Monthly Archives: May 2016

Apple User Design and UI is Not Perfect

Apple is often regarded as one of the best companies for user design and usability of their products.  However, over the years I found a few examples of where their designs need refinement.  This is not an Apple bashing post and I use all of their products daily.  This includes iPhone, iPad, AppleTV, AppleWatch, iMac and MacBookPro.  For the most part, I love their products and prefer them over Android and Windows, but there is always room for improvement.

Mac OSX Dashboard Widgets:  This has been pretty much abandoned by Apple and the widgets that are available are old and extremely simple.  The dedicated portal boasts over 1700 widgets, but there is no such functionality to rate or even search!  I would love to see some way to leverage the single-use functinality of iOS in the Mac OS dashboard.

iOS Safari Back/Forward Buttons:  I’m sure Apple’s marketing plan is that you own an iPhone AND an iPad.  However, on the iPad they put the Safari back/forward buttons on the top while on iPhone they are on the bottom.  Lets be consistent Apple.

Back to [original app]:  This was recently released in iOS9 and although it adds some functionality, the way it was hacked into the left hand side of the title bar is a complete hack.  What I hate most about it is that it blocks your cell/wifi signal.  Also, it gets very confusing when you are in Safari and you are thinking “Do I want to go back one page” or “Do I want to go back to the last app?”.

Apple Watch Txt Bugs:  Reading txts from your watch is probably one of the best features of the watch.  However, the feed it shows you is extremely buggy (Even a year later after release).  Usually it will show you a stream of recent txts, but unfortunately it grabs tags from like a month ago and then sticks the newest one at the end.  This is very confusing and you can easily mistake the prior texts as being from a recent conversation.  Also, there is a bug that it misidentifies the name of the person that texted you with someone else in your contact list.  I see a txt on my Apple Watch from someone that never has txt’d me and then I check on my iPhone and it’s someone totally different.  Lastly, every time I try to reply to a txt from my Watch, it always fails (phone is next to me)

Multiple Apple Id Logins:  This is an absolute mess.  Here are all the ways you need to login on your iPhone in Settings:  iCloud, iTunes, Messages, Facetime, Music, Game Center.  There might be more but you get the idea.  Now for anyone that has tried to setup a Family Plan, this is almost an impossible task unless you are tech support pro.  I have no idea why Apple needs to have you login to all these different programs with many of them using the same ID!

Siri:  This is probably my biggest frustration.  Siri was first released in 2012 and my expectation was that it would slowly be refined over time.  However, it doesn’t seem like Siri every learns anything new unless it’s tied to a major Apple OS release.  Unlike Alexa (Amazon’s version of Siri), which sends you an email weekly on what new things it can do, Siri pretty much continues to struggle. Since Siri is a cloud based service, I don’t understand why the maturity cycle for Siri has to do be tied to anything iOS related.  Here are some examples of why Siri drives me crazy.

  • If you dictate a message and Siri doesn’t know who you are, she will ask “I don’t know who you are, please let me know”.  However, you can’t do that via voice and can only do it manually in the settings!
  • You can’t change volume settings
  • {need to think of a few more}

Apple Music and iTunes:  I really don’t know what Apple is doing here.  The two programs are horrible.  Here are some examples:

  • On iTunes I can “Heart”/favorite a song, but that same song does not appear on my iPhone.
  • If I search for an Artist on my iPhone, there is now simple option to “Play All Songs from this Artist”.
  • Why are there no lyrics!?!