Now, although the products are indeed even more beautiful than before, that beauty has come at a great price. Gone are the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, recovery, and so on. Instead, 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. We have obscure gestures that are beyond even the developer’s ability to remember. We have great features that most people don’t realize exist.
+Commentary: This is a great longform article that deconstructs the very notion of what good design is supposed to be & represent. It also focuses on the shift to touch and portables that demand a completely different framework. Many of the things pointed out in the article are things experienced first hand, while teaching the horde of new converts to Apple products (especially those at the older end of the spectrum) how to use them.
It would be curious to note people taking more time to examine and critique Apple as it has become the behemoth it is today, one could easily argue that its iteration loop and myriad of products have just transformed what is even possible. Yet I’m of the camp that sees a correlation between what Apple has become, and what Microsoft became. There is a clear trajectory here and think that this decade of Apple dominance will look back at the last few years as the high mark.
That is without them going away or becoming obsolete, just less relevant. Again, major portions of it need to be changed, from iTunes/iMusic, and so on, to as this article clearly delineates what its core design mission is. To make good products or to make great ones, there is a big difference.
So again their products are nice, the usage of which has been widely adopted, but are they thinking about the full breadth of their user base or only appealing to those most enamored by their products, or are they over-simplifying to make the new adopters comfortable while ignoring a clear design ethos.
Feel free to discuss your experience or theories in the comments below: