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Apple's Design Crisis: The Post-Jobs Era
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freudling
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Jun 24, 2012, 01:30 AM
 
So, where do I begin. I believe Apple has a design crisis.

I'm anxious to see what happens with iPod Touches and the iPhone. Jobs pushed an incredible pace of innovation and top notch design.

Running Betas of iOS 6 and Mountain Lion, I don't like what I'm seeing.

But first, the Retina MBP. The thinness and lightness over the non-Retina MBP is welcome. No doubt. But this has to be the ugliest laptop Apple's put out in a while. Looking at it from top to bottom, it screams, "Jobs is gone, we took a breather, and while the insides are reengineered, we just said screw the outside. Let's just jury-rig some stuff together."

Ugly fans line the sides on the bottom, and I mean butt ugly, and while it's thinner, it's exactly the same as current MacBook Pros. It looks like a prototype. They had a huge opportunity to redesign and basically redefine the whole category... but I've already discussed this elsewhere.

Mountain Lion and iOS 6. Running iOS 6 on my iPad Retina and iPhone 4S, running Mountain Lion on the MBP. Serious UI design inconsistencies. For instance, the new alarm clock App for the iPad so far is terrible. The UI looks like a mix between something MS would do with sprinkles of Apple.

Passbook actually look pretty ugly at start too. Not very Apple-like. And I mean, the layout, icons, and fonts are all off. I've also already ripped into their new iTunes Store and App Store UI. Overloaded and hodged podged bigtime.

And the damn ugly Address Book in OS X is still around. And Mail really needs an overhaul. The UI isn't very friendly.

Some examples here but there's many more. So what I'm saying is that I'm not seeing evolution in Apple's UI, I'm seeing them throw a whole bunch of different UI paradigms into a mix, where the look and feel is getting much less consistent. Don't even get me started on the butt ugly new Apple TV. I've been using it for a few months and it's hideous.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 24, 2012, 03:13 AM
 
AGAIN with the Jobs reference?

Trolling for hits, I guess…

Allow me to repeat, from the thread you already started on the first half of this post:

Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
It's really, really time for this "What would Steve have done" bullshit to stop.

Seriously.

It's pathetic. Not just this thread.

Reality kills. Jobs is dead. Deal with reality, and shut up about some weird morbid fantasy imaginary leadership figure.
Also, calling the retina MacBook Pro "the ugliest laptop Apple's put out in a while" is…interesting. You are apparently completely alone in that assessment. As in, completely. Literally no one agrees with you.


Also, for some reason you appear to have missed that the damn ugly Address Book (as well as the leather-and-stitches look in OS X and iOS) are there because STEVE JOBS WANTED THEM. At least they've "fixed" the Address Book to have three panes again, now that Steve is gone. That makes it at least usable, even though it breaks the "book" metaphor.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jun 24, 2012, 04:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
AGAIN with the Jobs reference?

Trolling for hits, I guess…

Allow me to repeat, from the thread you already started on the first half of this post:



Also, calling the retina MacBook Pro "the ugliest laptop Apple's put out in a while" is…interesting. You are apparently completely alone in that assessment. As in, completely. Literally no one agrees with you.


Also, for some reason you appear to have missed that the damn ugly Address Book (as well as the leather-and-stitches look in OS X and iOS) are there because STEVE JOBS WANTED THEM. At least they've "fixed" the Address Book to have three panes again, now that Steve is gone. That makes it at least usable, even though it breaks the "book" metaphor.
"Shut up."
     
boy8cookie
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Jun 24, 2012, 04:58 AM
 
How can I reply without dignifying this thread? Ahh, got it.
     
ajprice
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Jun 24, 2012, 05:10 AM
 
IBTL


It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
cgc
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Jun 24, 2012, 08:26 AM
 
Apple didn't have a cohesive GUI since System 9. There's always been a bit of experimentation in the interface, maybe not to the extent of the OSX Lion, but it's been there. Metal and Aqua was never a good fit, then you get the "Pro" app look (e.g. Aperture, Final Cut, etc.), toss in some random crap like iCal and what have you got?

I don't why you think the OP was trolling, one of the nice things about OSX and the Mac in general is aesthetics. Look at almost any Windows program and the developer includes bulbous weirdly colored windows and GUI elements that make thing difficult to use and not "feel" like their well integrated into the OS. OSX always felt much better, maybe that's why Firefox, OO, and other programs with non-standard GUIs feel so odd.

