I've realized lately that I'm actually entering this zone. For the last 20 years I've been talking about how stuff like this is a nightmare for the "aging" community.
20 years is a long time, and now I'm falling into it.
The big one for me in this new version of iOS was that:
1) I couldn't figure out how to move my cursor around. It used to be perfect. I held my finger down, it let me move the cursor around in a word. Now you have to swipe the cursor to "grab" it and move it around under your finger. It feels like change for the sake of change when it worked perfectly before.
2) And I can't do a "select all" anymore. I don't even know where that option is and I used it all the time. Something tells me I have to swipe somewhere now.
We all become the "aging" population no matter how much we think we know tech, design, etc.
I think my biggest problem with all of this is that things worked. I liked that things worked, and I liked that I knew how to use things. I cannot figure out why things have to change. Or at least, put an option in settings to change back/forth from previous functionality. When I wake up one morning with nothing to worry about except work, and find out I now have to relearn how to use the same phone that has been in my pocket for 2 years.... this is irritating.
Three ways to move the cursor, from most reliable to least:
1. Hold down space bar and you'll enter a mode where moving your finger moves the cursor.
2. Drag it from its current location to a new location. This gets finicky, especially if you move your finger out of the text area; the cursor will move to the end of the text, but the highlighted bar that represents where you want to place the cursor will move around on the last line of the text. If there are non-text elements (images, etc.) in the block, then this will be unpredictable in where the cursor ends up. Also your finger blocks the text and there's no more magnifying glass.
3. Single tap in the text to place the cursor -- but if you tap on a misspelled word, it will go into "suggest replacements" mode. Double tap selects a word, and triple tap selects a paragraph.
To select all, you have to have a free cursor (nothing selected) and tap on the cursor itself. To avoid accidentally double-tapping (and thus selecting a word instead of bringing up the context menu) you have to make sure that you wait a beat before tapping again.
To paste (most to least reliable):
1. Do a three finger unpinch gesture, and it will paste at the cursor.
2. Enter the select all menu above and tap on the cursor (same caveats) and one of the options will be paste. But very often the second tap will either activate a double-tap (and thus select a word) or move the cursor a little bit, making a precise paste difficult.
How many iPhone users attentively watch WWDC or read each update's (often incomplete) release notes? 1%? 3%? 5% tops? Why roll out a feature when 95% of your users will need to discover it through trial and error? A relatively juvenile UX mistake for such a mature company, but seems to be their MO these days...
I totally agree, but just want to point out that it may be 5% of developers who follow these. Of the general use base in total? I'd assume it's rather about 1/100 of one percent, or one in ten thousand people.
Unfortunately that would require that end users a) read such information (given the truism that "users don't read"), I would ouputr this at a vanishingly small likelihood, and b) summoned such information to mind when using their device.
The only people who would read this sort of information are techies it closer techies. It's certainly not my aged mother.
The real solution is to stick with some time proven UI techniques. As the author says, like scroll bars.
Instead, we have form over functionality writ large.
Video games do this a lot, too. I’d play more games but it’s always a one-hour commitment to get started between opening videos and tutorials.
Then, 2 months later, I want to change the colour scheme in the Weather app. Can I remember how? Or even remember where I saw to do that? Or even find the right tip? Obviously not...
I'm the customer. If your customer has a personal issue with your product, that's your problem, not theirs.
I'm not holding the phone wrong!
The problem is that modern UI's can do so much that some has to be hidden so the common use cases can be easier, but users never go into the tips app or online help books to find out what was hidden. Pushing notifications spams users who don't want to look there, so we instead have our current situation /shrug ️
Source: used to work on the iOS tips app and help.apple.com/$productname help books at apple.
Bollocks. The "modern UI" can't do anything that much more that Windows 95 wasn't doing already. Too bad the touchscreen became standard long after anyone cared about good UX, and so the UI paradigms are still struggling with this new kind of hardware.
There is no reason ever to hide the scrollbar, which is not only a control, but also an indicator.
The UI designers don't hide it for the sake of good UX, it's for the sake of being "brave" - leading to articles like this.
iOS, on the other hand, is a byzantine mess of nondiscoverable gestures, meaningless hieroglyphic buttons that you have to blindly press to see what they're supposed to do, and general UI antipatterns. This isn't the only post on HN today about modern UIs, prompted by phonisms, regressing functionality. There's one about scrollbars too, which is another area that Apple has lead the charge on messing up.
Even the very thin and translucent ones that just function as an indicator?
My C=64 came with a thick reference manual, with circuit schematics in the back. Every computer I've bought since then has had a smaller manual. I think my smartphone came with a small pamphlet with a couple screenshots.
It seems you're supposed to learn how to use electronics these days by having people say "oh, don't you know?"
It’s just that often they are not, and both good and bad design comes without a decent manual.
It feels to me like it happened around the time of the first iPad. That was such a usable device (and OS X was just about at its peak of perfection at the time) - I remember just opening the box, turning it on, and everything being intuitive. I’m 99% certain scroll bars were still present then, for example.
