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GUI Apple

How Apple Is Giving Design a Bad Name (theverge.com) 462

ColdWetDog writes: Co.Design has an article by two early Apple designers on how the company has lost its way, and quite frankly, lost its marbles when it comes to user interface design. In the search for a minimalist, clean design, it has forgotten time honored UI principles and made it harder for people to use Apple products. As someone who has followed computer UI evolution since the command line and who has used various Apple products for a number of years, the designers' concerns really hit home for me.

Of course, Apple isn't the only company out there who makes UI mistakes. And it is notable that the article has totally annoying, unstoppable GIFs that do nothing to improve understanding. User Interfaces are hard, but it would be nice to have everybody take a few steps back from the precipice.

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How Apple Is Giving Design a Bad Name

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  • Apple Music (Score:5, Insightful)

    by germansausage ( 682057 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @12:39PM (#50975873)

    The Apple Music player app on IOS used to be at least usable. Now I have to google to figure out how to turn shuffle on and off. Everything is obscure and hidden where it used to be at least semi obvious. Controls are tiny when they used to be big enough for even my sausage fingers on a small screen,

    • Re:Apple Music (Score:5, Insightful)

      by _Sharp'r_ ( 649297 ) <sharper@booksund ... minus herbivore> on Saturday November 21, 2015 @12:55PM (#50975943) Homepage Journal

      Please, please, please stop making everything an "intuitive" icon with no easy way to get text to tell you what a button is supposed to do.

      Not everyone is constantly using the same program and wants to just start guessing what menu icons do in the hopes of figuring out over time how to work the damn app!

      That's my biggest issue with these minimalist pretty designs, half the time you can't figure out what the stupid menu options actually do, let alone find the one you figure should be in there but who knows what it looks like. Don't get me started on mysterious gestures being required for an app.

      This lack of basic usability is one of the two major reasons Apple mobile products are banned for technical support in my family now. The other is the walled garden, but I digress.... /rant

    • Re:Apple Music (Score:5, Interesting)

      by raxtich ( 3680159 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @12:58PM (#50975961)
      This. I hate the new music player with a passion. What used to take one or two clearly intuitive clicks is now so incredibly confusing that it borders on unusable. Now everything is behind generic "hotdog", "hamburger", and barely noticeable arrow icons and it's impossible to remember what's supposed to happen when you click any of them. I spend so much time cursing at it because I often choose the wrong icon and then have to figure out how to get back to where I was and what I was trying to do in the first place. It took me 20 minutes of fiddling around to figure out how to bring up the album for the currently playing song. I guess they want you to ask Siri to do everything for you, but that's just exchanging one frustrating interface for another.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      the person who created the itunes interface for windows is a nice example of sucking at your job. The only good think about that half ass product is the installer. Everything else goes against any logic and works 180 degrees differently than any product in windows. I am sure they did the same on linux. Forcing their stupid design ui logic on operating systems which work differently. I would fire that guy faster than it takes Oprah to eat an apple cake.

    • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

      While I overall like ios, the usability changes are always puzzling, and you point out what I consider the worst: anything related to getting my music to play.

      The ios side of things features this SUPER TINY progress bar, in a mode when that is likely to be your primary piece where you need precision interface. It's not obvious how to get the album art to pull up, and there's no way to make it full screen, or do anything cool, like cycle through album art pieces, or display a second one. It's difficult to

    • The Apple Music player app on IOS used to be at least usable. Now I have to google to figure out how to turn shuffle on and off. Everything is obscure and hidden where it used to be at least semi obvious.

      The new music app is one of the most annoying changes in iOS recently. It's down to those little things that chase aesthetics instead of usability like the alphabet scrollbar, instead of being visible immediately you actually have to start manually scrolling to make it appear and then you can use it. It's just a pointless decision that makes no sense in the context of usability.

      They did a similar thing with desktop safari some time ago where the close button for the tab wasn't visible until you hovered the

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @12:52PM (#50975925)
    A lot of the functionality of the iTunes UI has fallen to the wayside. The UI has been dumbed down ("simplified") to the point that what used to be simple tasks are now multi-step functions.

    .
    Apple's reputation in design has been touted far and wide, so I though the design flaws in iTunes were my perception and/or due to my odd usage of iTunes.

    It is good to see others who have also noticed that Apple may have lost its way regarding user-centric design.

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @01:12PM (#50976021)

      A lot of the functionality of the iTunes UI has fallen to the wayside.

      I dread every iTunes update as I know I will have to change things back around to the way I like them from the way that Apple thinks I should like them.

      And in a sort of related issue, the recent revelation that Siri won't answer music related questions unless you have a current subscription to Apple's music service is both worrisome and telling about the direction that Apple is taking.

    • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @01:37PM (#50976149)

      It is good to see others who have also noticed that Apple may have lost its way regarding user-centric design.

      TFA misses the point. Apple hasn't "lost its way" -- most of the design changes are clearly on purpose. It follows the classic cult paradigm of keeping esoteric knowledge for the "in-crowd."

      I admire Apple, and I use many of its products, so don't dismiss me as a "hater." Hear me out. First, Apple made inroads into certain cultural groups and convinced them that "Mac" was superior to clunky Windows. Then those cultural trendsetters came to be "believers" in all things Apple. A few really good products (e.g., the early iPod designs) helped cement this.

      Next step: make your interfaces LESS discoverable, and more dependent on "in-crowd knowledge." This reinforces the cult mindset, creating even more of a feeling that Mac/Apple product users are "in the know" -- knowledge about how to use things is passed between people directly by demonstration, rather than discoverable on your own or with a manual. (No manuals shipped with products anymore either, so unless you specifically go online and try to download one, you're forced to network with other Mac/iPod/iPhone/iPad/etc. users to figure out how to do anything.)

      This is the creation of a sort of what cultural historians and sociologists sometimes call an "Imaginary Community" of like-minded folks. You divide up the world into "Mac users" and everyone else.

      But non-discoverable interfaces also have the side effect of creating patentable UI structures (like icon sets, or special gesture interfaces), which other non-Apple companies will have to license, if they hope to be compatible with Mac users' expectations. That's the logic likely behind all of the big companies pushing obscure graphical icons ("What the heck does that weird trapezoid with a swirly do?") -- the MS Office Ribbon, Gmail getting rid of text on buttons, and Apple are all trying to win at the same game: they want users to get "locked in" and used to their particular interface, which is only understandable with practice, deliberately NOT discoverable. Discoverable interfaces allow people to switch companies/software/products -- the big tech companies want you to be so stuck with their product that you won't even know how to use another's product.

      That's the reason behind TFA's main complaint -- UI design is no longer about ease of use. It is only about that when a company wants to become established. After that, these companies want to force customers to stay, which means creating custom "parts" which are not interchangeable with anyone else's. In the old days, those parts were literal physical things; now they are stuff like icon sets and specific learned (and hopefully patentable!) non-discoverable gestures and UI tricks.

      IBM lost the war back in the 80s when it tried to be an open standard for everyone, which just led other companies to pull ahead after all of IBM's hard work in setting the standard. All tech companies learned that lesson.

      So, TFA completely misses the point. As TFA notes, Apple products strive to be beautiful -- that's part of the "wow" factor that makes you want to join the cult. Then you join and learn all the esoteric gestures (used to be secret handshakes, now it's how you swipe with three fingers and click or whatever), which you pass along to your fellow cult members. You also learn to decode the secret symbols of the cult by clicking on weird ambiguous pictures rather than self-explanatory words.

      Apple knows exactly what it's doing. Too bad the author of TFA hasn't figured it out.

  • Back in the old days before graphical user interfaces, test UIs were generally usable because the design elements were much more limited. No graphics, no fancy fonts, no dark green on almost dark green links (like the ones that appear in the story titles of slashdot).

    Tools like MC (midnight commander on linux) have an ease of use and simplicity that is hard to beat. Same with Borland's non-gui IDEs for BASIC, C/C++, Pascal, and dBASE.

    HTML, which was supposed to separate content from presentation, no longer does, thanks to "advances" that have strayed too far from first principles. We have seen the enemy, and it's not just those who write the code, but also the marketers who demand more bling over functionality, and the customers who respond to bling because BLING.

