Saturday, January 24, 2009

Design gone bad: form over function

There's nothing so good it can't be ruined by excess.

Even the ideals of elegant design can be carried too far (emphases mine) ...
Palm Pre: Palm Chats with Facebookers, Explains Pre's Lack of MicroSD

... Crowley is currently holding an open chat on Facebook to answer any questions people might have, although it's heavily selective. Among the questions Crowley won't answer: how intrusive is the multi-platform personal information program Synergy going to be? What about the lack of desktop synchronization, or cloud storage? But he does take a crack at a question on MicroSD expandability.

‘Design' was the highest goal on the Palm Pre project. The phone has to look and function great in the hand and up against the face on a call. The decision to include or not include expandable storage is an easy one when design is the highest priority. The physical size of the device would have been compromised if we added another physical component to Pre. Just a millimeter can seriously impact the curvature of the design in a way that minimizes the design intent...

My iPhone doesn't have a removable memory card, and I don't miss it. So I'm not griefing Palm for that call. I'm just taking the opportunity to call for balance, especially at Apple.

Design is a high goal, but function matters too. The MacBook Air should have had an ethernet cable, the MacBooks should have had a firewire port, the iPhone needs a Calendar API.

DateBk 6 is ugly, but the iPhone Calendar is lousy. There's more to good products than being pretty.

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