Ex Apple engineer claims Steve Jobs rejected new Apple TV UI 5 years ago [u]

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  • postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    I like the new UI... Thanks for the update, Apple.
  • addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,667member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post


    Bring back the old interface - just in 1080P.

    Why have those stupid icons if there isn't an App store or a way to delete the wants you don't want?

    Ridiculous.

    Btw I hate the Lion icons on my Mac too- makes the Mac now look like a computer for idiots.



    You really don't like much, do you?
  • postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    You really don't like much, do you?



    He likes trolling and bashing Apple. Does that count?
  • irontedironted Posts: 121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    I call bullshit on this story, ir at least parital bullshit. There's more to it. I love love how people pretend that when Steve was around EVERYTHING that came from a UI standpoint from Apple was Gold. It wasn't. Now suddenly people are pointing at random things to validate their view that Apple is 'falling apart' and 'losing it'. The new interface is much, much better than the previous, is easier to navigate, and is more consistent than what one would expect from a iOS device. I'm a designer, am very fickle, and there's nothing I find offensive about it. The previous was much more confusing for the average user, this one is more graphic, easier to see at further distances, and is more scalable. Maybe Steve DID reject it 5 years ago (ie. before the iPhone) but his opinion changed years later and he green-lit it again? I'm sure this 'retired engineer' would not be privy to that info.



    Let's cut Apple some fucking slack and give them the benefit of the doubt sometimes, they've done remarkably well since Steve's demise. Maybe, just MAYBE there are people there who know what they're doing and who understood and knew Steve more than all these millions of message-board posters, tech blog columnists, fans, claim to 'know' what he would want and like.



    You're one of them who gets it!
  • rcfarcfa Posts: 570member
    The new UI looks like Apple is trying to rip off Win8 or WindowsPhone OS, it lacks proper structure and organization and is ugly as hell, instead we have all on one screen clutter. Barf!



    Ever since Apple started violating its own UI guidelines we have a steadily accelerating trend of a disintegrating UI consistency, and cutesy but utterly non-functional real world metaphors.

    In a few years Apple will reinvent M$' Bob (if you're old enough to remember that disaster of a UI)
  • rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Why is it that Apple makes drool worthy hardware but their software UI can be so bad? There's this aesthetic dichotomy between the two which boggles the mind considering how design obsessed Steve was. Even in some of his keynote presentations he would use 3D charts with fake wood panelling which looked awful. Apple really needs to get their hardware and software in sync (stylistically).
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,529member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Why is that Steve Jobs is dead everything Apple does is attacked with comments about how Jobs wouldn't have approved this or that.



    Yeah, if Steve was still alive he would never have approved of people doing that.



    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles..._steve_do.html



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kymcha


    Most TV screens would be 40" or more and they can't fit all the icons on the screen ?



    Having fewer icons per row makes it faster to select the one you want.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove


    In the case of the atv uniformity to ios means interfaces that are neither very functional nor very well designed. Is that what post SJ apple is aiming at?



    How exactly do we know that this is a post-SJ decision? He worked on the next iPhone before he died. The point made in the article update was that Steve rejected the grid design for all the products including the iPhone and iPad.



    So, for all the people siding with Jobs on this, presumably they'd rather iOS and Launchpad didn't use icon grids either? They'd rather their iMac was called MacMan? They're happy with their SJ-approved iPhone 4 antenna kill-switch? Happy with the little fat iPod they made? The puck mouse? Flowery iMac? The Garageband fake wood effect? The brushed metal UI?



    If the ATV UI is so bad, why does Jony Ive not step in? He apparently has a nice TV in his den, surely he wouldn't stand for such a bad design that he has to use himself.
  • myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I'd love to know how you two would strengthen Apple's ecosystem.



    Lose the crap ui elements.
  • myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Yeah, if Steve was still alive he would never have approved of people doing that.



    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles..._steve_do.html







    Having fewer icons per row makes it faster to select the one you want.