    • HTML, which was supposed to separate content from presentation, no longer does,

      This one really annoys me, because it would be so simple to do. If HTML allowed constants, you could have one place (a separate file, or put them at the top of your file) where all your text and images are defined. Then you could build the HTML, and easily move your constants around as the design changed. Simple solution, easy to implement, effective.

      It would also solve the problem that CSS has, where you want to use the same color scheme in several different elements; but if you want to change the color

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @12:53PM (#50975935)
    Those asinine, time-burglar eye candy transitions that occur for nearly every navigation you performed within iOS. Some of the most egregious ones can be "disabled" the 'Reduce Motion' option but rather than disable nausea-inducing animations like zoom it simply switches it to a dissolve, which executes just as slowly. And there is still no way to disable the most common animations like the sweep in an iOS Navigation Controller. I almost want to start a petition to all iOS developers to universally set the 'animate' parameter to False for all internal iOs methods that get passed the parameter.
  • PROGRESS BARS!!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MikeDataLink ( 536925 ) <mike @ m u r r a y n et.net> on Saturday November 21, 2015 @12:54PM (#50975939) Homepage Journal

    My biggest gripe with Apple and Microsoft right now is the lack of progress bars throughout the OS. For example, when Windows 10 boots the first time it goes through all this "Let's get started..." "Just setting up a few things..." etc. But you literally have no idea how long it is going to be before you use the computer, and on a tablet device it can be quite some time. I feel like this is a huge UI miss. One step forward, two steps back.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2015 @01:29PM (#50976121)

      Disk activity leds. I want them back.

    • The reason they got rid of progress bars in many cases is because they never figured out a good way of making them even remotely accurate. Often, things would breeze through 95% of the progress bar only to get stuck in the last 5%.

      • There is, and has been since the lauded CLI "GUIs" (e.g. turbo pascal), a simple solution to this problem. Unfortunately many people simply don't understand the solution, and don't care to learn. In two steps:

        1. Use an infinite progress bar (with or without a counter / percentage) rather than one based on time, when time is unknown or highly variable.
        2. 'Step' the progress bar in code, don't use some automatically animated thing.

        This provides positive user feedback that the operation will take an ind
        • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

          > Nearly all modern infinite progress indicators (computer, web, or mobile) fail because they use things like animated gifs or a separate thread to keep the indicator animation running, even when the task it's supposed to represent is stopped or slow.

          Yea, I hate this. This is worse than no progress bar. "Oh, good, you managed to not break the computer so hard it can still update the monitor. Great status indicator :/ "

    • Re:PROGRESS BARS!!!! (Score:4, Informative)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:42PM (#50976723)

      This is just a logical progression from what they did many years ago. Windows 7 introduced the progress bar inside the progress bar. You have no idea how angry I was the first time I saw the progress bar get to 100% only to start again at 0% without warning nor reason.

      If there are multiple progresses to track then the old school setup from the floppy disc days which showed an overall progress followed by a sectional progress was the way to go, but really the stupid spiny rings, flashing dots, or that progress bar which just moves a small line inside a box over and over again are worthless. They don't even serve as an indication that your computer hasn't locked up since typically the only thing that will stop those dead in their tracks is a bluescreen.

      Give us 90s UI designs back!

  • Dear Editors (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hardhead_7 ( 987030 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @12:56PM (#50975949)
    Why can I never figure out where a link is going? Read back over that. There are two hyperlinks in the summary. One is "an article by two early Apple designers" the other is "lost its marbles when it comes to user interface design."

    So which one of those goes to the article that the summary is about? It's the second! That's so counter-intuitive! Seriously! Why do I have to click through your links to figure out what you're linking to?
  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @01:01PM (#50975973)

    With the latest version of Safari, Apple removed from the right mouse click* contextual menu the ability to create a new tab. So instead of "right click, select the top item on the menu, left click" the only way now to create a tab is to either use the file menu or keyboard options. The contextual menu option of creating tabs has been like that for years and years and was not broken and I knew of no complaints about it. Removing it would have been a deliberate action that as far as I can see serves no purpose as the right click contextual menu still exists. And to add insult to injury the item that is now on the top of that list is "close tab", so every time my muscle memory kicks in I end up closing a tab I was viewing rather than opening a new tab.

