I want me one of those!

may as well call it ifry … how can anybody expect to do “serious” work on that without frying it

I like the how the cords all come out of the back of the part of the screen instead of down low were they wouldn’t be seen as well.

And the USB ports sandwiched in between the headphone jacks and the ethernet outlets will be all to easy and intuitive to get my memory stick in and out of.

Oh yeah and the power button is, yep right there were I would expect it, behind the screen as well… absolutely the best interface I’ve ever seen.

Great job Mac :unamused: ! Once again all form, little function.

funny how I have this same Functional problem with my PC workstation. I have to plug everything into the back of my computer. You see I have to do a Limbo dance to reach under my desk to plug those things in, as opposed to the Mac where I could be reaching two inches behind the monitor to plug the same items in.

Its not a new placement either. I seem to remember a certain Mac CRT (not the iMac) that sported two USB ports on the side and a headphone port on the right side front of the monitor.

So which one would you say has not thought about function?

I also seem to remember most power buttons on 90% of electronic devices are in the back. Wait lemme check, yep there it is down there,…every morning i turn on my IBM computer with the master power button,… in the back on the right.

they probably used a PC to do the CAD work on that thing.

That is absolutely true (and funny), I never even thought of the apple design team having the same problem as I do. I am a big fan of mac and osX but i am now changing my entire studio over to PC. Unfortunately you cant run ProE or Solidworks on a Mac!

The last iMac was innovative and sexy. This isn’t.
In fact, it looks like an overweight flatpanel that outgrew it’s stand.

All those cords coming out of the back in a row will look like a bad combover (not to mention interfere with the tilt and mobility.) Perhaps that’s why they avoid showing typical hookups in their gallery. Plus you still have to look in the back of the damned thing to find your jack–I much prefer an elegant USB dock or the side connectors favored by laptops.

Speaking of which, isn’t the fundamental issue about why you’d buy into this form-factor instead of a Powerbook or Tablet PC?

Mark Rolston of Frog Design is quoted saying “It’s the last desktop computer, in a sense, the last leg of design before everything becomes a laptop or a tablet. There’s no waste there.” While I might agree that this is the last leg of design, I would say that there’s huge waste there–the form affords portability, and yet it has none. Why?

A true innovation would have been to take advantage of desktop needs and give us a high-speed superdock that includes a slot for an iPod, cordless-mouse and mobile phone. One high speed cable to the iMac would handle all of the firewire, USB, audio, and Ethernet, plus AC power. Elegant and useful.

Don’t you get the feeling that this model is all about reducing the manufacturing costs of the previous over-the-top model?

I’m still utterly baffled as to how to open the cd drive or get retrive my zip disk every time I sit in front of a new model of apple computer. I think they have gone past functionality and are entirely to focused on form now. This thing is unattractive to me as well. Whoopity Doo!!! A flat panel monitor and a pain in the ass for cord management! I think they should have focused more on hiding wiring in a more robust stand instead of making a thin aluminum bracket that looks akward on a 2" slab anyway.

i’m disappointed.

This new iMac seem to be a nothing more than a laptop on a stand?

I guess I WAS the only one impressed by the new iMac. I agree with the suggestions here, ie it is too much like a laptop and the cord management issues.

I was impressed though comparing it to my set up. I have this big ugly box on the ground (that I had to paint myself to get away from all that beige), I have this HUGE 19 inch CRT (beige), a rather ugly but cheap keyboard (beige) and my Logitech optical mouse (fitting nicely into the beige by being silver and blue). This new iMac is essentially as powerful as my current set up, but I lose all that ugly junk laying under and on my desk. The wireless mouse and keyboard must be a joy as well. Other than the necessary evils of USB and electricity, they have almost liberated us from cords, but maintained the strengths of a desktop.

Frog and cg are probably right though, we have almost designed the desktop into a laptop and therefore made the desktop obsolete. But for the next few years, this thing will be THE desktop in my eyes.

Yeah, you know when the iMac hit the scene, there was definitely a niche for it. Back then powerful color laptops didn’t cut it as desktop replacements, and they were expensive. Not so anymore. I’d like to see the sales trends over the years, I’m sure you could plot the death of the desktop.

