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Apple’s Form-Over-Function Problem

August 29, 2019 • Product Reviews

Look: we have no intention of getting into some weird Apple vs Android (vs Samsung or whatever) debate. All of the devices and operating systems have pros and cons and you can like whatever you like. However, we do periodically need to make fun of Apple’s form-over-function obsession. Apple’s dedication to the minimalist design is so extreme, it often completely ignores user-experience.

Most recently, two design fails have made Apple the target of much online mockery. We talked about the famous cheese grater design and the monitor that required you to buy the stand separately in this blog. Then last week, it was revealed that the new Apple credit card, with its sleek design that includes only your name, CAN’T BE PUT IN A WALLET OR PURSE POCKET. Which is just… wow. But there have been a lot of design fails over the years, including:

Apple employees are confused birds

Apple spaces are/were often made entirely out of glass – including interior and exterior walls. This caused many employees to complain about running into said invisible walls, like confused birds (I know, I can’t stop laughing either). But less funny was the 83-year-old woman who crashed into one of these walls in an Apple store and broke her nose. She sued the company.

One port in the storm

Then there was the ultra-slim MacBook with… one port. To charge or connect a device. One. So you could either charge your MacBook or…do anything else at all that required a connection. Convenience defined. But defined really sarcastically.

Subsequent versions had more ports, but require you to get dongles for any non-USB-C needs. Are we the only ones who find this annoying?

The Magic Mouse trick

Need to charge your mouse? At some point you’ll need to – unless you are into tossing them out every time they go dead (you do you, boo!) The bad news with Apple’s Magic Mouse is that you better hope it happens when you are in the middle of watching a cat video, not a presentation with a tight deadline. Because if your mouse dies, it is out of commission until recharged. You can’t use it at all while it charges. Because the “sleek design” as usual, was the focus, not the function.

It’s also a wildly uncomfortable design to actually use, so strap on that carpal tunnel brace, Apple-head. You’re going to need it!

Form-over-Function disease

There are endless examples, really, of this problem at Apple. I could have made this a very, very long blog. But I think you get the point. And we get that some people really love Apple products. That’s cool. But this focus on form-over-function makes their products worse. And if you are paying those high Apple prices, it would be nice to get something that performs as well as it looks.

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