    * Yes, you can use non-apple mice with apple computers, and yes the right mouse button does work. And in general I dislike using Apple's mice and only use 3rd party mice (And Microsoft makes good mice and keyboards that I like and use as does Kensington)

    • Command + click opens the link in a new tab. At least on the version of Safari I use.
    • by teg ( 97890 )

      With the latest version of Safari, Apple removed from the right mouse click* contextual menu the ability to create a new tab.

      "Open link in new tab" is still there? Are you thinking of opening a blank new tab? In which case, not having that as a context option makes sense to me - it's not an operation on the link.

      • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        ..not having that as a context option makes sense to me - it's not an operation on the link.

        In that sense I agree, but 8 years of muscle memory disagrees with you.

        However while creating a blank tab is not a function you perform on an existing tab, it is a function perform on the Tab Bar itself. So it is relevant in that sense.

    • by djbckr ( 673156 )
      All of the recent mice that Apple makes have "right click". I didn't think I'd like the Magic Mouse when I first started with it, but after I got my muscle memory working, I love it.
    • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

      Or click the "+" button at the right hand end of the tabs.

      Or right click a link and select the top item in the contextual menu.

      Or command click a link

      Or press command-t.

      • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        Or click the "+" button at the right hand end of the tabs.

        Or right click a link and select the top item in the contextual menu.

        Or command click a link

        Or press command-t.

        I was talking about a blank tab, and not opening an existing link in a new tab. So your only relevant suggestions are the "+" and the "T". Both of which are inferior to what has been taken away. The "+" places the tab at the far right and not where I want it, the "T" requires me to move my hands around when I didn't have to before.

  • by pherthyl ( 445706 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @01:01PM (#50975975)

    tl;dr Criticizing design is easy. Any grad student that's taken a human interface class could write this article (and many do) illustrating how a certain design violates the criteria they just learned. But despite their background I would only start to take these guys seriously when they propose a touch interface designed for phones which has all the properties they espouse and retains all the utility of a modern smartphone. Sure it would be great if every single feature was immediately visually discoverable. But how do you do that when you have so little screen space? Do you sacrifice content for UI? Let's see their great alternative.

    To respond to their points in detail:

    Apple has, in striving for beauty, created fonts that are so small or thin, coupled with low contrast, that they are difficult or impossible for many people with normal vision to read

    You know how they say lead with your strongest point? Right off the bat the first thing they claim is that Apple's fonts are impossible for many people with normal vision to read. Nevermind many, show me a single person with normal vision that CANNOT read Apple fonts and I will save their life, because clearly they have a brain tumour and need treatment immediately.
    Why would anyone take this article seriously when it leads with provably false claims? Anyway let's move on..

    These principles, based on experimental science as well as common sense, opened up the power of computing to several generations

    Of course much of the science was based on a mouse and keyboard interaction on a computer, not touch on mobile.

    However, when Apple moved to gestural-based interfaces with the first iPhone, followed by its tablets, it deliberately and consciously threw out many of the key Apple principles.

    This is why those interfaces work. Let's take a scrolling view for example. The traditional approach is to put a scrollbar in, and that's what most everyone was doing before the iPhone came along. The scrollbar is discoverable and it provides visual feedback. Sounds good right? Well it turns out using a scrollbar on a mobile device is a miserable experience. Swipe to scroll turned out to be the vastly superior method, and as soon as you learn to swipe (my 1 year old figured it out watching me) it is trivially easy to operate without any additional visual clutter.

    Same with other gestures in the iPhone.
    Deleting a row in a table. You can put a button on every row to make that discoverable at the cost of high risk of accidental deletion and visual noise, or you can make rows swipe left to expose the delete function. The swipe once learned in 5 seconds is vastly superior for the rest of your lifetime using it.
    Accessing the notification centre by swiping down from the top. You could put a button on every single screen, or you could save the space and use a swipe. Clearly the swipe is far preferable to using up screen space on a 4-5" screen.

    A woman told one of us that she had to use Apple’s assistive tool to make Apple’s undersize fonts large and contrasty enough to be readable.

