Apple Lost its Common Sense

Have you seen the latest product Apple launched? The Smart Battery Case. If not, here it is:

Apple Smart Battery Case

As you can see, it’s very very ugly. If you asked 100 designers to come up with a battery case, I don’t think this design would have been the winner.

Something happened at Apple, and not just with this product, but with the ones released before like the new Magic Mouse 2 and the iPad Pro.

Look at how you have to charge the Magic Mouse 2. You can’t use the mouse while charging it. The previous version used 2 AA batteries that could be replaced in 10 seconds so you can continue using the device.

magic_mouse_2_charging

And look at how you have to charge the new Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro

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That looks fragile. The slightest bad move on the pencil and it looks it’s going to break.

Apple lost its common sense. It’s like if Apple decided to fire the guy that made the last check before releasing a product. The guy that said “no we can’t launch that, it’s too ugly” or “that doesn’t make sense” or “the usability of that product does not exist” is not working for Apple anymore. Or maybe… was that guy Steve Jobs?

In his biography written by Walter Isaacson, it is mentioned that he always did that kind of things. Even if a product was ready to be released or in its final stages, he would look at it or use it and he would say it was too ugly, dumb or unusable and the product would be discarded.

If Apple wants us to feel that their products are special and carefully thought out again, they need a guy that makes that final check. They need a guy with a lot of common sense. Releasing a product just because it works good enough is a thing for Samsung or other competitors.

DU-BRO Factory Tour Video (7 minutes)

As some of you already know, I’m a big fan of RC (Radio Controlled) planes and I fly them as a hobby. This is why I want to share this video with you. It’s a quick tour of the DU-BRO factory.

DU-BRO is one of the best companies that makes parts and accessories for the RC world, including fuel tanks, push rods, wheels, and a list of about 1200 more items. They are based in the USA and in the RC world that is a synonym for quality, which is rare to find these days where almost everything is made in China.

Enjoy!

Thoughts on User Experience

I have to start this post saying I’m not a UX expert by any means. UX is not my professional field. These are just some thoughts I’ve had while seeing and experiencing how UX happens from the designer and user perspective across different systems, websites and companies.

I think the two most important skills a UX designer needs are common sense and empathy.

You need empathy because as a designer, you need to be on the user’s feet. You have to be looking through their eyes. You have to think of yourself as the final user of whatever your are designing. This way you’ll have a closer look at what the user is expecting from your product.

With this in mind, you will also need common sense. When designing experiences, you can’t do fool things. Fools things often happen when business needs or technology constraints are given more importance than what they really deserve. Business will come with good UX first. Not the other way around.

Avoid complicated and sofisticated and go with simple and usable. Always ask yourself if you’d be happy using what you are designing.

I’ve seen that without these basic concepts, results are often mediocre.

How to Install a Beta Version of WordPress

Even though I’ve been a WordPress user for a very long time (about 10 years) I had never installed a beta version. Until today.

I noticed WordPress 4.4 beta 1 was released just a couple of hours before writing this post and it came with a really good looking new theme: Twenty  Sixteen. So I decided to install 4.4 beta 1 to try the new theme as it doesn’t work with 4.3.

So how do you install the beta version?

Well, you have 2 options. You can download the zip, extract it and install it like any other WordPress version or you can go with the fast and easy way which is installing the WordPress Beta Tester plugin first, and then using the plugin to install the beta version of WP. I went with the latter. It all happens in the WordPress Dashboard so it’s very convenient.

After you install and activate the plugin, you have to go to Tools and then Beta Testing.

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Here you have 2 options: Point release nightlies and Bleeding edge nightlies. You have to choose Bleeding edge nightlies to get the most recent version of WordPress, in this case 4.4 beta 1.

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After that is done, you have to click on the link that invites you to upgrade and voilà, the latest and greatest version of WordPress will be installed. Although, maybe not the greatest because it warns you it’s a bit unstable, but I haven’t had any issues with it yet. The good thing is you’ll get the latest features and will be able to install the newest themes.

How to Protect WordPress From a Brute Force Attack

24 hours ago I started receiving a Brute Force Attack on one of the WordPress sites I have. The site was somewhat protected but that protection wasn’t as well tuned as I would have liked. I’ll share what I did to improve it so you can take action and protect your site in a better way.

Continue reading “How to Protect WordPress From a Brute Force Attack”

Boeing 787-8 Japan Airlines 1:200 Hasegawa

I recently finished this great plastic model that was given to me as a birthday gift this past May. I had not built a plastic model since I was like 14 or 15!

This time though, I had YouTube so I used it a lot to learn new skills that I didn’t know 15 years ago.

The kit was very well built so everything fitted perfectly and I didn’t have to use filler. The only small problem was that the panel lines were really shallow so it was a bit hard to highlight them with thin paint.

Here are some pictures of the building process and the completed model.

I really enjoyed building this plane and I think I’ll continue with a new model soon!