    How exactly do we know that this is a post-SJ decision? He worked on the next iPhone before he died. The point made in the article update was that Steve rejected the grid design for all the products including the iPhone and iPad.



    So, for all the people siding with Jobs on this, presumably they'd rather iOS and Launchpad didn't use icon grids either? They'd rather their iMac was called MacMan? They're happy with their SJ-approved iPhone 4 antenna kill-switch? Happy with the little fat iPod they made? The puck mouse? Flowery iMac? The Garageband fake wood effect? The brushed metal UI?



    If the ATV UI is so bad, why does Jony Ive not step in? He apparently has a nice TV in his den, surely he wouldn't stand for such a bad design that he has to use himself.



    Apparently Jony Ive doesn't have enough executive decision power when it comes to interface design. Scott Forestahl, Eddie Cue and Gregh Federichi seem to be in charge of this.



    I think the update to the article is an issue of diplomacy. I am sure the right phone calls and emails reached Margolis.



    In terms of SJ's blunders, most of them are open to discussion. The fat ipod or the puck mouse I dislike as well, but I kinda like the flowery mac. Steve pushed for an even slimmer iphone design according to Ive's prototype and placed the antenna around the phone. The kill switch was a matter of the antennae engineers then not executing well then on these design requirements. In the 4S they re-engineered slightly and the problem was solved. The difference of this error to that of the atv interface is that on one hand someone pushed for a slimmer more cutting edge product, with very unusual and innovative antennae placement and this motivation of pushing the limits of innovation resulted in a mistake, while on the other hand with atv someone is very apparently pushing not for innovation, but for the ui to look more like ios for marketing and sales reasons purely, and the end result is an interface that looks bad and isn't as functional as it should be either.



    In my mind misteps from wanting to innovate and create something aesthetically compelling and unprecedented are preferable to misteps stemming from the urge to make everyone look like the iphone so (presumably) you ship more units. One is a bold gutsy move that pushes mainstream technology, the other is a marketing dept decision that chokes any good ui design potential and innovation by commanding it to align and conform with available standards, simply by virtue of the market being accustomed to them.
  • dv8ordv8or Posts: 19member
    Since SJ got ill there have been a number of bad design decisions at Apple that IMHO SJ would have rectified....one of which is the universally disliked new iCal interface which has nothing to do with Apple's basic design philosophy and has taken a step backward by getting rid of the mini calendar. This is a worrying trend and one which I hope is dealt with by perhaps making Ive responsible for approving everything just as Jobs did including interface design.

    While I am at it - getting rid of mobileme galleries and keychain syncing is another ridiculous decision....integration and ease of use is why I came to use Apple to begin with. Divesting themselves of truly useful integration tools can only do harm.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The grid of icons featured in the new Apple TV user interface was rejected five years ago by company co-founder Steve Jobs, a former Apple TV engineer claims [updated with clarification].



    The Apple TV user interface was updated when the new 1080p model was released earlier this month. It features a more iOS-like interface that presents services like Netflix, Vimeo, YouTube and more as icons, rather than burying them in menus.



    Since the user interface update rolled out, some have decried it as an ugly design, and a rare step backward for the company. This week, Michael Margolis, a former senior software engineer at Apple, claimed that the new designs were presented to Jobs five years ago, but he rejected them.



    The comment from Margolis, highlighted by The Next Web and Macgasm, was made in response to designer and entrepreneur Aral Balkan, who told Margolis via the social networking site that he "loved the old UI."



    "Fun fact - those designs were tossed out 5 years ago because SJ didn't like them," Margolis responded. "Now there is nobody to say 'no' to bad design."



    Balkan then asked who is now in charge of user experience at Apple, saying he hopes the new Apple TV interface "isn't a sign of what's to come."



    "Just one visual designer in the consumer apps team," Margolis wrote. "No clue if he is still there, that whole team has left/been replaced AFAIK."









    Margolis started the discussion by saying on his Twitter account that he "implemented much of the Apple TV 2.0 UI years ago." He added that the new user interface "makes (him) cry."



