Middle of the road

Confusion seems to have surfaced around the Confessions piece I posted last week. Some think the article was wishy-washy and were hoping for a more definitive ending proclaiming loyalty to one OS or the other. Questions were asked like, “So which direction are you going?”

An obvious conclusion can’t be drawn from this article, because one doesn’t exist yet. Which is my point. The article was merely recognition of a problem and an admission of guilt. A way of coming clean. I’m only at the beginning of the recovery stage, and am uncertain of any outcome yet. As a very loyal long-time Mac user, I became disenchanted, lost the fire, and spent the last two years making a slow but very complete switch to Windows. I explained a few reasons why in the article, but left many others undefined. My renewed interest in the Mac OS helped me realize just how reliant I had become on Windows — and beyond to everything Microsoft. It revealed the magnitude of the dependency that has crept into my life ever so slowly.

Am I 100% certain I can curtail my dependency on Windows and switch back to the Mac entirely. No. And I’m not even close. How soon after giving up alcohol can an alcoholic claim freedom from alcohol dependency? The answer is usually, “never”. Some continue the drinking life, some return on binges. Others turn dry forever, but humbleness continues to admit they will always be recovering alcoholics.

My original loyalty to Apple is calling me to return. But I still see problems with the Mac OS. Jeffrey Zeldman effectively highlighted one of the issues earlier today, while John Gruber dove into much greater detail in his critique of That Finder Thing. John even went so far as to blame the NeXT UI design team for the faults of OS X:

Once the NeXT regime stepped in and assumed top positions in Apple’s software division, they started putting their stamp on Apple’s UI design, despite the fact their input on such matters was neither wanted nor needed. The hallmarks of NeXT’s UI design are extravagant attention to cosmetic appeal, and nearly no attention whatsoever to actual usability.

Ouch. Wherever blame falls, it seems Apple has too much to lose by not lending an open ear to long-time users and loyal fanatics.

About the author

Designer, advisor, father. Previously led design teams at Twitter, Google, and Wired. Giants fan. Deutsche lernen. Wanna-be runner.

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