I think the OP has a legitimate gripe, one that if Apple doesn't correct may steer Apple towards the proverbial cliff. Simplicity and effectiveness is what got Apple to the forefront, they need to maintain this before it's too late.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jun 24, 2012, 10:11 AM
 
Maybe on the GUI but the complaint about the MBP is odd. Apple have been refining their case designs for some time now. The MacBooks in particular have only seen big changes when Apple have developed new processes, techniques or materials to use. They haven't been in the business of changing them for the sake of fashion for quite some time. Its an iterative process these days.

I'd be interested to know how scratch resistant the new retina panels are. The old ones are incredibly soft once you take the front glass off. Maybe the retinas have the new thinner gorilla glass 2 as their top layer or something.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Wiskedjak
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Jun 24, 2012, 10:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
And the damn ugly Address Book in OS X is still around. And Mail really needs an overhaul. The UI isn't very friendly.
Wait! Are you saying that something "damn ugly" with a "UI that isn't very friendly" was designed on Steve's watch?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 24, 2012, 11:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
I don't why you think the OP was trolling, one of the nice things about OSX and the Mac in general is aesthetics.
It's trolling because of his posting history and the implication that this "trend" bears any relation whatsoever to the death of Steve Jobs. Also, because he insists on rehashing parts of his argument from the other silly "post-Jobs" thread.

And for calling the retina MacBook Pro the ugliest laptop they've put out in years.
     
subego
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Jun 24, 2012, 01:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Wait! Are you saying that something "damn ugly" with a "UI that isn't very friendly" was designed on Steve's watch?
Wasn't all the skeuomorphic shit we have to deal with Steve's idea?
     
freudling  (op)
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Jun 24, 2012, 01:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
It's trolling because of his posting history and the implication that this "trend" bears any relation whatsoever to the death of Steve Jobs. Also, because he insists on rehashing parts of his argument from the other silly "post-Jobs" thread.

And for calling the retina MacBook Pro the ugliest laptop they've put out in years.
Go away Spheric. If you don't like the topic, buzz off.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jun 24, 2012, 01:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Wasn't all the skeuomorphic shit we have to deal with Steve's idea?
Bottom line: what I'm seeing with Betas of iOS 6 and Mountain Lion is a significant, further shift in UI design that is much more fragmented than it is now. It's a fact. If you have both of these Betas deployed you'll see this is the case.

I'm talking new and varying UI design that adds up to a hodge podge of UI paradigms, from mixing Netflix style horizontal scrolling that includes thumbnails with a grid of icons underneath to an iPad Alarm clock that looks like a calendar to a new dialpad that doesn't match the "sometimes move to darker HUD" and on and on.

I don't know how much Jobs was involved in the address book, I've never seen evidence it was a result of him, or the leather calendar. Regardless of whoever authorized it, it's also hideous UI design within OS X.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jun 24, 2012, 01:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Wasn't all the skeuomorphic shit we have to deal with Steve's idea?
Was it Steve's idea? I don't know. But like I said, whoever it was, it's terrible. It's like wearing a black tuxedo with brown shoes.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jun 24, 2012, 01:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Apple didn't have a cohesive GUI since System 9. There's always been a bit of experimentation in the interface, maybe not to the extent of the OSX Lion, but it's been there. Metal and Aqua was never a good fit, then you get the "Pro" app look (e.g. Aperture, Final Cut, etc.), toss in some random crap like iCal and what have you got?

I don't why you think the OP was trolling, one of the nice things about OSX and the Mac in general is aesthetics. Look at almost any Windows program and the developer includes bulbous weirdly colored windows and GUI elements that make thing difficult to use and not "feel" like their well integrated into the OS. OSX always felt much better, maybe that's why Firefox, OO, and other programs with non-standard GUIs feel so odd.

I think the OP has a legitimate gripe, one that if Apple doesn't correct may steer Apple towards the proverbial cliff. Simplicity and effectiveness is what got Apple to the forefront, they need to maintain this before it's too late.
Ya, you're right. What I'm saying is that with the new Betas the UI is getting more fragmented. I mean big time.
     
subego
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Jun 24, 2012, 01:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Was it Steve's idea? I don't know. But like I said, whoever it was, it's terrible. It's like wearing a black tuxedo with brown shoes.
If it wasn't his idea, he clearly encouraged it across both OSes.