I don’t think we ever really made the transition from paper manuals to online help very well. Some apps need additional help, and some even make it available, but I rarely see people-in-need actually making use of it. Heck, they rarely even consider googling for help (the issue in the article can be worked around, at least, with a google search). At least with a physical manual, you knew how much help was available/necessary for a given app - that’s just not the case with 'software help' or help online.
Crazy! Apparently there's a whole set of commands accessible this way, most notably three finger swipe left = undo!!! This is a significant improvement. They could've told me while I was painstakingly shake - confirm undo - shake - confirm undo - shake - confirm undo ...... ing!
I've been trying to get the show desktop gesture on my mac right for years. You know, the one that "windows-D" was doing so loyaly for ages.
My habit is to arbitrarily swipe as many fingers as I can find available from center of trackpad outwards. It used to take me ~10 trials to get it right.
And now, enlightened by this random thread, I suddenly figured out I actually need to swipe 3 fingers upwards and one downwards simultaneously. This is the greatest Epiphany HN had given me since https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13651148
put four fingers in the center of the trackpad- not touching each other, but very close. then naturally spread them apart.
How is that an improvement? I get that the shaking gesture is horrible, but this one is not better: a three finger swipe is unusual, impossible to discover, hard to do. I don’t get why swiping left, usually associated with going to the right (= forward in Western cultures), is here used to undo (= going backward).
FYI: Triple-tap is for sentences. Quadruple-tap is for paragraphs.
Text selection is the one area that the lack of 3D Touch affects me the most, and I am truly upset about it.
With last year's phone/iOS, you could 3D Touch anywhere on the keyboard and enter a cursor-move mode. This was replaced with the spacebar thing, which is fine.
But then while moving your cursor around in the old version, you could 3D Touch again to select a word, again for a sentence, and again for the paragraph. I could select text so easily! This made deleting sections or copy/pasting bits of edited text sooooo much easier.
Now it's significantly worse. I can move the cursor fine, but then to select text I have to use my fingers to tap on the text directly and it's much more difficult to be precise. (Why? Because I can't see through my fingers, surprisingly. You can see through a cursor just fine.)
Sigh. I'm really disappointed in this change specifically.
Classic car comparison: imagine every time you took your car in for a service, the mechanics not only fix any problems, fine-tune the workings, and give it a clean, but they also 'improve' the controls. Your automatic becomes a manual, you gain acceleration but lose top speed, and your indicators switch with your wipers. It would be an absolute nightmare, up with which no one would put!
I sneered at the pinch/unpinch copy/paste gestures when I first read about them. But Apple's implementation, at least on the iPad, is stellar. I'm still not used to it, but when I remember to use it, it works flawlessly every time.
And there's even a little feedback bubble that pops up at the top of the screen letting you know you did something. That kind of feedback in invaluable, and desperately lacking in this era where programmers look down on feedback animation as superfluous.
FWIW, I recall being shown some of these new gestures (cut and paste, undo) in post-update iOS 13 splash screen of some kind.
By contrast, when I hardware swapped from XS to 11, nothing prepared me for the loss of formerly oh-so-intuitive 3D Touch. I’d read about it, didn’t realize how second nature it had become. I often saw others struggle with or unaware of 3D Touch, so my guess is Apple metrics showed it wasn’t as widely used as they’d hoped. The other positive is consistency, as I occasionally attempted 3D Touch on iPad or old phones and felt stymied.
4. Deep press anywhere on the keyboard to switch to cursor moving mode.
On my iPhone X, I used this all the time. With the iPhone 11, there is no substitute: you cannot long press on anything but the space bar to move the cursor. Also, a deep press was quicker to activate, a long press takes a fraction of a second longer. It's a bit annoying.
Specifically, either long-touch the space bar or force-touch any letter. Just don't force-touch the left side of the screen, which will invoke the app switcher.
The new iOS UI/UX is horrible and it's extremely difficult to understand how the hell to navigate anything. Part of this is the obsession over gestures in place of buttons, the size of the screens and distance of the swipes also makes it difficult to use with one hand (I can't use my thumb to unlock the device), apps are completely unintuitive, and there seems to be an obsession with presenting new data at you rather than keeping the same pathways to find previous data giving me a sense of always being lost in every app.
The Podcasts app might be the best example of a horribly designed product. I can't believe anyone at Apple is actually using that app.
I'm going to stick with Apple due to privacy concerns for the time being, but I'm really upset with my purchase.
Every time I start an episode I immediately just to the nice "jump 15sec" button that's in the lower right so that I can skip the lead-in ads. But I've found that button to be terribly unreliable. As I find myself jamming it over and over trying to skip the ads that I'm hearing.
What I discovered is the contact patch for the button is actually quite small, so you have to just delicately tap it with the tip of your finger so that it doesn't register touch outside of it boundary. Super frustrating when the clear boundaries of buttons disappears back in the dawn of "all things flat".
