the belief in everyone being "rational", it's also a belief in people being interchangeable. It's wrong.

The Lottery of Fascinations-- aside from innate capacities, what people are interested in matters.

Link thanks to supergee.

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