Apple and Intuitive Design


I noticed the other day that Apple has released an update for the iMac G5 which regulates the sleep light so that it does not shine as brightly at night as it does during the day. Now, I don’t have an iMac, but I do have a PowerBook. However, I recently moved my desk into my room, and was shocked to discover that when closed, the sleep light on my machine is bright enough to make it hard to fall asleep. After a bit of experimentation, I realized that the sleep light shines about 3 times more brightly when the PowerBook is closed than when it is put to sleep with the screen open. This is the kind of intuitive design that Apple is known for, and a huge reason why I am so devoted to them as a brand. What are some of your favorite little things in Apple products?



1) When plugging the headphones, my MacBook Pro remembers the last volume I used for the headphones, and vice-versa.

2) The ambient light detector tunes the LCD brightness. When I use my MBP while night is falling, I find it comfortable to keep on reading and not care about brightness.

3) The green/red LED on the power adapter plug.

4) MagSafe! The magnet on the power adapter plug.

5) The best trackpad ever.

6) The very fast return from sleep.


Not really,
Most of the time, design is so unintuitive that we learn to just accept whatever we get, and not wish “It would be cool if x did y”. With my powerbook, I knew I wanted something, but I didn’t know what. Apple had taken my thinking, and developed it to a further state of reality. Thus, when I figured out how the thing operated, it was an “Oh! Wow! Yeah, that totally makes sense” moment.

J.F. Charland

Strange to refer to it as “intuitive” design when you needed experimentation to figure out how it worked.


at my last job I had to use a Dell laptop for a while (this is about 4 years ago so I don’t know if they have fixed this yet), but when I used the Dell and the TiBook side by side at one point I realized why Apple is so great. And it was one of those small little details. I listen to music while I work and I used to have one of those headphones that had the cable coming out at only one side, the left side (and I check all headphones like this have the cable come out on your left side. now my Dell laptop had the headphone plug on the right side which meant that the cable strangely dangled infront of me. The Apple TiBook I had at the time (and now the 12”) have the headphone plug on the left side …

Nick Santilli

Is that a trick quesiton? Odeo doesn’t sell anything!

Every company needs improvement someplace. the larger the company, the more potential sticking points. I think considering everything Apple’s into, they’re weighing more plusses than minuses.

Just my opinion though.

James Kirk

Small agile businesses can satisfy customers better. The other day, I was playing around with Odeo and found a bug on the logout page. I filed it using the feedback form that says “Fill out the form, write us a letter, send us muffins, fax us a photocopy of your bottom; whatever it takes, we want to hear what your thoughts on Odeo.”. Not only did I receive an automated acknowledgement with a tracking number, but the next day, I received an email from a REAL human telling me that the bug had been fixed. Now that’s customer service. And Odeo doesn’t even charge anything.

Now consider Apple. All the fanboys worship this company for its attention to detail. When I was playing around with the latest iTunes (v 4.9), I clicked on Provide iTunes Feedback within the application. This opened my web browser to this page.

What’s wrong with this page? Well, for one, it opened in a web browser. Now everyone knows that the iTMS store opens within the iTunes app, so why not the feedback page? Opening the page in the iTunes app would have eliminated the need for asking me the iTunes version, Operating System and Machine Config in the form as that could have been picked up by the app. So much for attention to detail. (Also note that my iTunes version is not listed).

Ok, forget that. Now lets see what this form title says – “Request Music”. I just want to give feedback, not request music. Then the golden line – “Please note that we read all requests carefully, but the sheer volume of submissions makes it impossible for us to respond.”. Great, so they want my feedback, but they don’t care enough to respond. Surely a company that sells 500 million songs can hire people to respond to customer feedback!

Now, which of the above two companies would you want to buy stuff from?

Also see –

Caius Durling

I love the fact that there aren’t little bleepy flashing lights to show the powerbook is accessing the HD.

Also the charger light, sleep light, etc. I find it hard to sleep in a room without LED’s in now..

I can see 17 sat here in half darkness, and there are more I can see from bed that are hidden to me here..


Little designs that I liked about my ibook:

1) Adaptor self-organizing cables (wraping the white cable around the little hooks behind the adaptor)
2) The little light at the power cord that tells me when the charge is ready
3) The lights on the battery itself indicating how much battery it has left
4) The said light when ibook is closed.

The light does keep me awake if I don’t cover it with something, but I like it enough not to care.


The light from where the power adapter plugs into my iBook keeps me awake if I don’t place something between it and me when I go to bed. It is kind of annoying.

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