    Presenting the new Apple TV and its user interface earlier this month, Apple executive Eddy Cue portrayed it as a simplified design that will make it easier for users to access features on the set-top box. Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, also said in a press release that the new interface makes the Apple TV "easier than ever to use."



    Update: Margolis clarified his original remarks in comments at The Next Web:





    [ View article on AppleInsider ]



  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,529member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    Apparently Jony Ive doesn't have enough executive decision power when it comes to interface design.



    Do you mean 'apparently' because he allowed this UI to pass or because it's been reported that's the case? Steve Jobs himself said Ive has more operational power than anyone else at Apple:



    'He called Jonathan Ive, Apple?s design chief, his ?spiritual partner? at Apple. He told Isaacson that Ive had ?more operation power? at Apple than anyone besides Jobs himself ? that there?s no one at the company who can tell Ive what to do. That, says Jobs, is ?the way I set it up.?'



    http://www.edibleapple.com/2011/10/2...es-steve-jobs/



    That page also has a good quote about why companies can fail and I suspect the further on Apple goes without a new revolution, we will hear more allusions to the artists being ignored in favour of the sales guys.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    the end result is an interface that looks bad and isn't as functional as it should be either.



    It might seem less functional just now but if they add items, drop-down menus would get very cluttered. An icon view can be customised to put your favourite items only a few small clicks away. Step 1 is building a scalable design, the menu system was not scalable.
  • sennensennen Posts: 1,402member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msantti View Post


    And why are the app icons rectangular instead of square like on all other iOS devices?



    I'd say it is because of the shape of the HDTV being wider than it is high. I think it looks better this way than having square icons.
  • philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,285member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Something like this.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    So then I thought, hey, they didn't redesign iOS for the iPad, did they. Would it be so bad if they didn't

    have a separate UI design for the Apple TV?



    And I don't think so. We'll see.



    I like your reasoning!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Sorry that these images screw with the forum's formatting; I'm not going to post them smaller because that defeats their purpose

    (and I'd love for some people to test out these images at the proper resolution on their TVs for feedback, but we'll get to that later).



    No need to apologize, as you state this is the way to present it and make your point come across.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    http://i.imgur.com/Gsyk5.jpg



    So here's the Home Screen. The main one you see when the Apple TV comes on or wakes from sleep. It's pretty darn familiar to anyone using iOS, with a few

    changes and additions.



    The icons are huge. They should be; it's a ten-foot interface. Their titles are 36pt. I didn't figure having anything smaller would be good (feedback request:

    Am I right?) for a title.



    Since it's not touch based, I used a simple highlight to distinguish what option is selected. It's VERY simple; I'm still working on better solutions (feedback

    request:
    Anyone have a guide as to how I can make the highlight look prettier and more visually differentiable? I want something subtle. Something that doesn't

    blare from your periphery when you're not looking at it but is readily apparent when you are).



    Use the Apple Remote to move between them, obviously. When you hit the left edge of the screen, it slides over and lets you search, just like iOS.



    I copied the URL to my Mini and watched this post on my 37" HDTV. Of course that didn't truly make it the experience with all the forums formatting so I opened a

    few pictures in Preview and showed them fullscreen. Hmm, at first I thought the canvas wasn't the best choice since I can 'discern the pixels' but after looking at it

    from 3m/10ft I think you made the right decision. It looks good, but in the middle is just isn't great as there are highlights in there that look a bit like it's pixelated

    (or whatever the right word is here).



    I don't think the weather widget is 'needed' as I have an iPad lying on the table or couch to control my Mini and if I want to know what the weather is I'll grab that, or

    my iPhone. The clock is good thinking and nicely simplistic done. The Apple logo mid-top reminds me of the Rhapsody days and made me want to click it (!)



