Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Style vs. Design or what Joshua Topolsky does not understand

I was listening a latest TWIT podcast with Leo Laporte, Joshua Topolsky from Engadget, and others. It was very interesting, but I totally disagree with Joshua Topolsky in what he said there. I think he's mixing together a good design and stylish appearance.

When he's saying that Google is so bad on design and Android is so ugly and unfinished as compared to iOS and Zune (i.e. Win Phone 7 ?) he is reflecting on how things appear initially and externally. Yes, Zune HD is really stylish, I was impressed at first when bought it for my mother in law. Its screen appears so beautiful too. Then I started to learn how to use it and started to explain it to my mother in law. As I immediately found, its interface is quite inconsistent. You are never sure what to try to perform an action you want. For such a simple thing as MP3 player it's a pity.
I've heard that Windows Phone 7 OS is a radical departure from a bad boring Windows Mobile 6.5, is revolutionary, and similar to Zune HD OS. So I thought: how great, we're going to get new good mobile platform. Now I really doubt it. It's kind of too revolutionary, it's a revolution for the sake of being different and stylish and not for a purpose of being functional and consistent.

Windows 7 OS is great – here I agree with Joshua and Leo. But that’s because Windows 7 is intuitive and stable, which is a big improvement over Windows XP, not because Windows 7 is stylish. That’s quite different from Zune HD OS.

Android OS, contrary to what Joshua Topolsky and many other people said, is very consistent and intuitive. It's usage of Back button is genial. You always know how to return. To go ahead you always do one of a very few things. Maybe there are less visual effects there then in iOS, Zune HD, or WebOS – that’s I don't know. But I really like as little as possible of visual effects and candy-box beauty on my cell phone. Functionality, convenience, consistency - that what is really important.

Regarding Google Buzz.
I tend to agree that it would be better to package it as a separate product, provided that a voluntary integration with other Google services is absolutely easy. Separate products, modular design with well-defined standard communication protocols is always a best choice. It's like Lego parts... On the other side, Google Buzz is not only not a failure, as Joshua thinks, it's an outstanding product and a great success. To me, Google Buzz became a main tool for expression of my opinion, for looking at what other people say and think, for discussing, and getting a targeted information. It's significantly better than Twitter too, because it allows conversations, not just shouting out into a void.

Regarding cheap Chinese labor and a better, more fair pay for it: Joshua, do you think that if Americans paid more, Chinese workers would get more and live better? Don't be naive! That's Chinese corporations and Semi-Communist government - who would get more money.