Apple Accused of “Zero Usability Testing” by Company Veteran

11 June 2013
Ben Logan

Author: Ben Logan

Passionate about improving services and experiences for the people that use them.

Jakob Nielsen, who has a Ph.D. in human-computer interaction and was a former top level engineer with Sun Microsystems, has branded the revamped Apple iOS “a terrible usability mistake”.

The usability guru with nearly 80 US patents to his name isn’t fond of the new “flatter” design and is not alone – other UI experts have also expressed their concerns for what could be “a step back in usability”.

The new interface makes use of a Windows 8 style design (we all know how well that worked out…) with colours, textures and typography used to draw attention to its features rather than icons and other actionable elements.

Nielsen thinks that Apple’s overly ornate design style of recent years has been veering towards overkill and feels that a simpler design would be better, “as long as it’s not scaled back so far that they remove the cues that users depend on to find out what they can do on each screen.”

Bruce “Tog” Tognazzini, another usability industry veteran, further commented: “Overall, what’s missing at Apple is that either it does zero usability testing, or if they do, that no one is listening to the results. It’s one thing to make things simple… that’s wonderful. But it’s not if they pretend.”

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