Design simplicity

There’s an article by Donald Norman that has been stirring up controversy online. Whereas last time I thought he was wrong, this time I think he’s right—mostly.

In general, he’s correct that people don’t buy the simple, well-designed stuff. Instead, they buy the stuff that looks like it has the most features; and they tell what that is by looking at how many settings and controls it has.

Not always, though. The best exception that proves the rule is the now almost ubiquitous iPod.

Oh no, more Apple drama

It wasn’t much fun following Apple during the 90s. The transition from mono to color was painful, as it involved whole new chunks of OS and a different processor. The transition from Motorola 680×0 to PowerPC was also ugly and painful, and a lot of software simply stopped working and was never fixed. Those of us who had 680×0-based Macs quickly found them made forcibly obsolete long before they would normally have become unusable.

Recessionwatch Update

Job losses over the last few weeks: Motorola: 4,000 jobs today, for a total of 22,000 since December. Lucent: 16,000. Verizon: 10,000. Nortel: 10,000. Compaq: 5,000. Intel: 5,000. Xerox: 4,000. Gateway: 3,000. Hewlett-Packard: 1,700. Dell: 1,700. Amazon: 1,300. 3com: 1,200. Oracle: 800 It’s also rumored that Sun are planning to ditch 10% of their employees, and Cisco are giving 5-10% of their staff unmatchable targets so they can force them to resign without calling it a layoff.