    So a person with a visual impairment used accessibility options to correct for it? This is a problem how? Later they confuse font weight with font size. Both are adjustable in iOS, of course if you really need very large fonts you will run into some sizing issues in some apps.

    What kind of design philosophy requires millions of its users to have to pretend they are disabled in order to be able to use the product?

    A vision impairment is a disability. A minor and common one, but still one. By the way, the common way to correct this disability is with glasses. I have poor vision, but never had an issue with reading Apple fonts because I've corrected my vision by wearing glasses. The author's implication that someone with a disability should be asha

    • by linuxguy ( 98493 )

      This, a 100 times. It is easy to criticize from your armchair. Much harder to provide a complete example of an alternative that incorporates all the changes you are asking for, on a mobile platform. I am not an iphone user and prefer Android devices. One of the issues for me is that Apple mobile interface uses too much precious screen space for "discoverability". The author is asking for more of them. And people like me are asking for less. Many users come to accept the fact that on a mobile platform

    • But how do you do that when you have so little screen space? Do you sacrifice content for UI?

      My biggest complaint about the direction UI have been moving is that EVERYTHING is being shifted to this concept. My desktop monitor is the size of a small television, you don't need to hide everything in tiny drop-down menus. Because designers are trying to make all interfaces the same they are working to the smallest denominator (phone screen) instead of optimizing interfaces for their intended usage.

    • The problem is half with the hardware. Just sticking to the touch screen is not enough. We need smartphones to come with a button or two extra just used for interacting with apps (and maybe one more specifically designed to bring up the menu of the current running application).
    • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:48PM (#50976751) Homepage Journal

      This is why those interfaces work. Let's take a scrolling view for example. The traditional approach is to put a scrollbar in, and that's what most everyone was doing before the iPhone came along. The scrollbar is discoverable and it provides visual feedback. Sounds good right? Well it turns out using a scrollbar on a mobile device is a miserable experience

      What sucks is that they're taking the mobile solution, and applying it to PCs (and websites viewed on PCs). Minimalist UIs on my huge 1650x1050 monitor look downright ridiculous. Just how much space does one need for content? My screen has plenty. Give me bug buttons with text! And scrollbars? No, I don't want it hidden. Show it all the time and make it big and chunky enough for me to click on easily!

      Basically, acknowledge that mobile and PC user interfaces can and SHOULD be rather different. This principle will never change.

    • The scrollbar is discoverable and it provides visual feedback. Sounds good right? Well it turns out using a scrollbar on a mobile device is a miserable experience. Swipe to scroll turned out to be the vastly superior method, and as soon as you learn to swipe (my 1 year old figured it out watching me) it is trivially easy to operate without any additional visual clutter.

      At the loss of discoverability.

      While I agree--I wouldn't want to play with scrollbars on my phone--I'll add that you lose the ability to know if information is outside of your view. That's part of the "discoverability."

      Here's a personal example: Back in iOS 7, I believe, the Weather app on the iPhone would show you the temperature. Tap on the temperature--how I knew to do that is lost to my memory--and it would show you other information--barometer, wind direction and speed, etc. When I upgraded to iOS

  • Not Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2015 @01:01PM (#50975977)

    Not sure who originated it, perhaps it was Apple, but the entire minimalist "flat" design paradigm is a UI shipwreck. Yet, everyone is jumping onto the badwagon, regardless of how awful it is. Apple, Android, Windows 10, even Gnome and to a lesser extent KDE are leaning in that direction.

    It's pure shit. There's no definition or contrast. Where once you had hierarchical menus you now have hidden widgets, triple dots and hamburgers. Hamburgers? WTF? You have to swipe with two, three, four fingers? There's no control object, not even a visual clue of any kind? It's very much like the command line, but you have to touch/click it.

    When Microsoft came out with the ribbon, I thought, this is bad. But, when the flat minimalist shit started, it was SO much worse. I look forward to the return of the discoverable and logical UI.

