Apple ‘destroys design’, neglects its own software

For years, Apple followed user-centered design principles. Then something went wrong.

Deep, thoughtful article by Don Norman and Bruce Tognazzini on Fast.co that explores design guidelines at Apple and specially on iOS. “Apple is destroying design“. Those are harsh words from Norman, one of the most revered professionals in design.

The problem lies not only in software design, but in software from Apple as a whole. This was discussed by people such as Marco Arment a few months ago in “Apple has lost the functional high ground” (he promptly wrote a follow up to that post). On that post he wrote:

Apple’s hardware today is amazing — it has never been better. But the software quality has fallen so much in the last few years that I’m deeply concerned for its future

And it seems those fears are shared by Chris Pirillo, who has written about this a few hours ago:

This is not a discussion over missing features that would be nice to have — it’s about glaring omissions in perfecting the features that are currently in place (designing a usable product from top to bottom, hard bits to soft bits). The shortcomings may never be addressed simply because it doesn’t seem that anybody at Apple has an eye for software detail, anymore.

The problem is clearly there. It’s not unique to Apple, though, but for a company that was so prevalent in good design, this is troublesome.

Source: How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name

Design, not tech, is what matters in smartwatches

ArsTechnica’s review of the new Moto 360 confirms what we already new. There’s not much new tech on the new smartwatches.

What matters is design, and that defies the real value of this devices. If you want design over functionality, just get a nice watch. You’ll have plenty of options, and battery will last far more than a day.

Disappointing.

Source: The gen-two Moto 360—a beautiful, compact design without much new tech

Design and customization are critical on the new Moto 360

Four slight improvements on the Moto 360 specs:

  1. Much better processor: Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.2 GHz vs. TI OMAP 3 single core 1 GHz
  2. More battery: 400mAh vs. 320mAh on the 46mm unit (300mAh on the 42mm model)
  3. Slightly better screen resolution: 360x330px (233 ppi) vs 320x290px (205 ppi)
  4. The Moto360 Sport comes with GPS and an outdoor-readable display, but fixed straps

But the story is not about specs here. It’s about design. There are two sizes, interchangeable straps, a “woman’s model” -same 42mm one, but with narrower, 16mm straps- and details such as the different location of the crown.

Motorola has clearly realized that customization pays off. It’s working for Apple, and it should help Motorola too. One year later we’ve got a smartwatch that doesn’t change that much on the inside, but wants to appeal more users with more design options. Not bad, but not that appealing either.

Source: Motorola’s new Moto 360 watches are sleeker, smarter, and more customizable than ever | The Verge