Note this may have improved in iOS 13 but I have yet to upgrade.
Is there a way to dismiss them with a single gesture like on Android? I haven't figured that part out, it's weird since swiping it right opens it, but so does tapping it, and swiping left opens a Manage | View | Clear All (x) menu.
It's so hard to use this thing with one hand...
There’s a similar behavior with the swipe gestures throughout iOS. In the Phone app, swipe left on a voicemail to show a Delete option. Keep swiping, and Delete fills the whole cell. Release when it’s expanded to trigger Delete without an extra tap.
edit: it takes me about 2.5 seconds to dismiss a notification with that action. I don't know about y'all but I dismiss notifications way more often than open them. Seems like it should be just as quick to dismiss it as open it.
Pretty much all I care about in an app is discovery (does it list related podcasts?), organization (does it keep my listening history), and playback ordering (does it support chronological | reverse chronological | custom playback ordering for episodes of the same podcast?).
Meta comment. It's interesting to see the debate on HN between optimizing for power users versus lay users. For the latter, we cryptic settings and/or hidden functionality. For the latter, we get a limited set of communicated functions.
Almost every time I need to change something on son's aging iPad (2012 issue, updated to latest iOS but is before cut off point for iPad OS) it seriously risks defenestration.
Parental setup including App store restrictions is the absolute worst, followed closely by the scattered application settings.
If only there was an Android tablet that was as well physical engineered. Unfortunately they don't really come close.
So his iPad is for educational apps only, and I got him the newly issued Switch for gaming. The quality of the A grade titles is astounding, well worth paying; none of the ad ridden crap that's par of the course on the iPad. And even though I'm missing some granularity, their parental controls are a textbook case of fantastic UX work by comparison.
The companion Android app lets me easily define and monitor daily limits; it just works.
To my mind this is becoming a BIG problem in tech and I'm really saddened to see Apple falling for it. I guess too many people in a position to change things that feel like they need to justify their positions. Either way, it needs to stop. Sometimes good enough is good enough.
The other day I opened a Vue project from 2-3 years ago and after installing deps with NPM it reported something like 50 critical vulnerabilities. Fine, I'll update dependencies. After doing that nothing worked anymore. The Webpack config didn't work, the Webpack loaders for Vue didn't work, etc. I had configured this project with an "old" version of Vue CLI and now everyone had moved on from that and changed their APIs.
I had a similar problem with an in-house Electron app from 3-4 years ago. A user reported a problem running the app on high Sierra. So I updated Electron to the latest version and compiled but then I got some new errors because Electron changed something and it broke Gulp. So I updated Gulp and turns out they changed their API too and I had to change the logic... I lost a day with this.
You can open an old jQuery project from 10 years ago change some stuff and everything just works, even after updating jQuery to the latest version.
Combined with the current culture of "evergreen" software that is always connecting to online sources (even if it's installed locally), applies automatic updates, and doesn't support old versions in parallel with newer ones for extended periods, it's like we've regressed at least a decade in the quality of the software we use. Although next week it could be 13 years. And if you refuse to play, you don't get security or compatibility updates either.
The likes of Google, Apple and Mozilla bear great responsibility for actively promoting the evergreen and ratchet models: browsers, mobile operating systems and web and mobile apps have probably been the main drivers, and Apple has gone even further by weaponising its control of the app ecosystem via its App Store monopoly. However, it's not just web and mobile that are broken; more recently, it's been creeping into desktop applications and even desktop operating systems (Windows 10) as well.
Just as it's been the case with user-facing software, so it has also been the case with development tools. We seem to have trained an entire generation of young developers now who have no concept of maintaining stable APIs, using open standards for data formats and communications protocols, designing for compatibility and portability, and so on. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is also much worse in the worlds of web and mobile development.
It's a plague, and we need to kill it with fire.
Would a team choose the same tools if they were starting those apps with a blank canvas today? Probably not. Is anyone going to throw away a decade of working code to rewrite the apps that already exist? Also probably not.
It should come as no surprise that if you ruin your UI, "engagement" goes up, because people are dicking around trying to figure out how the hell it works now. Unfortunately, statistics are hard, and nobody really knows what they're doing, so I don't think the organization is always aware of this kind of stuff.
A manager who loses all his staff isn't a manager.
Apple was one of the pioneers of it with it's always changing skeuomorphisms followed by its plane design trend. Their marketing has been mocking the stability of their competitors since forever, and only stopped when that stability went away.
That said, I'm peaceful with he fact that I can't access most of the features of my phones (I use Android, that while not being a pioneer has followed quite passionately). That also helps restricting my dependency on it so I have the option of not being spied on and avoid problems once the functionality goes away.
Android designers aren't doing much better though.
I frequently support my mother for all digital things, and everytime I need to fix something on her iPad (or formerly her iMac, since then I put her on Windows), I too often spend several frustrating hours with a 50/50 chance of success. Android for my SO is the same, my god, it's a misery of UX, the absence of thought into human cognitive flow reminds me of old Windows sometimes.
To be fair I think we're seeing one downside of an agile ecosystem where things are much less holistic, much more disjointed than with previous waterfall, major version box paradigm. It'll take time before we collectively learn how to address these issues under the (relatively) new DevOps model. Things are moving fast, faster than ever; UX requires time. There's a fundamental tension here, it's not an easy problem.
Sometimes look back at MacOS 9, even with its numerous issues and marvel at how good a lot of the UI/UX was.
Ah, this would explain that. I seem to remember that he did not want to deal with software design, but pretty much had to to fill the gap after Jobs passed away. something along those lines. I'll cut him some slack for the monumental achievements in his career, but Apple as a company should re-think their UX strategy for the 2020's imho.
And thank you for a nice trip via MacOS 9 memory lane!
Remove that someone who didn't just look at software as an
accoutrement to hardware -- but as a necessary, functional part of that hardware (skeuomorphism was the natural outcome of this worldview), then replace them with someone who reveres form over function and we end up where we are.
Still missing Scott Forstall.
But apparently he's taking a (probably much-deserved) time off from tech, so more power to him.
Apple targets computer shoppers, not computer users.
Apple used to be much, much more than marketing; in fact the very smugness of their image and marketing comes from their unprecedented domination over computer-user satisfaction, superior design language that contributed as much to art as it did to tech, and so on and so forth. Even typography, one of Job's first huge intuitions and success, is a true user's benefit well beyond the looks.
I'm particularly harsh with Apple these days when I criticize their choices (UX, UI, manufacturing quality, product design, pricing, whatever), but that's because I hold one of the world's biggest company to much higher standards than what they're currently outputting; and I did not set those standards — they did for themselves over their own history. That has been their true gift to the world.
How to delete an app? Right click on the icon, delete. Kind of the same action on iOS as on Windows 95.
1. Hold down (long press? 3D Touch? I’ve never quite understood the difference) on the icon until a context menu appears. This is analogous to right-click.
2. Select “Rearrange Apps” from the menu - you need to know/guess that deleting is a sub-action of rearranging.
3. Click the familiar close icon that now appears.
Step 2. is the new one, and it introduces quite a lot of friction.
On the other side of the analogy, I think there was an easier (more discoverable) alternative to the right-click in win95 - certainly OSX - which was to drag the application to the recycle bin / trashcan.
"Options/other"-icon before: 3 dots ( https://cdn1.iconfinder.com/data/icons/android-user-interfac... )
"Options/other"-icon now: 3 horizontal lines ( https://cdn1.iconfinder.com/data/icons/android-user-interfac... )
I liked the 3 dots because it was natural for me to associate it with "etc...". I don't know what the 3 horizontal lines are meant to represent, but I know that it's really difficult to explain to my parents and that they keep forgetting its meaning because they cannot associate the symbol with anything :(
Similar thing with the "back button"-icon ( https://icon-library.net/images/android-back-icon/android-ba... ): it's an equilateral triangle, maybe pointing to the left, or maybe to the top/bottom right corners, or maybe just a "triangle" (associate "triangle" with "back"?) depending on how you think. I'd prefer a less stylish but classical arrow ("<") than that.
The only thing that I've noticed is that when I use Sonos, it hijacks the volume button (so that the volume on my phone controls the volume of the Sonos speaker), but when I stop using Sonos (like leaving the network or doing something else that uses sound), the Sonos setting is sticky. I usually have my volume muted, but after selecting a song on Sonos my local device volume is adjusted to match whatever the Sonos volume was.
It is very unlikely that people are changing things just for fun.
Why is that very unlikely? Many of these changes are not objectively better: they're just different and sometimes arguably worse. If you and your team decide you don't have anything to do for the next release, guess what happens next.
Scenario 1 is that Apple has enough money, time, and manpower that they are constantly doing user studies, in-person and via survey, to see how people currently use and learn to adopt the product.
They find out that moving the cursor is something that people want to do often, but that the current method has some problems. It is hard for new users to discover, and the tap and hold takes a long time if you're doing it frequently, like in a text revising workflow. The magnifier was useful for the old low-res screens, but less helpful now that everything is retina.
They implement a few different approaches, and measure them against the old method. In their previous tests, they've seen that one thing new users try is dragging the cursor directly, so they try making that work, which is more discoverable. It's faster because you don't have to wait for the long press. They add some feedbacks so you can see both where it's tracking your finger, and where the cursor will drop in the text. And if those feedbacks aren't precise enough, you can use the spacebar trackpad method. In their benchmarks, the combination of the methods is easier to discover, and a big speed improvement.
They know that some users will hate being forced to change, because nobody likes being forced to change, but they honestly think it's worth the improvements. They take their findings to management, who personally try out the new methods and approve the change.
