Until Steve Jobs came back, Apple could design a mouse. After that, form over function, and they suck.
~ Aristotle Sabouni
The keys to a good mouse include:
- A nice hand feel (rounded edged, comfortable to rest on)
- Texture, so they don't slip
- Affordances so you know without looking at it, which way to hold it
- Controls/feedback -- positive click, maybe a wheel, stuff with tactile feedback
Apple's first few mice had that (like the Mac Mouse). It was a little box with a button. Good enough. It worked, and they really put function over form. They worked on mechanics, reliability, and feel -- and they outperformed anyone's mice.
Then Steve Jobs came back, and NeXT designers took over. And after that, Apple blows it on all the basic requirements. But they look purty. But it's like which tractor wins the beauty contest. I don't want something that looks sexy, if it can't do work. It's a blob on the desk -- that should feel good -- and that's too much for Apple designers since ≈1998.
Apple Disasters[edit | edit source]
(2005) was the Mighty Mouse (or Apple Mouse since they got into a trademark dispute with a cartoon character) -- which while not mighty. Annoyingly smooth, whole button thing, but it also had a little clitoris/ball on top that at least told you which way to orient the thing -- but the ball was so small that it clogged or broke easily and stopped working, and was jumpy or didn't give you good control when it did work.
Not one of them is worth owning.
Steve and NeXT did a lot good for Apple. But we did take a lot of steps back in human factors and User Interface design. (Usually putting graphic design and style over utilitarian functionality). So Apple can design computers and computers... but keyboards and mice? Those seem to be the second string teams at Apple, that often fuck it up.