"I know, let's make the note taking app use marker felt! See? I'm a design genius!"
     
imitchellg5
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Jun 24, 2012, 02:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Was it Steve's idea? I don't know. But like I said, whoever it was, it's terrible. It's like wearing a black tuxedo with brown shoes.
Or like being the CEO and founder of the world's wealthiest corporation and wearing jeans and sneakers to every presentation.
     
subego
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Jun 24, 2012, 02:16 PM
 
That didn't bother me. It was the black socks.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 24, 2012, 02:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Was it Steve's idea? I don't know. But like I said, whoever it was, it's terrible. It's like wearing a black tuxedo with brown shoes.
I met an Italian who explained to me that shoes and bags GOTTA be brown.

He shrugged and repeated.

Just the way it is.

Cultural thing.
     
P
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Jun 24, 2012, 03:06 PM
 
Remember that 10.6 was probably the most unified interface Apple has had since the System 7 days. It is only natural that they move towards a more experimenting stance again now. I don't like it, but unfortunately Apple doesn't ask me about these things.
     
glideslope
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Jun 24, 2012, 07:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Remember that 10.6 was probably the most unified interface Apple has had since the System 7 days. It is only natural that they move towards a more experimenting stance again now. I don't like it, but unfortunately Apple doesn't ask me about these things.
Ah yes, OS 7.6.2 Them was da good oll days.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”
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Jun 24, 2012, 09:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
I don't know how much Jobs was involved in the address book, I've never seen evidence it was a result of him, or the leather calendar. Regardless of whoever authorized it, it's also hideous UI design within OS X.
Haven't you been telling us that the great thing about Jobs was that he was involved in even the most minute details and that nothing passed without his approval?

I don't know how you think the OS is getting more fragmented without Jobs. Just look at the fragmentation that existed with him. In iOS alone, Contacts, Calendar, Notepad and Calculator are all distinctly different. For the first iterations of the iPad Calendar, it looked like a book, but wouldn't flip pages with a gesture.

I think you just want to see things getting worse without Jobs, and are therefore seeing exactly what you want to see.
     
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Jun 24, 2012, 10:00 PM
 
I must be the only one who doesn't mind the skeuomorphic thing.
     
subego
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Jun 24, 2012, 10:58 PM
 
It was fine at the time, but I think it's run its course.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jun 24, 2012, 11:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Maybe on the GUI but the complaint about the MBP is odd. Apple have been refining their case designs for some time now. The MacBooks in particular have only seen big changes when Apple have developed new processes, techniques or materials to use. They haven't been in the business of changing them for the sake of fashion for quite some time. Its an iterative process these days.

I'd be interested to know how scratch resistant the new retina panels are. The old ones are incredibly soft once you take the front glass off. Maybe the retinas have the new thinner gorilla glass 2 as their top layer or something.
The design here is flawed. First, the edge of the main base is sharp. It's unfriendly and can hurt the wrists and forearms, or even cut the user. They had a chance to refine the design but they didn't. They just made the thing thinner. It doesn't look quite right.

Second, the fan vents on the bottom of each side of the Retina MBP look both terrible and function poorly. Imagine putting fan vents on the bottom of a computer. What happens? The air blows downward. Why is that bad? Because a laptop sits on a surface and air blowing downward defeats a good portion of the purpose of a fan because the air hits the surface and blows right back upward back into the computer. At the least, when it's really blowing, it creates a plume of hot air under and around the computer.

And resting it on your lap means hot air blows directly onto your nut saxk. It's horrible. I hate it. And the Retina MBP runs bloody hot unless you're doing hardly anything with it.

They need a much better cooling system with air blowing straight out the back or an entirely new cooling system. This isn't it.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jun 24, 2012, 11:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Haven't you been telling us that the great thing about Jobs was that he was involved in even the most minute details and that nothing passed without his approval?

I don't know how you think the OS is getting more fragmented without Jobs. Just look at the fragmentation that existed with him. In iOS alone, Contacts, Calendar, Notepad and Calculator are all distinctly different. For the first iterations of the iPad Calendar, it looked like a book, but wouldn't flip pages with a gesture.

I think you just want to see things getting worse without Jobs, and are therefore seeing exactly what you want to see.
Are you using the Beta software?
     
