Essays & Articles


How Apple is Giving Design a Bad Name

Many moons ago, I published a short article on my website (and on LinkedIn) entitled  “Apple’s products are getting harder to use because they ignore principles of design.”

My good friend Bruce Tognazzini (Tog), a long-term friend, partner in the Nielsen Norman group and Apple’s first interface designer (he was Apple employee number 66) agreed with my points. (See Tog’s Wikipedia entry and his blog.)  In fact, he agreed so strongly that the two of us wrote a longer critique.

Given the heavy schedule both of us had, it seemed to take forever to finish. But we finally did.  But  then what? What should we do with it? Where should it go?

On a whim, I sent it to Fast Company, the magazine.  I told them it was far too long for them, but I asked if they might be interested. To my great surprise, they immediately published it in their Design section, fastcodesign:   How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name

I woke up this morning to discover that the Tweets had hit the fan.  Some are even nice. Here is one of the comments posted on the Fast Company’ website.

This is one of the most well written pieces on Fast Company in a long time. Very well said.I cannot tell you how many times I’ve used iOS or family members have used it and we’ve run into so many of these issues. We think, and are “sold” to think, that iOS is just the pinnacle of the mobile experience. I use both iOS (iPhone 6 Plus) and Android (Nexus 6) and can say without a doubt that Android is the better operating system. It is far more intuitive and practical. But people rarely speak ill of Apple design and I’m amazed as to why not.I’m glad this article addresses Apple’s shortcomings and fails. This article hit it spot on.