Scenario 2 is that Apple is such a large company that nobody really knows what other people or teams are doing, even management. There's nothing pressing for the UX teams to work on - I mean, aside from the AR HMD and the car. So, they decide to change up one of the core interactions of the company's most important product. They don't need to justify the change to upper management (all of whom use the product heavily), so it just sort of slips under the radar.
If you've got a more plausible scenario 2 I'd be interested to hear it, but yes, I think scenario 1 is more likely.
Rearranging icons in folders is still a clusterf--k though - am I the only one that ends up fighting sometimes just to a) get the icon into the folder I want and b) actually keep it there without accidentally scrolling the screen, accidentally dragging it out of the edge of the folder because I'm trying to page it to a particular place?
What I'm noticing with iOS in particular is that lots of 'hidden' functionality is creeping in. This is something I remember Microsoft getting criticism for with Windows 8 -- non-obvious gestures like swiping from the edge of the screen to bring something up. Apple seems to have wandered down that same road.
oh look I accidentally moved this icon between two others and it reflowed everything and the last icon in THIS screen is the first on on the NEXT screen and this cascaded to the next few as well, now I get to move them all back, joy!
It's especially fun when you are trying to put an icon into a folder in the last slot in a screen and it slips to the next page instead. JOY. UNMTIGATED JOY AND DELIGHT.
And I still hate how you can't have any organization for your icons beyond "all of them crammed up towards the top left of the screen". I still miss that from Android and I still miss that from the days when there was a usable jailbreak.
It used to be possible to explain most of the mechanisms and concepts in iOS with about a ten minute tutorial. Now it feels like every time I see my parents I have to explain some new concept or procedure to them.
(A simple example I discovered before I devolved to this level - when looking at messages on an iphone, swipe and hold left to see the sent times. Did you know that? If so HOW DID YOU KNOW?)
Somehow this doesn’t seem to work for everyone. Not sure if people just ignore the tips app notifications or if they don’t get them for some reason.
It’s a normal app you can run any time. I just looked and the cursor movement as well as peeking at the times of messages are both in there and demonstrated.
And I still don't want to spend 20s. You can call that silly, and you're not completely wrong, but watching some stupid iMessage tutorial in my prescious free time isn't exactly something I want to do.
The gestures became more single purpose.
I get it that we like the way things work and when they get changed it’s annoying.
But unless you think the phone has reached the perfect interface with no room for improvement, you should continue to expect things to change.
If you do think it’s perfect, well, good for you. Stop upgrading, and you will at least have a few years of stability.
Evolution is good, but the right pace is not always the fastest one. It can of course be faster for phone UIs than car UIs, but every change is still a potential hassle for all your users and should be carefully considered even if it is, objectively speaking, an improvement.
I fired up my old launch day iPhone a few weeks ago. The phone works great, though some of the apps no longer have services to connect to (Weather, for example).
What struck me is how intuitive iOS 3 was to use. Everything seemed more (to use the parlance of our times) "discoverable."
Maybe part of it was just remembering how things work, but it seemed like a much better experience than iOS 13.
Also, as much as people on HN enjoy bashing skeuomorphism, the fact is that it works, it's intuitive, and is 9,385% more user-friendly than a bunch of identical Playskool-colored squares with no demonstrable function.
And the single button model was incredible as well -- "stuck somewhere? Press the button. Want to switch apps? Press the button." It was guaranteed that the button was not controlled by whatever app you were in; now all the gestures and sliding stuff means that half the time I'm stuck doing some in-app operation when I really want to do a "phone" operation. And I'm on an iPhone that still has the button! I dread the moment that I'm going to have to give it up.
> I couldn't figure out how to move my cursor around. It used to be perfect. I held my finger down, it let me move the cursor around in a word. Now you have to swipe the cursor to "grab" it and move it around under your finger. It feels like change for the sake of change when it worked perfectly before.
I had no idea you could move the cursor this way! Until I read your comment!
I think it works fine although I still generally prefer the haptic/long touch spacebar method.
I always had trouble with selection vs placing the cursor, and it irritated me to no end. The long touch spacebar works great though and I still prefer it.
If you aren’t familiar with the long touch spacebar, give it a try. It temporarily changes the keyboard to a touchpad for moving the cursor. It’s great.
At age 56, it's hard for me to see where the cursor/insertion point is, especially because it's blocked by my finger when I try to move it.
You can compensate a bit by grabbing the cursor from a lower spot in the I-bar, to the point where you can basically grab the cursor from entirely underneath (ie, touch the cursor as if it was a line below where it actually is), but discovering that was a lot of trial and effort on my part, and it's still not quite so useful as the magnifier was.
I overheard several people talking about this when I first started thinking about UX and sure enough within a couple years I was making some of the same sorts of “mistakes”.
With a lot of hardware-only workflows, muscle memory training happens by default, which also means that they "get away with" really poor UX ideas at times. With software you can have some mixture of defaults/presets and technique. It's not worthwhile to try to customize all of it(good defaults are precious, early-binding forms are valuable) and technique usually suffices for covering the remainder. But technique is less discoverable than a settings menu, as well, and swipe-and-tap techniques are extremely so since they operate on many dimensions. Compare the new iOS gestures to chorded keystrokes - once you know that chording exists, you can learn any new one given some time.