Wiskedjak
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Jun 25, 2012, 12:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Are you using the Beta software?
I've already answered that question for you twice before.

Last time for all possible OS experience questions from you:
I am running iOS6 on my iPhone 4S.
I am running iOS5 on my iPhone 4.
I am running iOS5 on my iPad 3.
I am running WP7.5 on my Lumia 900.
I am running ICS on my Xperia Arc.
I am running OS6 on my Bold 9900.
I am running OS2 on my Playbook.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jun 25, 2012, 01:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
I've already answered that question for you twice before.

Last time for all possible OS experience questions from you:
I am running iOS6 on my iPhone 4S.
I am running iOS5 on my iPhone 4.
I am running iOS5 on my iPad 3.
I am running WP7.5 on my Lumia 900.
I am running ICS on my Xperia Arc.
I am running OS6 on my Bold 9900.
I am running OS2 on my Playbook.
Until you're running Mountain Lion and iOS 6 on your iPad, you simply can't make comments about Apple's UI consistency on its upcoming software.
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 02:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Until you're running Mountain Lion and iOS 6 on your iPad, you simply can't make comments about Apple's UI consistency on its upcoming software.
No ad hominem attacks, please.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 25, 2012, 03:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Second, the fan vents on the bottom of each side of the Retina MBP look both terrible and function poorly. Imagine putting fan vents on the bottom of a computer. What happens? The air blows downward. Why is that bad? Because a laptop sits on a surface and air blowing downward defeats a good portion of the purpose of a fan because the air hits the surface and blows right back upward back into the computer. At the least, when it's really blowing, it creates a plume of hot air under and around the computer.

And resting it on your lap means hot air blows directly onto your nut saxk. It's horrible. I hate it. And the Retina MBP runs bloody hot unless you're doing hardly anything with it.

They need a much better cooling system with air blowing straight out the back or an entirely new cooling system. This isn't it.
I've quoted the whole thing because it's so awesome.

The vents at the side are the INTAKES. The air blows out the back of the machine, just as it has for the past nine years.

Apple - MacBook Pro Family - It’s never been more powerful.
Scroll to bottom, "Watch the video", 3:32.
( Last edited by Spheric Harlot; Jun 25, 2012 at 03:17 AM. )
     
freudling  (op)
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Jun 25, 2012, 03:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
No ad hominem attacks, please.
This is not an ad hominem attack. Explain specifically how it is. Secondly, if you have an issue with this, you should PM the poster.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jun 25, 2012, 03:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I've quoted the whole thing because it's so awesome.

The vents at the side are the INTAKES. The air blows out the back of the machine, just as it has for the past nine years.

Apple - MacBook Pro Family - It’s never been more powerful.
Scroll to bottom, "Watch the video", 3:32.
Thank god they're intakes. And they're still butt ugly.
     
besson3c
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Jun 25, 2012, 04:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
It's trolling because of his posting history and the implication that this "trend" bears any relation whatsoever to the death of Steve Jobs. Also, because he insists on rehashing parts of his argument from the other silly "post-Jobs" thread.

And for calling the retina MacBook Pro the ugliest laptop they've put out in years.

It's not trolling if he is simply stating an opinion you disagree with, it's just provocative. This stuff isn't religion or politics, there is no reason why a thread like this should push buttons.
     
besson3c
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Jun 25, 2012, 04:11 AM
 
freudling: I think this thread would be far less distracting if you simply made it about inconsistent UI elements, and not get into the whole What Would Steve Have Done thing. There are far too many examples of inconsistent UI under Steve, it's a nebulous variable that does not add to this conversation.
     
subego
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Jun 25, 2012, 05:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
It's not trolling if he is simply stating an opinion you disagree with, it's just provocative. This stuff isn't religion or politics, there is no reason why a thread like this should push buttons.
It's freudling who's treating this like religion. Spheric is telling him to knock it off.
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 05:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
freudling: I think this thread would be far less distracting if you simply made it about inconsistent UI elements, and not get into the whole What Would Steve Have Done thing. There are far too many examples of inconsistent UI under Steve, it's a nebulous variable that does not add to this conversation.
In addition: with the exception of very few instances, we don't know what Steve has done and what decisions he personally is responsible for. Depending on your point of view, Steve was responsible for the best or worst decisions at Apple.
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besson3c
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Jun 25, 2012, 06:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
In addition: with the exception of very few instances, we don't know what Steve has done and what decisions he personally is responsible for. Depending on your point of view, Steve was responsible for the best or worst decisions at Apple.

