Originally Posted by kaiser_soze
You seem to be trying to say that you have a question that you would like for me to answer. The only problem is that I have no idea exactly what that question is.
It wasn't a question for you to answer, but an observation for you to consider.
You comment reduces in effect to this: Every aspect of physical design is subjective, therefore it is not possible to criticize any of the designs on an objective basis.
Yes, because what you consider "good" is based on lots of people who are conditioned to, or have adapted to, a particular approach or solution to a problem (alpha-numerical input), and they've become very good at using the various differentiating elements of that solution. It is good that every aspect of physical design is subjective, else our world's design problems might not produce such a wide array of solutions. That would be a very drab world of sameness and without much discussion to be had.
That is an inherent problem with the observation (fixed) at hand. Anyone can always take that position and refute anyone who dares to suggest that many of Apple designs emphasize form to the point that function is tossed out the window. Taken to an extreme, disingenuous point,
It's worth noting here that your dramatization is in fact an extreme, disingenuous affirmation that Apple not only puts form first, but does not consider function at all.
that same tactic could lead a person to imply that it is not objectively better for the upper surfaces of the individual keys to have shallow scallops so to make it easier to find the individual keys. Or to imply that keyboards where the rows are staggered in separate planes like rows of bleachers do that for not good reason, but only for whim. You might also claim that keystrokes so short as to be barely perceptible are not inferior to keystrokes that measure up to some threshold that is difficult to pin down but still quite real. It does not logically follow, from the fact that it is difficult to say with objectivity what that threshold should be, that there is no objective truth to the general consensus that keyboards with very short travel, such as the keyboards that are typical of notebook computers, are inferior for that reason to keyboards with longer travel. Your challenge was disingenuous. I don't need to go and survey a bunch of professional typists just to produce an answer that is already manifest to people with good sense.
Yes, all of the design elements you specify as critical necessities are indeed subjective when considering the greater alpha-numerical input problem. It may be objectively true that they are in fact the critical design elements of the specific solution who's absence you so laboriously lament (i.e. older keyboards), but you fail to realize that your supposedly objective needs completely invalidate all of Siri's potential. Consider that Siri is attempting to resolve the same problem: alpha-numeric input. If we can some day do with our voice what you can do with your fingers, is it still objectively true to say that scalloped surfaces, staggered keys, and deeper stroke are superior design elements?
Furthermore, you completely overlooked the other point that I made very clearly, which is that people should be allowed individual choices. People who don't want those manifestly cheap, inferior, junky keyboards ought not under any circumstances find it necessary to go buy an aftermarket keyboard. That's the real problem, that I pointed out and that you just ignored.
Perhaps you've missed Apple's general approach to business? They aren't interested in offering countless products to pander to each and every consumer group, and that has been sited many times over (feel free to google "apple simple product line"). It was doubtless an imperative design goal to decide upon one, singular mechanical keyboard design that could be consistent across their entire product line and, I would argue, this has been to their great benefit, regardless of how many people dislike it.
If you like the damned keyboard, then fine, by all means use it. But I can't stand it, and there are lots and lots of people who feel the same way. If you doubt this, all you have to do is go read the comments on the Apple store.
I appreciate your benevolent permission. By the way, is there is a fair and equal representation of all those who feel differently than yourself in that comment forum?
Jobs and Ive liked the slab keyboard, and once Jobs decided that it was Applelicious, it was a foregone conclusion that if you wanted an Apple computer, that was the keyboard that you would get if it came with any keyboard at all, and the only Apple brand keyboard that you would be able to get for a computer where the keyboard is considered an accessory.
This is in line with their "simple product line" initiative and is a very popular business practice: standardize the variables you can control such that consumers know exactly what to expect and are only faced with meaningful decisions (feel free to google "choice is paralyzing"). You represent a small subset of consumers that consider choice of keyboard meaningful AND choose a specific type of keyboard that conforms to your subjective desires for scalloped surfaces, staggered keys, and deeper stroke. You, sir, are the minority.
There is the rub, that annoys me.
Yes, sometimes it sucks to be in the minority.
They should have continued to make the sort of keyboard that conventionally and broadly is regarded as a keyboard of the sort that professional typists prefer, and they should have made that keyboard an optional choice for people who prefer that sort of keyboard.
Lucky for the rest of us: you're not the new CEO.