    I think the size of the icons is good, certainly do not make them bigger. The 36pt title is large enough, the 'caption line' for the number of episodes and such might

    be too small for people without 20/20 vision. I'm fortunate and still don't wear glasses but the smaller line might be a little too small for those who do.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    http://i.imgur.com/oLwkK.jpg



    I'm not done with this part of the UI, obviously. Here's my plan: The search screen'll look pretty much exactly the current Apple TV's, the same keypad style on the

    left with intelligent suggestions for what you're typing on the right. (feedback request: Does that note at the bottom sound Apple-y to you? I thought it did,

    and I would personally LOVE to have that feature right now?)



    I'll come back to why I'm not done with this (or the rest of the UI, for that matter).



    Would love to see what improvements you come up with. I think the spotlight search is great, but with the screen mostly blank you might want to add something to

    it. Perhaps latest additions to users iTunes library or ... I don't know, latest purchases, whatever.



    Sorry that I don't respond to all your ideas, too little time. Did read it all, and like it.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I want to learn. Once upon a time, I thought I had a spark. I'd like that back.



    Sorry to hear you think you lost it. Doesn't look to be the case to me, but of course you know how you feel. All I can say is that with your informative posts, and

    particular with this one you are on your way to get that spark back, even though I believe you already have it, otherwise this post/work would not be read by us all.

    For that, I thank you.



    Cheers,

    PhiBoogie
  • philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,285member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gijoeinla View Post


    1) Apple should sue this guy for slander.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    I guess that's the answer to everything these days for apple...



    I guess the person didn't read the post, only looked at the mockups. People in Marketing tend to do that.
  • malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


    ... Even in some of his keynote presentations he would use 3D charts with fake wood panelling which looked awful.



    Actually that was real wood panelling in his 3D charts, make from trees he personally selected and were harvested by virgins.
  • caliminiuscaliminius Posts: 944member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by God of Biscuits View Post


    Of COURSE a grid of icons would be a bad idea for an iTunes-only device (basically a video Airport Express), when the iPhone was either not out yet or just barely out (giving the benefit of the doubt) and the world wasn't yet comfortable and familiar with the grid-of-icons concept.



    The world wasn't comfortable with the grid-of-icons concept? You mean it wasn't comfortable with the exact same style used by the Mac/PC desktop. Or the same style as the Finder/Windows Explorer in icon view? Really? That's your argument?
  • grover432grover432 Posts: 25member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    It is a startlingly bad UI from almost any point of view and for a variety of reasons.



    People here took me to task when I said Steve would never approve of it. It seems I might have been correct though.



    I agree. It is difficult to tell which icon is highlighted. Hopefully there aren't more rejected ideas in the pipeline.
  • pixelstuffpixelstuff Posts: 26member
    One thing I noticed when going from the old Dish Network DVRs to the newer Vip 922 was that for hand held remote navigation (i.e. arrow key navigation) a linear list is much easier than a gird. For a touch interface or a mouse interface the grid is probably better but with arrow keys it's more effort to constantly be moving be moving up/down left/right, instead of just up/down.
  • yensid98yensid98 Posts: 302member
    My problem with the new AppleTV UI is that it's inconsistent.



    - The Main Screen grid

    - The TV and Movie sub menus

    - The "classic" sub menu for Computers



    They all look radically different from one another. WTF??? Where's the clear vision? The follow through? There is absolutely no need for each sub menu to have a unique look. They need to pick one look and stick with it.



    As it stands, the current UI reminds me of Windows 8 in that it used multiple UI's. BTW, that's not a complement.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,529member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pixelstuff View Post


    One thing I noticed when going from the old Dish Network DVRs to the newer Vip 922 was that for hand held remote navigation (i.e. arrow key navigation) a linear list is much easier than a gird. For a touch interface or a mouse interface the grid is probably better but with arrow keys it's more effort to constantly be moving be moving up/down left/right, instead of just up/down.



    So something like this might be easier:







    You'd just do up/down to pick the main or subcategory on the left and then the content from each section could be displayed in shelves on the right, which would just be navigated vertically.



    If they do apps, then there would be an extra menu on the left called 'apps' and the apps themselves would show in a similar shelf view which could be customised.



    This UI means you'd always use the same screen for everything.
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