Disappointing interaction design at Apple

Long-time Apple customers became accustomed over the years to thoughtful and delightful interaction design. As Apple has grown—and perhaps as Steve Jobs has passed, and Jony Ive’s involvement seems to be sunsetting—cracks have begun to appear.

Here’s two examples I ran into just this morning.

Enabling Do-not-disturb in Notification Center

Trying to enable “Do-not-disturb” in Notification center, I ran into to problems:

  • First, it’s not clear to me which of these tabs are active.
  • Second, it took me a while to figure out that the Do-not-disturb control is only exposed when scrolling down in the notification. There’s no UI cues at all to help with discoverability here.

Assigning a photo to a contact

In the Contacts.app, when trying to assign a photo to person, you’d think the picker would default to the contents of your People album, and provide a usable UI for finding and selecting someone (with sensible fallbacks in the case you never configured any Faces.) Instead, we’re dropped into the root level of the photos hierarchy, and by the time we navigate to the People album, are left with a list that’s only capable of showing the first few letters of first names.

Isn’t there someone at Apple whose job is just looking around for these kinds of details, that are such an integral part of the brand we’ve come to perceive?

Agree? Disagree? What do you think?

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