Software design is an area that has become a big industry in today’s business and technology obsessed world, and it was once thought that Apple would be the innovative and advanced company whose designs would lead the industry into a new area of software design. However, it is more recently thought that Apple could have fallen behind in this particular area.
Yves Béhar, the individual behind the One Laptop Per Child organisation recently commented that he believed Apple to be behind in this particular area due to the fact that they still design hardware and software separately. With all the people currently looking at a future in software design there are very few people making any real changes to either the software or the hardware there, so why is it that Apple, the so called leaders of the industry and self proclaimed ‘geniuses’ are sticking to the same basic ideas that they’ve been following for years?
The best example of this is the notepad application, with Apple they understood that people may not understand fully what the application is for or what it does, so they decided to design it to look like an actual notebook. However, this was not replicated with the physical design of any of the products so why do it? Béhar said, when he spoke on the matter, “they didn’t go there with the hardware so why go there with the software?” A good question. The fact of the matter is that while some areas take software further than hardware Apple almost nothing, we don’t see any big changes. Apple are still trying to make the hardware look like something new and strange to us, something that will interest us, but then attempt to comfort us with software designed to be as familiar with us as is possible. Is it not just a waste of time? Futuristic hardware deserves to be complimented with futuristic software, not the same outdated methods we’ve been using for years.
Software interface designers have a chance to do something new and unique that will honestly shock and intrigue the market and change the world of software, the technology to make such advancement is there, we’re just too afraid to use it. However, with all of the problems Apple have faced with their software design more and more designers are trying to step out of their shadow, this means designing applications that provide what users now need; the software and technology has been available for so long that the majority of the population are familiar with it and happy to use it, but it also means that a lot of them are waiting for something more. They don’t need to be comforted with applications that give them the same reading experience as a book – if not a real book they could have a kindle for that, they want to see something else from software design and although the demand for it is there, but Apple isn’t meeting it. This has reduced in a dramatic drop in sales of the latest iPhone which could spell some future problems for Apple.
One of the biggest issues people have with mobile devices is a shortage of battery life – Android identified this and produced an easy menu that allows users to quickly view all of the features that drain battery and disable them with a single click. Apple however still requires the same multiple menus and clicks to travel through the options and find the settings that are causing battery problems, despite the fact customers are looking for something faster and easier to deal with Apple are ignoring the demand and continuing with the same procedures they are familiar with. This is the factor that could ultimately could problems for the large organisation.
This post has been contributed by Katy who writes for Dimasoft Ltd who specialise in software design and development.