Interestingly I did not know about it and only found out whilst complaining to a friend. Friend pointed me to this selection alternative, but it was not obvious.
Can't wait to show him on Monday... Lol
This 1000%. Working with text on iOS is such a pain now.
Or make it like iPad, where two fingers will move the cursor from anywhere on the keyboard and without any hold.
Previously when I got an update I would think ‘oh, that tiny annoyance is finally gone!’, but now I just thought ‘why in fucks name did they find it necessary to change this’.
"Select all" disappears for 36 y.o. too, and I have no idea why and how to fix it.
Btw (not iOS 13 specific) when I select the word in browser the hovering menu has more options behind a minuscule right arrow that I almost always manage to touch outside, making the menu disappear. And I need the "second part" often. Sad.
Companies hire too many designers, developers, project manager and product managers which means they must do something to occupy their time. Bug fixing is boring. Writing something new is sexy. Sexy > boring so you get a "new and improved" version.
Now you can tap anywhere to more the cursor there. Before you had to do some sort of cursor grab I think.
You say "under your finger" but obviously you'd move your finger down or up so you can see where the cursor is going? There's no swiping gesture needed anywhere, not sure what's that about?
I do remember it being very annoying to move the cursor before. Now it seems much easier. I'm happy, that's one data point I guess. And yeah, I'm getting older. My father, now 70-something, says he likes it, too.
How many promotions in your life did you get by not changing things? Or by doing the exact same thing as the guys before you did?
If there’s no cursor yet, you have to 1) tap somewhere to get a cursor to appear, 2) drag it where you want it.
Super annoying to change such a basic, useful functionality.
i ended up giving the ipad to my 5 year old as his toy and the other day it died completely.
i guess i will never know.
he was furious, and crying, and shouting... "i don't want any f* upgrades! just leave my f* computer alone!! i never asked for any of this, i just want to do my work"
i dont' spend a lot of time at the house any more ... and i didn't know what to tell him, so i hugged him. later i brought up linux (again) and i think we'll get to that place soon, so that he has a chance to learn before age sets in too much further.
The long touch spacebar method still works great for cursor movement and it’s my preferred way.
Also, that’s weird about the select all. Still works for me, but I can’t be sure the behavior didn’t change.
It doesn’t seem possible to do this using the long-touch spacebar approach.
No, yeah you do, you just said it in the previous paragraph: "And since iOS (and in some places now macOS, too) doesn’t offer visual affordances like scroll indicators, she had no idea there was any content further below."
I don't feel bad being critical of their UI choices, precisely because Apple was the company that made a big deal about UI and how far ahead of the poor hopeless gray conforming IBM Microsoft masses they were. And I mean, yeah I would've bought it, back then. Their stuff at its best was always a holy union of simple, functional and beautiful. But function came first, then simple, and beautiful arose from that, kind of in the Zen sense. Kind of like how a well-crafted hammer can be beautiful even though it's just a hammer. But at some point they went whole-hog into putting "beautiful" first, probably because that's where the money is. If you're not careful with that, you wind up being beautiful and stupid like the popular kids in high school. A beautiful hammer with no handle is just a crappy piece of shit. Even though it might be a great hammer(head), it's crippled by its lack of a proper UI.
I think the issue is now that their products become weirdly tacky looking from being functionally weird. The notch, the Touch Bar, the overladen gesture menus... it’s all kinda aimless and floaty. Let’s not even go into how they turned a MacBook workspace into dongle central.
I'm happy to cop a bit of temporary pain in the pursuit of standardization. It's the one thing that actually isn't shitting me about my work Macbook.
Why does my magic mouse not charge via USB C? My keyboard? It has been years now, why hasn't this happened within the company? Shouldn't Tim Cook be banging a pot and pan outside every team's door asking why they haven't gotten with the program?
It’s really double spreak on their end. I don’t give a shit about the new fancy features. I just want Apple to simplify the gajillion cables and converters I need to carry around.
My next personal laptop will definitely not be a MacBook at this rate.
I wouldn't even care about the Touchbar if they left the rest of the keyboard alone, but apparently the escape key was seen as an unimportant key.
I also like that volume and brightness are both sliders—I find the gesture of tapping the volume on the Touch Bar and dragging my finger up or down in the direction I want better than pressing a button a bunch of times until I’m at my desired volume. There are other things I like about it (and others I don’t).
I think it’s ok to like aspects of the Touch Bar and dislike others—it is possible to iterate to something better by being specific in one’s critique about what is good and what isn’t rather than just tossing the whole thing out (which is personally what I’d like to see...and maybe I’m in the vocal minority here).