Exactly, it's all a giant wash.
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 06:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Thank god they're intakes. And they're still butt ugly.
If your MacBook Pro is sitting on a mirror, maybe. Otherwise, you won't see them.
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 07:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
The design here is flawed. First, the edge of the main base is sharp. It's unfriendly and can hurt the wrists and forearms, or even cut the user. They had a chance to refine the design but they didn't. They just made the thing thinner. It doesn't look quite right.
Have you tried one out? The height means that the edge doesn't really cut into your wrist anymore when used on a desk.

Originally Posted by freudling View Post
And resting it on your lap means hot air blows directly onto your nut saxk. It's horrible. I hate it. And the Retina MBP runs bloody hot unless you're doing hardly anything with it.
The vents are on the sides. I don't know where you keep your nut sack but it should bother people with normal anatomy.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 09:06 AM
 
I can tell the thread starter just by the title. Not a good sign.
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 10:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Have you tried one out? The height means that the edge doesn't really cut into your wrist anymore when used on a desk.
He's qualified to dismiss your point because he's the only person in this thread who is using a beta of upcoming phone software (apart from the others).

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The vents are on the sides. I don't know where you keep your nut sack but it should bother people with normal anatomy.
Plus, those vents are set to "suck", not "blow".
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 12:02 PM
 
FWIW I'm loving iOS 6 on my iPad (3), and absolutely can't wait for the iPhone 5 so I can run it on all my devices (been on Android for the past two years, can't wait to get back to iOS).
     
subego
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Jun 25, 2012, 01:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Plus, those vents are set to "suck", not "blow".
I call vent discrimination.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 25, 2012, 01:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I call vent discrimination.
Spaceballs reference fail?

I find this hard to believe.
     
subego
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Jun 25, 2012, 03:22 PM
 
Vents are suck and blow agnostic. It's only people like you who feel the need to label them.
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 04:34 PM
 
I do actually agree with freudling that Apple's design language lacks consistency. In fact, I'd say that the core apps of Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, have MUCH more consistency than Apple's core apps for iOS. That said, I think that OS X, even with random iOS-insipired bits and pieces, still is over all a much more fluid experience than we're giving it credit for. The core interactions and UX for OS X are generally the same across the board, even with many third-party apps. There may be things that look out of place in comparison to the rest of the OS, but at least when UI changes, UX doesn't. That's something that can't be said for many other platforms as a whole.
     
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Jun 25, 2012, 05:11 PM
 
I would bet that most of us would agree that Apple's UIs lack consistency, if that was the extent of his point. Just take out the Jobs stuff and we can have an interesting conversation.
     
Shaddim
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Jun 25, 2012, 05:29 PM
 
another crisis? really?
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 25, 2012, 05:51 PM
 
Meh. forget it.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jun 25, 2012, 10:59 PM
 
The funny thing is Spheric continues to post over and over again. It shows how blue in the face he gets over something he truly believes is reality.

Anyway, Oreo:

We do know what Steve would have done because the history of Apple is a matter of public record. Books. Authorized bios. Articles. Whistle blowers. Interviews with the man himself. Inside knowledge.

Steve is almost 100% the reason Apple even exists today including its hit products. His sense of style and taste. His unwillingness to accept anything but perfection. His ability to push people beyond logic. His focus on design. How he'd walk into the design lab every week and feel the prototypes, ignoring what people were doing with computers.

Steve is about simplicity and elegance. That's how we know what Steve would do.

Now, back on the topic. The thing I like about MacNN is discussion, but what I don't like is the number of people who post where they don't even own the products being talked about.

I own the Retina MBP. It's currently sitting on my lap and it's hot as hell. I love the thing but it's also flawed in terms of heat. And the vents below make me crazzzzzzzy.

Now, Apple's UI. All I'm saying is fragmentation is getting worse with the Beta stuff and that's too bad.
     
besson3c
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Jun 26, 2012, 12:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
We do know what Steve would have done because the history of Apple is a matter of public record. Books. Authorized bios. Articles. Whistle blowers. Interviews with the man himself. Inside knowledge.

No we don't, Steve Jobs has not been made into a Caprica avatar.
     
 
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