Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the new ipod shuffle and bad design

The new ipod shuffle interface is completely confusing and totally non-intuitive. Bring back the old one, with buttons that made sense and the ability to plug in any headphones I want.

Engadget says it best:

11 comments:

Ryan said...

For some operations, yeah, it's pretty unintuitive. But as I think about the things I do while listening to music, they pretty much consist of three things:

1. Pause the music (click the center button, easy)

2. Change the volume (up/down buttons, easy)

3. I'm sick of this track, skip to the next one (double-click the center button, also pretty easy)

Absolutely everything else is secondary to the experience. And, in the name of Zen minimalism, Apple has helpfully gotten it out of your way ;-)

Joking aside, I think someone here tried to focus on the "jogging and listening" experience. When you're jogging, do you want to be looking at buttons on a little box and fiddling with them? No. You might trip on that uneven sidewalk or get hit by the garbage truck pulling out of the alley.

What Apple has done here is create a totally non-visual UI. It might not be perfect right out of the gate, but you have to give the concept some props.

I will grant that the inability to use generic headphones is a major drawback though. Although, when has Apple ever been about making it easy to use generic cheapo accessories and peripherals?

Paul Trani said...

I agree. Totally idiotic design. Can't stand it. Looks like Apple is officially too cool for buttons.

RJ said...

I don't know, Ryan. I think the previous UI, with buttons, was pretty non-visual. I've been jogging with my ipod nano for a while now, and I don't need to look at the screen to use the click wheel. The Old Shuffle's buttons had to even easier.

Rhys said...

You have to remember that Apple concentrate more on emotion with their products instead of practicability. They have always been like that. This new iPod shuffle is no different. They get the potential buyes into buyers by sing hype and once they have achieved the sales the end-user ends up disapointed.

Max said...

I agree with Ryan - Apple designed this for athletes who listen to music. This video is pretty straight forward.
http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/guidedtour/tour/medium.html

RJ said...

I completely baffled how you can call anything in that video "straightforward." Memorizing this click/hold pattern is just ridiculous - the postage stamp shuffle with 5 buttons was the epitome of straightforward.

Andy said...

I am a runner who listens to music, and I really like my current Shuffle. This new Shuffle with controls on the earphones is a terrible idea. First, I like to run the cord inside my shirt so it's not flapping all over the place while I'm running, and you can't do that with this new design. Secondly, it's much easier to control a fixed object with tactile buttons when you're running than to have to raise your arm up to your face. Third, Apple's headphones suck and won't stay in my ears. What was wrong with the old Shuffle? It's not like it was too big or heavy. BAD move, Apple. I predict this Shuffle won't last long.

conner said...

My sister just got a green one for Christmas,And I have to say that it is so stupid to put the controls on the headphones because now She can't put in actual headphones and listen to her music that way. I wanted her to get the old one with the five, simple to use buttons, BUT they don't sell them anywhere anymore!!!

:( :( :( :(

Anonymous said...

You can still buy a refurbished previous generation shuffle through the apple store. Go to the apple store and do a search on "refurbished" and you'll be able to find it. I just bought one for 59 dolllars, which matches the price of the newer shuffle with the same amount of memory.

Anonymous said...

Well, I AM a runner, and I DETEST my ipod. Trying to double click while running is a nuissance. I get frustrated more often than not. I usually like to tuck the wires in so that they don't flap round while I run, but now I have to leave them out so I can access the controls.

Second part is that my ears are small and their earphones constantly fall out. I usually wear earbuds. But now I can't...

This ipod was a xmas gift from my kids (they had it engraved) so i will use it for a while not to hurt their feelings, but I am not at ALL happy with this product and am going to go back to my second generation very soon.

sauloFAB said...

It's the first time I see a bad product in terms of "design" by apple.
It's the worst ipod 'ive ever seen, and unfortunatelly, bought :(