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Comments

Ken

Agree. the problem they had when he wasn't there was they were producing products that didn't quite work right, and didn't justify the higher prices.

Max

I completely disagree with #2; the reason I've always hated Apple products is that I don't have control. I just went to a workshop given by Tufte (who does happen to really like Apple) this week and he talked about giving the person reading the graphic control to look at and explore whatever they were most interested in, which is the opposite of what Apple does with their products.

Martin

Well summarized!

I also found these principles quite good guidelines, when developing Mondrian. As developers we often forget that the developer's model is usually not compatible with the user's model - but this is a rather old hat in UI development, though Apple is almost the only (big) company that understood this inequality.
I think Max did not really understand what Kaiser's second point means. Maintaining control means to decide on how things should work and concepts fit together. Only by doing so you can keep products clean and focused. The ultimate freedom for the user makes 99% of your tasks harder, by giving you the freedom to do these 1% things you otherwise wouldn't be able to do.

From my own experience in software development, I can remember several such decisions which seem to patronize the user, but do pay off for both users and developers in the long run.

Max

I understand completely, and don't doubt that it works for a lot of people, but there are relatively simple things that can't be done because Apple has decided I'm not allowed to do them. If it was really 99% vs 1% I wouldn't have a problem, but iPhone took several iterations to even allow you to use two apps at the same time which is something is used by most people far more than 1% of the time. They do things not to maintain control in order improve their users' experience, but rather because they want to separate themselves entirely from everyone else and isolate their users into Apple platforms.

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Kaiser Fung. Business analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker.
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