Much is said about a possible creative crisis at Apple, once synonymous with excellence in design and innovative solutions, since the death of its co-founder Steve Jobs. The detractors of the current phase of Ma point to the last six years as a symbol of decline for the company's production, presenting disappointing creations and not even able to match the revolutionary of last decade.
Obviously, this opinion is not the only one: many people, including specialists in the Apple world, disagree with this impression and point out their arguments to reinforce the thesis that this is not the case and Ma is living its best moment. Well, for the matter to be resolved once and for all (or not), the Fortune made a long and interesting report covering the issue and inviting some experts from the world of design and Apple gurus to share their views on it.
The piece begins by commenting on people frustrated with their Ma products, a user who has problems using Touch ID in the freezing cold, another one bothered by the battery on her iPhone, the residents of a house confused by the profusion of different cables types, all eaten and “fixed” with tape. A very concise critique of the design nature of the new products:
Search Google for “the horrible Apple design” and you will find an endless record of the ways in which this example of design excellence has failed: the Apple Watch is not intuitive as soon as it comes out of the box, the latest keyboards are irritating and fragile, the Apple Pencil is easy to miss, the iPhone has been flawed since Apple introduced the camera lens that pops out from the back, and things got worse with the cropping on the iPhone X screen.
The designer and co-founder of Tumblr Marco Arment says he admires the design of Apple, but does not see today the same level as before. “Apple designs in the post-Steve era have been less balanced. This imbalance seems to lean a lot on the side of form, and very little on the side of function. ” Don Norman, who worked in Apple's design area between 1993 and 1996, agrees: "They sacrificed intuitiveness for aesthetic beauty."
J Steve Troughton-Smith, developer of the iOS world, does not get to give an opinion on the existence or not of the problem, but argues that it was not the death of Jobs that catalyzed him.
I know enough of the historical context to understand that these things have nothing to do with it (the death of Jobs), and are not just a recent aspect of the Apple user experience. Things like USB cables and iTunes were already bad under Jobs, and I have a collection of eaten FireWire-to-30-pin cables to remind me of that.
Who does not agree with the ideas of the fall of the design of Apple John Gruber, the most celebrated of Ma's bloggers. “I would say that Apple's design is at the same level as always. Look at the recent products. The AirPods last year, and the iPhone X this year, are quintessentially Apple products. There is a huge ‘just works’ factor about them. ”
The report then argues that, whatever the correct opinion (if any), Apple cannot ignore the importance of design: its future, says the Fortune, is not in artificial intelligence or augmented reality or anything else, but in design. And if there is a growing base of users complaining about recent company decisions, it may be the case to look into this issue carefully.
After listing some examples of Apple's best designs (the Macintosh, iMac G3, iPod, iPhone and AirPods, among others) and some of the most failed ones (the “hockey puck” mouse, the PowerMac G4 Cube and the iPod Hi-Fi, among others), the report then recalls the obvious and ululating: in purely financial terms, Ma has never been so well, with a market value approaching the dollar track and a growing base of loyal users.
So, in the end, there is no right answer at the same time that Apple is doing something right, it is doing something not so right; this is even expected for such a huge company. Therefore, the result of this question is all the future can say.
What do you think?