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On Apple Human Interface Guidelines

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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On Apple Human Interface Guidelines

Post by JerryFreilich » Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:54 pm

Today's posting on Macintouch ( A site worth checking out) refers to an essay on Apple's Human Interface Guidelines.... and specifically about how Apple has been moving steadily towards a gorgeous-appearing but increasingly hard-to-use interface. See the intro to the article here: ... d11nov2015.

The actual essay is here: ... a-bad-name

I have posted dozens of times on the SMUG site about my frustration with Apple's decisions. I still cherish my original 1987 copy of Apple's "Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines" that stressed simple basic utility. The original Macintosh was a success because it was designed to be used by ordinary people who wanted to create things. The analog was a car or a toaster. You don't need to know how those things work in order to use them. There is so much water under so many bridges since the first Mac. But I truly believe exactly what the authors of this new piece present. For various reasons (who cares what they are?) Apple has lost its way. Controls and features are HIDDEN, reduced to tiny specks on the screen, impossible to undo if you make a mistake, etc. etc. etc. I could give a list of these but don't get me started.

Alas, I don't think there's a blessed thing we users can do about this. But I would make two comments. The first is that ease of use is the single most important component of any machine, everything else follows that. And second, as Steve Jobs (quoting Leonardo da Vinci) liked to say, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Simplicity does not mean that a thing is very thin or that it looks shiny. Simplicity means that it does something, perhaps something very complicated, quickly and easily.

For many years my friends and associates have known me as a nearly fanatical Mac adherent. It's true that I've been somewhat evangelical in my approach. But I've always said that I am not simply a claque for Apple. If a better computer or system came along, I'd drop everything and buy it tomorrow. So until that day, we keep using what we have. The fact that millions of people use Windoze and think it's a great thing gives me little hope that anything will change soon. But who knows?

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