I'm a longtime user of vi keys. I use them in Emacs Viper, vim in a pinch, and everything I can that uses readline. As such, I use the ESC constantly and I truly don't understand why people find it such a problem for ESC to be on the touchbar. It's just a slightly different feel but since it's a reach anyway, having a low-effort key there works for me. I don't know if I'd call it better but it's definitely fine. I've been using a touchbar Mac for all work for at least two years (I'm on my third--I don't remember when I got my first but it was around then) and it just isn't an issue for me.
On the other hand, since I use an alternate keyboard layout (Dvorak), it's quite nice to be able to put an input method switcher on the upper right of the touchbar that displays the current layout and allows me to toggle it. It was critical for years to be able to do this just to be able to practically use Yubikey hardware tokens, for example.
I also like having a screenshot button with an actual icon where I want it and to discard some of the control locations of the hardware function keys. Similarly having a lock screen button next to the fingerprint sensor is useful.
This makes the touchbar a bit better than function key buttons for me. Of course I could remap or reassign function key buttons; but for me function keys are infrequently used, so the icons and being able to create my familiar and preferred layout is a help. I use a different platform with function key buttons for a personal laptop, and while I have a button for ESC the rest of the function keys are comparatively less useful to me.
It gives me (always in the same place), currently playing song in Spotify with << || >> controls, weather tappable to see forecast for current location, a scrollable emoji keyboard, battery display, and standard brightness volume controls. Ctrl and Alt give me other modal contexts. All of those are nice for interacting with my host OS even if I'm, for example, working inside a VM at the moment.
Edit: it also prompted me to map escape to capslock, and now I wish that were default everywhere.
Edit2: having a scrollable emoji keyboard handy is honestly awesome, since I do most of my SMS messages through my computer.
It is always the same size. It never moves. It is always there.
And because the keyboard is already pretty thin the difference in feedback isn't that significant.
I'm fine if they just re-print the old sacred & holy Unibody with recent hardware, X62 style.
Perfection cannot be improved.
The ESC key isn't that big of a deal to me, it can still be used while touch typing. I have maybe one miss per month or so.
You just need to customise it using something like BetterTouchTool which allow you to execute sequences of actions or invoke menu items.
Guess what I bought with the insurance money:
A PC laptop.
Honestly I rarely ever use any button in the "share sheet" except for Copy or Copy Link. Every time I open it I'm just searching for those Copy buttons. I'll "share" it myself with Paste. Idk how "sharing" ended up like this.
This happens to me so often it's ridiculous. Maybe because I'm just used to seeing a scrollbar if there is a Y-overflow, and people that grew up with this system know to -- I guess just like try scrolling every interface and see if it scrolls or something? I dunno.
For anyone else in my boat:
System Preferences -> General -> Show Scroll-bars -> Always
Yes, it seems like the younger generation is conditioned to a different form of UI "discoverability" than those of us who learned computing in the desktop era. I look for visual indicators, even on touch user interfaces, so I am always missing functionality that is hidden behind a non-visual interaction. "Pull down to refresh" is something I would have probably never found in many applications if it had not been pointed out to me. iOS is especially notorious for hiding features behind odd/innovative UI behaviors such as press-extra-hard or shake.
I almost feel as if "just show me visual indicators of all functionality because I am old-fashioned" needs to be a new accessibility concept or setting.
Sure, when I see younger people trying some new GUI they basically touch and swipe everything to discover hidden options and functionalities, because someone decided that a flat rectangle looked "cooler" than a button, or that a greyed out textbox looked more "modern" than a standard white one... but isn't this just bad design? what happened with make things as simple as possible, but not simpler and don't make me think?
It's under the Accessibility settings if you want to just browse around for it.
a) the shaking feature turns on even if i don't type anything just by the virtue of the phone being active (shaking can mean 'undo', not just 'undo typing')
b) i have it mounted on a quadlock on my handle bar, no holding whatsoever.
c) i take the risk of asking for trouble while cycling on a cycling path with no other cyclists near me (within, say, 300m). I am not cycling between 2 double decker buses while texting...
take the risk of asking for trouble while cycling on a cycling path with no other cyclists near me (within, say, 300m).
You don't know. If you start looking at your screen and you are moving, you are a danger to others. I don't care what happens to you, but I care that you don't hurt others. And you may.
I.e. if there is no trust i can glance at a screen when i am on a cycling path with nobody around without injuring someone else, how can I be trusted while sharing the road with cars/buses/trams?
It definitely does feel like something the browser should handle though. Having to work on stuff like that instead of actual functionality is painful, especially for startups that are trying to iterate fast.
It's the definition of false simplicity.
Everyone followed suit because Apple Keynote events just made everything look so magical, and Mac/iPhone snobs were taken seriously by the dumbed-down press, and now Windows laptops and keyboards are like their previously-less-functional MacBook counterparts.
On mobile I'm fine with hidden ones. Since attempting to scroll down never has an unintended action (I'm sure someone on the Internet can name an exception, but I can't name a single one so it's not the common case) I always just try to scroll and notice when it doesn't go further.
