Is Apple’s Focus on Beauty Destroying Good Design

Apple former UX and UI designers, Bruce “Tog” Tognazzini (wrote Apple’s first human interface guidelines) and Don Norman (UX designer 1993 – 1996) wrote a feature with Co-Design stating “Apple is Destroying Good Design”. The previous employees are critical towards Apple’s design for IOS mobile devices. “Apple, you used to be the leader, why are you now so self-absorbed? Worse, why does Google follow all your worst examples?” They added. They expressed a sort of nostalgia towards
the earlier day, where the company’s design principles where more focused on being powerful, popular, and influential.

“Apple is reinforcing the old, discredited idea that the designer’s sole job is to make things beautiful, even at the expense of providing the right functions, aiding understandability, and ensuring ease of use,”

The biggest point made by both designers, was that Apple has strayed away from the ease of usability they were once known for. In addition, they point out the ridiculousness of the gestures required that are part of the current iOS UI, like shaking an iPad violently in order to undo, when a simple undo button is much more simple for a user. The continued on the complicated gestures Apple incorporated into their usability where more focused on maintaining visual simplicity, instead of the user’s ergonomic capability to perform said gestures.

“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?”

Tognazzini and Norman did not hold back in their comments and I definitely appreciated their colorful perspective. I encourage you to read the full piece and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Author: Paulina Vargas

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