Instead of the iMac, Apple should have given us a great DVR Mediacenter–especially now that they’re re-tooling themselves around iTunes/iPod.

Anyone else think about the Cube?

Wrong, the problem with your statement is that yes PC had the problems you stated but that was mostly in the past. This Mac comp is brand new…supposed to be cutting edge and its not.

Here’s some PC’s that are similiar concept yet much more user-friendly and just as modern if not more so.

Gateways Profile 5: http://www.gateway.com/products/tours/prf5_prodtour.shtml
(much better than the Mac)

Dell Dimension slim tower: Thank you for choosing Dell.
(although to be fair the thing I hate about Dells are they they don’t realize that people put the towers on the floor and the access door flips up so you can’t see the outlets inside)

I seriously wonder why these companies don’t utilize usability experts because their designers certainly aren’t cutting the mustard.

I wonder what Apple thinks about IBM ditching their NetVista X all-in-one?

“Sometimes looks don’t matter and functionality wins over form.” (Well, for IBM customers anyway…)

Wrong, the problem with your statement is that yes PC had the problems you stated but that was mostly in the past. This Mac comp is brand new…supposed to be cutting edge and its not.

Here’s some PC’s that are similiar concept yet much more user-friendly and just as modern if not more so.

Gateways Profile 5: > http://www.gateway.com/products/tours/prf5_prodtour.shtml
(much better than the Mac)

I seriously wonder why these companies don’t utilize usability experts because their designers certainly aren’t cutting the mustard.

That Gateway is better?! Once you figure out the poor navigation on the site look at it really:

See the four USB ports stacked together and surrounded by no less than seven different ports. From VGA to ethernet to more headphones to external speakers, all crammed into a recess in the back. How is one supposed to find the right port by feel amongst all of that? Especially looking for a USB placed under a VGA port. they did color code them though, great when you have to turn the cpu/monitor around to figure out what to plug into.

How is it easier to use? How is it easier when something is plugged into the VGA port and you need to use a USB port? or even if you just need a USB port you still have to turn the computer around to hit the right port.

The Mac’s ports are in a logical heirarchy, from smallest (headphones) to largest (ethernet) all arrainged vertically a unifrom distance away from an edge, making it easier to feel for the port as you are reaching for it on the edge of the monitor. rather tha having to turn it around to plug somethging in. Morover its on the middle side not in a lower corner, or directly in the back of it. Also the ports are flush with the surface, nice detail, didn’t have to sink anything into the surface to delineate that space.

yeah there is no headphone jack on the front, and thats annoying.

Your love of Mac (or possibly the fact that you were one of its designers) has made you blind to the truth. I think the majority of other opinions on this thread illustrate that as well.

First off the website’s navigation is outstanding. I have no idea what you’re even talking about when that’s about the best detail of a product I’ve ever seen. It readily lists 3 or 4 orthographic views. Then it even easily utilizes a pull over eyeglass to see the details of the product as you desire. Then it even SPECIFICALLY will focus on each highly used items (in that particular view) when you click on that item. Hello, it doesn’t get any better than that!

Back to the product, the USB ports on the back don’t need to be “felt amongst” because they are only accessed when you first put this thing together and then on other very rare times when you might add or remove something like a mouse or printer. That is why the color coding is so necessary and effective to easily distinguish to those that don’t know computers and their accessories like you and I do, how to assemble the system.

The design is related to task frequency. That is why the rarely used posts are in the back (and aesthetically hidden unlike the Mac) and the frequently used ports are either on the side or right there in the front. DVD, headphone, speaker jacks, power button, all smacking you right in the face. There are two USB ports readily and easily found to the particular product uninitiated for use such as memory sticks, and camera cards on the side. Unlike the Mac that only has USB ports in the rear amongst the clutter of other ports. Joe Lunchpail is going to be able to find the ports he needs on a day to day basis much easier on the Gateway than the Mac.

You mention hierarchy of size on the Mac, now you are really reaching. When is someone going to look at this thing from the side and think ok the top port has a audio jacks which are small and the Ethernet ports which are big on the bottom so my memory stick must go in between even though I can’t see back there… “&^!*#@! can’t get the damn thing in” is the more realistic result.