    • Re:Not Sure (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @01:08PM (#50976003)
      It originated from Jonathan Ive, Apple's lead hardware designer who now have purview over the software's aesthetics as well. Ive hated the skeuomorphism elements of iOS and IMO went completely overboard with the horrible flat UX that is now iOS. For example changing buttons to a text label without even a border? WTF? One of the most basic elements of UX since the dawn of GUIs.
      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        It originated from Jonathan Ive, Apple's lead hardware designer who now have purview over the software's aesthetics as well. Ive hated the skeuomorphism elements of iOS and IMO went completely overboard with the horrible flat UX that is now iOS. For example changing buttons to a text label without even a border? WTF? One of the most basic elements of UX since the dawn of GUIs.

        One thing that is important to remember is that the usefulness of similarity to real-world objects is changing over time. Back when filing cabinets were common "files and folders" was a useful analogy. You could show me a rotary dial phone and I'd figure it's for calling people, a gramophone and it'd be for playing music but many of the current generation would be blank. Before a button had to be a button so you could physically press it and we carried that over to mouse pointers. With touchscreens maybe th

      • Apple was actually one of the last of the big companies to adopt the flat UI style. Microsoft was first.

        I don't think it's fair to credit/blame Jonathan Ive or any other Apple employee with inventing it. The flat UI was probably invented by someone at Microsoft. MS itself claims that it was a community effort. See here for example: https://www.microsoft.com/en-u... [microsoft.com]

    • Re:Not Sure (Score:4, Interesting)

      by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @01:22PM (#50976077)

      Not sure who originated it, perhaps it was Apple, but the entire minimalist "flat" design paradigm is a UI shipwreck.

      It wasn't too bad before the whole skeuomorphism reversal. I think Apple overreacted when they dumped that design philosophy and they went too far in the other direction. (but skeuomorphism was something that was really starting to annoy me) For example, buttons in iOS used to have nice "button-y" like visual appearances. Now they are simply a line of text that you are supposed to guess is actually a button.

      When Microsoft came out with the ribbon, I thought, this is bad.

      To be fair to Microsoft, I have used programs where the ribbon actually made sense and improved the work flow. But they were graphical designs programs that present objects on the ribbon that you could easily select and drag onto the design surface. On the other hand both Word and Excel regularly piss me off when I have to find something on the ribbon.

      • Re:Not Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @03:45PM (#50976737) Journal
        Apple's adventures in skeuomorphism were pretty awful(the 'stitched leather' iCal UI? 'Game Center' and its straight-from-vegas textures? the period where every goddamn UI element was made to look like brushed aluminum, despite the fact that neither CRTs nor LCDs can actually emulate the look of reflective metal very well? iBooks hideous woodgrain shelves?); but whoever ended up carrying out the purge seems to have forgotten that there is a difference between slavish visual copies of real objects and the visual cues necessary to make a conceptual model of a real object usable.

        A 'button', say, doesn't need to look like any particular physical button; but if it doesn't have some sort of border the 'a specific location that can be pressed to provide some sort of input' concept becomes a lot more confusing, because now you have to guess what the location is. You don't need to(and probably shouldn't) do some horrible bitmap clone of the buttons on your favorite 70s stereo; but you can only cut away so much before you lose the metaphor and end up with something that is neither an intuitive evocation of a real world item nor a new mode of interaction; but just sort of sucks.
    • Re:Not Sure (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @06:00PM (#50977357) Homepage
      The latest controls in Mac OS X "El Capitan" are so flat that you can barely tell the difference between a disabled and an enabled control. There has to be at least one of each in a single area to be able to tell that there is a difference. If an area only has one sort, you can't tell by looking which it is - you have to tentatively click to see if it's going to do anything. And if it turns out it's enabled, you probably then have to undo whatever it did.

      It's a travesty.
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @01:17PM (#50976055) Homepage Journal
    Drag all icons off the launcher bar. Drag command prompt to launcher bar. Open up as many command windows as will fit on your screen. Boom. Done. Well, you could also optionally set your bash profile to start emacs in the command window, depending on your UI preferences.
  • Good article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @01:22PM (#50976079) Journal
    I read the article, expecting a typical no-thought blog rant, but this post is actually quite good (although it's rambling and too long). They discuss the principles of Dieter Rams, and show how Apple is horribly failing to follow them. They track the changes in Apple's interface guidelines over time. So there is actually some useful information in this post (unusual). Here are their main two complaints, things that Apple is missing:

    1) Discoverability: The iPhone has plenty of gestures that don't have visual cues....it's often unknown whether clicking on text will perform an action, the latest iOS has "25 secret features." They shouldn't be secret, they should be discoverable to the users.
    2) Consistency: Sometimes the back button is there, sometimes it's not. Sometimes gestures do things, sometimes they don't. The "mighty mouse" gestures work differently than the trackpad gestures, etc (more examples in article).