Maybe for desktop, it might be solved by having a free spinning scroll wheel. Then you can flick like on mobile and nearly never need to actually drag the scroll bar. In the rare case that you do, you can still grab the one that appears on demand (like in many mobile apps), and by appearing on demand you have a visual indicator of how much more there is. (The home/end buttons also go a long way, but one doesn't always want to scroll to the end or use the keyboard.) But until we universally have such mice...
The most frequent one I've seen on Android is swiping down while (almost) at the top, and the entire view refreshes. This is mostly in the browser, which simply reloads the page after a few seconds (resetting any text fields you may have modified) and in this case the gesture can be cancelled by reversing it. Unfortunately, if the browser or app has been open for a long time (say, I've left a news app open for three days), the view can be quite different once it finishes reloading, and can be impossible to get back to where I was previously.
Lazy-loading content can also cause issues when offline if the placeholders don't update (Materialistic, the app I'm using now, has both these issues).
Occasionally I'll find an app that likes to do annoying bouncy things with the view when overscrolling the bottom of a list, but that's fortunately rare.
You can make a scrollbar that "ghosts" over/under the content.
Windows 8 was a culture shock, but at least was clear in what it wanted to be. Personally I found it (and to a lesser extent the "mostly like a phone" UI of Win 10 and current MacOS) to be a mistake - I want a distinct and appropriate metaphor for a desktop rather than using it like a 27" tablet. People have dozens of apps and windows open, not one or two at a time.
Win 10, for me, is a mess. The whole flat thing went much, much too far, there's dozens of remnants of the Win 7 way of doing it in dialogues, settings, workflow etc. Win 7 is probably the nicest, and most coherent look Windows managed, but for workflow Win 2000 often had the edge! e.g. every version of Windows since 2000 has reduced the power of search, but made it increasingly obvious that it's there.
It was in the betas which I enjoyed using. But when it was removed it made the entire OS feel unusable to me. Whoever decided Windows Server 2012 should follow suit deserves just as much scorn.
edit: the issue is still there :(
edit: I have a magic trackpad 2 also. It took when I turned that off and reloaded the page. Well that's annoying that I lose the scollbars with the trackpad.
I've been using iOS since 4.
Settings > Ease of Access > Automatically hide scroll bars in Windows > Off
I always thought 'below the fold' was so overused or at least only for people who never use a computer, but I guess that's definitely wrong.
I disagree, because you're not calculating anything. You just see the existence of a scrollbar and know immediately that the content exceeds the viewport and you can scroll. That's it. It's at least an order of magnitude faster than the alternative of "checking" because it happens instinctively without the slightest motor movement.
"Checking to see if something scrolls" means some form of finger or hand movement.
I know what you're saying though, because I do see people do it all the time. There is an awkward, to me, pattern of "I just started reading, so let's shake the content up and down to get oriented." It's just as foreign to me as people who highlight text as they're reading. Not my thing, but whatever. (On the highlighting behavior, I always figured it's both a visual cue and at least partially a matter of highlighted text becoming light-on-blue, which is easier to read than most web pages' black-on-white.)
> I always thought 'below the fold' was so overused or at least only for people who never use a computer, but I guess that's definitely wrong.
That advice was commonly head in web design and it wasn't really about people not knowing whether they can scroll or not. But rather, that visitors might just decide not to scroll before they leave your content because the first page is so uninteresting to them. It's because scrolling requires interaction that you're motivated to make the "above the fold" content grab their attention.
A behavior of "let's see if this scrolls by actually scrolling" is, in my opinion, an anti-pattern of bad UX.
I had been reading since before I started school; it was something I picked up early and that my parents encouraged in me greatly. So by the time I was in school and we were doing these reading exercises (which were mostly utterly boring to me at the time, because my favorite thing to read at home were my various science encyclopedia sets), I had no need for such a placeholder. Reading was natural to me, and I knew where I was in a paragraph, etc.
Of course, this upset the teachers, until they finally figured out that yes, I could read, and not only that, I could read well above my grade level (that said, my comprehension wasn't as great, unless it was geared toward topics of science).
I always figured that people who highlight text as they read on a screen do so for similar reasons; not that it's a stupid thing or anything - sometimes with long lines, small fonts, bad color/contrast choices, etc in text on a screen, you do need some kind of a marker to help you along...
(This is a real-world issue: In a write-up, you may want to present detailed data, but don't want to have every user, interested in the details or not, to scroll over several pages of extensive data. So the logical choice is to present a small, illustrative sample and have more in the overflow. The same technique may be used – and has been historically extensively used by the Engelbart community – for outlined text content.)
This is the typical narrow minded view that these app designers (not you) have. There are other uses for the scroll bar. For instance, I used to be able to tell how long it would take to read an article by looking at the scroll bar. Now they are gone and to compensate every other article now as an indication of reading time. Which is of course a worse solution, because people's reading speeds differ and it also clutters screen estate, even is a more annoying way.
The well known xkcd about breaking workflows does not only apply to features, but also to UI. Few designers seem to acknowledge that.