The gulf of executions between the user’s intended intention, understanding the task sequence required, and taking action is shorter on the Gateway.

  • One last thing, check out the back of the Gateway base it even has a place to carry it say if you are moving. That’s a nice little addition. Every time I move I wished that these things (towers, speaker, and especially heavy and bulky TVs) had a place to hold onto it when moving them. Awesome, just awesome. Game, set, match: Gateway.

Never buy a gateway. Every person I know who owned 1 had huge problems. There is a reason why dell is doing soooo much better than gateway. I don’t care how great the shell the hardware looks/works, if it can’t function as a computer should then its just a very large paperweight.

um yeah, thats real good. It loads slow, when it loads, and its especially annoying when the maginfiying glass is about 22 mm across, I can see alot in it. You would think that it could be a little more interactive wuith a 360 degree quicktime VR with not only rotation, but pan scan and zoom.

maybe your confusing yourself, but since you have posted as a guest, wasn’t it you who posted pointed out about the cramped access of the USB ports on the Mac when you wanted to swap your removeble memory chips? From “guest” page one third post down: "And the USB ports sandwiched in between the headphone jacks and the ethernet outlets will be all to easy and intuitive to get my memory stick in and out of. " Even on those “Rare times” it still would be a pain in the ass as all the ports are crammed next to each other, in no planned order or fashion.

color coding is a band aid for the poor layout. good layout would be intuitive. that layout is not. There is no order to it.

um when they pull it out of the box? Usually most users inspect their objects when they buy them before use, you know to familiarize themselves with it…

really? did the design group just portray the user as "Joe Lunchpail(!?!) and assume that he would slam items into his $1500.00 invetsment? You always put words into your customer’s mouth? Do you ever really listen to them? Seems that there was a usability focus as opposed to a consumer focus on this design.

Bull shite

Thanks, you are the Designer of the Gateway. So what is the intended task sequence? If its your intention to design a clear task sequence, why is the sequence incoherent, non-heirachical and not obvious at a glance? Come on its bull shite… While I’m sure that usability factors were analyzed and used, its really poorly communicated.

Simply put even if it does fulfill its user’s task sequence (???) why does it look so damn brutal and utilitarian? There is nothing that communicates a specific (or even a flexible) “Task Sequence” to a user. There is more to product design than useability factors and “task sequences”. They are means not ends. If you can’t integrate and communicate these things into a from you are not accomplishing your intent. You are pissing into the wind.

Case in point: You had to explain it to me. While I can figure it out just by looking at the Mac

You are correct. How much does a Gateway weigh? how much does the Mac weigh? Of course you need the handle, its heavy, when you need to move the computer to plug anything in the back you need a handle to pick it up.

I will assume that you are a desgner of the aforementioned Gateway product. While I will withhold some of my heavier critique on it, I will say that in comparison to the Mac it is a lousy design. Its too complicated. There is too much going on on it. Its overfunctional and brutal. Using three different color plastics on the fascia complicates the form, so much that you need color coding just to figure out where the headphones go. I can look at a Mac and understand where things go just by looking, touching and feeling (user emotive/experience); enough that I don’t need to read a manual or have someone explain it to me using color codes to do so.

Sometimes what makes a design is not what you put in to it, but what you leave out. The Gateway has too much put into it, the Mac may have too much left out. but at least it has coherence; something which the Gateway lacks.

now if you will excuse me I have whole experiences to design,…

Oh whatta buncha crap. “Overfunctional?”

Color coding of peripherals is an international standard and is particularly helpful once learned as you move from product to product (Green always = headphones.) If color was a “band aid” for poor layout then OSX would be black and white by your logic.

Of course users are going to fumble around with those hidden connectors!
The question is, is that a bad thing?

Many of them are keyed for one-way insertion (USB, Ethernet) Some aren’t (headphones, mic, power) some are two-way (firewire.) Discerning the difference by touch is hard enough, but getting the keying right is a 50-50 crapshoot. Stacking those connectors in a row was an act of graphic-design, not usability. “Good layout” would involve putting the connectors you use frequently in an area of greater accessibility (back to my “dock” comment.)