The speakers on my MacBook Pro are blown. Again. For the third time. Unfortunately, this time I’m no longer under warranty. Luckily (I guess), I almost exclusively use my AirPods when working on my MacBook.
As we begin work on giddyapp (the simple time tracking app for freelancers) native apps, I’ve had need to research native Windows apps. I installed Windows 10 using boot camp on an iMac. Prior to this, I hadn’t used Windows 10 for more than a few minutes. I gave up on Microsoft products almost 10 years ago but about a year and a half ago, I started using Visual Studio Code. I love it and have used it almost exclusively since then. I’ve since started wondering how hard it would be to transition back to Windows 10.
All this to say, I’m a bit disenchanted with Apple at the moment. At the best I’m unimpressed. I’ve started sharing this with a few friends who share the same sentiment. One recently mentioned something that his friends said to him and it has had me thinking:
“My friend, an Android user, broke his screen and had to temporarily use an iPhone they had. He couldn’t believe how archaic it felt.”
Archaic. The best thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone? Archaic? Why? Because of the limitations of the software. He perceived the software as archaic because of the self imposed limitations of the software.
Before I get too far into this, I feel like I should add this disclaimer: I cringe when I see screenshots of people using Mistral or some Marker Felt-esque font as their default OS font on Android (seriously, that is heinous).
Early on in my career, I bought into the mindset that less is more. Fewer settings make software more simple. It’s true. However, I’ve fallen into a trap of forcing users to use software a particular way because “we should make settings fight to exist”. I sound like the people that improperly justify design decisions by counting the number of clicks. I’ve found myself saying things like: “We can’t do X because we’d have to add a setting.”
There has to be a balance between an oppressive lack of settings and “we’ll let you use Mistral as your system font”.
Will I make the switch to Android or Windows? Maybe, maybe not – I’ve got a lot invested in the Apple ecosystem. I will, however, change how I think about settings. I encourage you, as a designer: next time someone has an idea that requires the implementation of a setting, don’t throw it out because of that. Work through it. Make sure there’s a balance that gives your users freedom and allows your software to be innovative and feature rich.