Sunday, June 19, 2005

Apple Design Awards

Jonathan Rentzsch:

Brent was robbed. I think the problem is that NNW2 is too good. It just disappears. Obviously he needs some animated, throbbing spinning globe Dashboard dealie. Gag.

NetNewsWire 2 would have been my pick for Best Mac OS X User Experience. But, then, if I were running the awards, BBEdit would have won at some point, too. These are apps that were designed to be used. They’re loved by techies as well as real people. And they really sweat the details.

7 Comments RSS · Twitter

Your comments really resonate with a book I'm reading right now: "About Face" by Alan Cooper. It's my first serious foray into reading about UI design, and I'm finding it very illuminating, even if it's mostly focused on Windows 95 (my library only had an older copy).

One of the major statements he makes in the book as that a good design should be invisible. "No matter how cool your interface is, less of it would be better."

Sounds like Apple disagrees...

Voodoo Lunge

I don't see why BBEdit should win any design awards; it's always been ugly and awkward (but highly functional), IMHO.

Daniel, the classics in the genre (must reads):

* Design of Everyday Things, Don Norman
* Tog on Interface
* Tog on Software Design (but don't bother getting the video)

I'm surpised that you like About Face, because (at the time it first came out) it struck me as shockingly remedial, something that Windows programmers badly needed but--except for a couple of points--that Mac people would largely consider common sense.

Hmm... server not handling 8-bit text entry. :)

Also, Don Norman's latest book, Emotional Design, is probably his second classic.

(You can probably ignore his "The Invisible Computer" and "Facial Expressions are the Turn Signals of Automobiles". The latter doesn't offer much new over the Design of Everyday Things, and the former offers completely uncommercial advice about how to make computers fade completely into the background, by making smaller, more special purpose computers. Not something consumers want.)

Voodoo: I've always found BBEdit's interface to be smooth and natural. It's fast, and it's crashed maybe twice in the last ten years.

Chris: I'll second your book recommendations. A lot of About Face (first edition) isn't very interesting, but there's some good stuff in there. I haven't read Norman's latest yet; glad to hear that it's a return to form.

I'd have thought there was a political angle to this one. I mean this: regardless of whether anyone agrees with the Wolf that NNW "deserves" the prize, I think it would have been very unlikely that any RSS reader would have got it. Apple just added that functionality to Safari, so they're not about to take the shine off that.

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