Thursday, September 19, 2013

Does Apple know about usability?

If Google is the king of unusability when it comes to oversimplified interfaces, Apple is right up there with 'em.

I'm trying to get Pages to do simple things. Text wrap. Select a line of text that happens to have an email address in it. Not open an email window just because I am editing a document. Un-apply the email address link that it automatically applied to text that looked like an email address. Within five minutes of starting Pages, I'm running into things that should be simple to fix, or should not even be issues, which Pages either makes excessively difficult or impossible to approach.

Apple, here's a hint, and I'll spell it out so you can understand: make easy things E A S Y to do. Make complicated things predictable, and make obscure things, at the very least, possible.

Users shouldn't be driven to seek help on a community forum just to work around how your clever auto-markup prevents the mouse cursor selection from working.  Hell, even VIM, the demigod of arcane editors, has Pages beat by a long mile when it comes to usability.

Jobs is gone, and he left an important legacy behind. But the rest of the company needs to move on, and innovate. At least then, even if the tech still isn't usable, I'll have something worth learning.