UX Strategy

The key flaw behind the latest Apple Macbook user experience

Apple have produced some of the most iconic designs of the past 20 years, and their UX teams generally produce fantastic experiences. However, the latest Macbook release has revealed one key flaw which shows: Maybe user experience isn’t any longer Apple’s top priority?

The Golden Rule of UX — “Always Design For The Context Of Use.”

This is soon to be a conversation you will hear in libraries, offices and workspaces around the world:

“Hey Steve, Can I borrow your mac charger?”

“Sorry, I have the old one. Jane has the new one.”

“Hey Jane, Can I borrow your charger?”

“Sure, here you go.”

“Oh this is the old new one, I need the new new one.”

In short, Apple currently has three different chargers in the living Mac product range — Completely ignorant to the fact that people rarely carry a charger — usually just relying on someone nearby to borrow some juice! For a while, MacBook chargers were so ubiquitous this was easy to do. Not anymore.

Macbook sleeve

Did Apple not realise that not everyone will carry their chargers?

In addition to this, when Apple first released the MagSafe charger — it was a breakthrough, a really fantastic example of them understanding the context of use. It’s simple really, people trip over cables! The new charger has also removed this feature — yet more clear evidence that user experience, and designing for the context of use is no longer top of Apple’s priority.

MagSafe connector

The MagSafe connection used to be a fantastic example of designing for the context of use.

Now, whilst I fully understand that there must be some technical reasoning behind yet another change to the charging connection — unfortunately this shows the consumer that their needs are no longer the priority.


By Tom Adcock, User Experience Consultant

What is your opinion on the new Macbook? Tweet us @uxconnections!

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