Monday, January 14, 2008

On Design

I've always thought that Frog Design, SGI, Bang and Olufsen and Porche had the best industrial designs. I never really liked the Apple design vocabulary even though Frog concocted some of it, and I really don't understand why everybody thinks they're so amazing. The thing that I like best about OS/X is the fluidity of motion within the UI but overall I really don't think the ecosystem is as intuitive as most people think it is. The thing I like most about the iPod is that I don't have to use one.

Then again, I've grown up with computers and mainframes from a deep chips & boards and soldering iron perspective so the dummied down metaphors like throwing a drive in the garbage to eject it doesn't make much sense to me. Honestly, I think that glass buttons are like faux hawks, mullets and moustaches. Maybe they were cool in high school once upon a Camaro but they're embarrassing now much like a 50 year old with a pierced ear and a tribal barbed wire armband tattoo.

Having said that, I am really glad that Microsoft mostly ignored Apple when it designed the XBox 360 and Zune and that Nintendo ignored everybody when they designed the Wii. These products are great on their own and despite a rough start, will have a pretty big influence on industrial design going forward.

Another company that I totally forgot about was Braun. As it turns out Apple has been as deeply influenced by Braun as it had been by Xerox back in the day. Check out this article.

No comments: