Apple Logic: Be more usable than others

I know it perhaps annoys you to no end, but it is the fact: Apple Inc. is successful. Ok. Fine. I want to learn from Apple Inc. success. We all know that probably a lot of companies are making a lot of better products than Apple Inc. Both hardware and software. And in the same time they are nowhere near as successful as Apple Inc. apparently is. Why?

What is Apple’s “Appeal”?

I think most of us would agree that Apple Inc. is successful because it’s products are “appealing” to the technology consumers. Yes, I agree, there is certainly a certain “appeal” to the Apple Inc. products. And in the same time, next is where I think I digress from most of You.

I think that Apple Inc. products are not appealing to the consumers because they appear to be nice. Not at all. They look nice to some people, but there is also a lot of other “nice” gadgets around. What I think is the key factor of Apple inc. success is that it’s products appear as the ones that are most easy to use. It is the feeling, not the eye candy.

Allow me to drop on You one diagram that will appear, on the first glance, as one very good example of software architects master obfuscation.

Apple Logic
Apple Logic: Regia Optimus

The rest of the article is me defending the use of this diagram. I have tried to show the key concept to explain my theory, something that I think has to be drawn, to best explain it’s existence. Something that I am calling the “Regia Optimus”. The zone in which typical every day technology consumer feels most comfortable. My theory is that this is the region inside which Apple Inc. firmly keeps its products. The zone of ultimate consumer comfort. Any dot inside this triangle is a technology product. Like the T shown in the centre of it.

The “Regia Optimus” is the zone where typical consumer enjoys the usability of the product, experiences the flexibility of the product, and in the same time does not have to be knowledgeable beyond reason. It is as simple as that.The magical triangle above

Ro = { U0, K0, F0 }

is the Regia Optimus. The optimal technology product region. Points on the outer triangle are the maximal values of Usability,Flexibility,Knowledge-ability. Center of the triangle T is the ideal product, impossible to make, where U,F and K values are all at their most optimal levels.

To understand the value of this diagram,  use it as a tool . Place (honestly) Your product on it as a point in the triangle.
Have you been honest?
Is it inside Ro at all ?
And if it is is it where You wanted it to be?
And if it is not what attribute of the three you need to raise, or even lower?
Is Your product too Flexible, thus asking user to have too much knowledge to use ut?
Etc …

See what I mean ?