Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 01:11 UTC, submitted by Panajev
Apple "Earlier this week Apple fired Scott Forstall, the architect of its iOS platform, and handed his duties over to the company's chief industrial designer, Jonathan Ive. Ive and Forstall had an infamously chilly working relationship, and one of their biggest disagreements was over the role of so-called 'skeuomorphic' design in Apple's products. Forstall, like his mentor Steve Jobs, favored it; Ive disliked it. To many observers, Forstall's forced exit looks like a vindication of Ive's stance. But if he wants to continue Apple's enviable trend of innovation, he'd be a fool to throw the baby of skeuomorphism out with Forstall's bathwater." Hoped for a thorough article on the benefits of skeuomorphism - got the age-old and intrinsically invalid excuse 'because it sells'. Windows isn't he best desktop operating system because it sells so well. Lady Gaga isn't the best artist because she sells a lot of records. This argument is never valid, has zero value, and adds nothing to what should be an interesting discussion.
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Different conversations
by earksiinni on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 17:51 UTC
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A conversation about "what is best product" and one about "what should a company produce" can be very different conversations.

The main, if not the only, question in the latter is in fact "does it sell?" But if we as observers are to probe into the issue of what is best then yes, I agree that "because it sells" does not add anything. That goes without saying, however.

What does need to be stated is that "best is subjective" is not an argument either. Seems like a lot of people here (engineering types, duh) like to use that excuse the same way they like to refer to the dictionary in the middle of an argument to define the "correct" word. People: you don't need and can't have a mathematical proof backing up each statement in order to string together subject, verb, and predicate. All statements are in the end subjective.

What is more important is your ability to convince people of your vision of what is best. Apple has that ability, or more specifically Jobs had that ability. People worry that Apple is resting on its laurels assuming that the laurels are its products. Really what Apple is coasting on is its ability to be a trendsetter, but people conflate the two.

By the same token, Microsoft keeps failing to be a trendsetter. Yes, the cons of Windows Phone keep being raised here, but we all know that the commenters here are not representative of the market. The real reason MS fails isn't because of the product but because people are still able to make images like this in Photoshop that still resonate and bring back horrible memories: When, in truth, Surface is one hell of a slick looking platform, consumer Windows has been rock solid since XP SP1, and all this Metro design language that people are raving about was already there in Zune. It means nothing until MS is able to convince people that it means something; it means nothing until they make the world understand that it is the best. (And that is what they're trying to do!)

Edited 2012-11-03 17:55 UTC

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