    This chart really captures the changes at Apple [fastcompany.net], showing the changes in their UI guidelines over time. They've lost an entire section called "managing complexity in your software." Maybe Apple thinks software is no longer complex?

    Form follows function, that is, you have to make your product work first, and then make it beautiful. If you have a beautiful product that doesn't work, then you have a "gold-plated brick."
  • What a great article. The writer slammed one right out of the park! As a retired IT guy, with suck vision, I curse Jony Ives and his ilk daily.

    My biggest hate is scroll-bars. Pale grey with a very slightly darker grey thumb that's usually impossible to see. I don't find Windows 10 to be much better.

      Thank God for Linux. I develop using QT so I use all three platforms regularly.

  • And all I want is a pre-lenovo Thinkpad and a 7 day battery life flip phone with maps.

    And emacs.

  • even when checking to always show scroll bars in general preferences, it happened until recently that scroll bars would disappear in some applications or worse: be there and disappear if the mouse came close to them as if somebody played a hoax. Seems to fixed now in ElCapitan. Minimal is good but too minimal can sometimes look like a bad joke.
  • Apple UI Mistakes? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Marlin Schwanke ( 3574769 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @02:02PM (#50976251)
    Seems like the whole industry, not just Apple, has succumbed to the same ethos in UI design. Gone are borders and shading. Can't have more than one obvious hamburger menu icon. It is all white on white other than lots of rectangles filled with imagery, probably updating the imagery frequently. Past that controls are hidden swipes, slides, presses and all guesses.
  • I keep wondering whether if I were to ship my 1100 page copy of Inside Macintosh VI (a.k.a "The System 7 Book") back to Apple anyone there might accidentally read it and stop screwing up iOS.

  • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @02:19PM (#50976329)

    When Apple started making PowerBooks, the logo on the top cover was oriented so that it's upside down when the laptop is open. Why did they do something dumb like that? Because user testing showed that people naturally tended to orient the logo so it looked right-side-up to them before trying to open the laptop. In other words, it worked better for the user to orient it that way.

    Unfortunately, that meant that someone looking at a PowerBook user saw the logo upside-down. How awkward! How unflattering! How inelegant! This simply won't do! So, the change was decreed: logos must be oriented to look nice to the audience, and users just need to train themselves to deal with it.

    Old vs. new. Optimized for use vs. optimized for appearance and impression.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @02:23PM (#50976345) Homepage

    It's all these moron programmers out there. Really a UI interface to get to a function is you SHAKE the phone. What the fuck is that?

    I really want to blame the horrible professors at the universities, but I know it's these stupid under 30 programmers that are doing shit that they think makes sense and ignoring real UI design rules. but ohhh it looks pretty!

    Dear mobile app programmers, pray I don't win a lotto because I will be making a sack of doorknobs and looking for each and every one of you that code with the stupidest UI ideas. It will be at night when you least expect it.

  • I had an iPod once (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @02:25PM (#50976353) Journal

    I don't think Apple is new to poor user interface design. I installed iTunes (because there was no other easy way to put music on the dumb thing) and tried to copy some music files to the iPod. What a nightmare. That was a few years ago. I remember wondering what all the fuss about the "Apple user experience" was about. It seemed like the worst thing since Windows to me.

    Previously, I had used SanDisk Sansa mp3 players. They couldn't have been simpler or easier to use. Apple could have learned a lot from them, if they cared about anything but trying to extract as much cash out of you as possible.

    Disclaimer: I own Apple stock (which has been very good to me) but no Apple products. Please keep buying Apple products...I'm sure the usability will improve.

  • Look at the VLC app for Android. When it boots you are given half a second to memorize the entirely gesture based interface. And then that is it. That is all you can do with the app.
  • Bad Apple (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ranger ( 1783 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @04:12PM (#50976867) Homepage
    Bad.

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