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The upside down Apple logo.

The recent shutdown of Google Reader has resulted in me wading through the masses of old articles that i’d bookmarked for later reading but never bothered to. Given the fast-paced nature of tech, a lot of this stuff is now irrelevant but occasionally i find something that is still of interest or worthy of remark. Or something that boils my piss.

Back in May 2012 a story did the rounds about the reasoning behind Apple’s old laptops carrying an “upside down” logo.

Here’s the opening paragraph from Cult of Mac’s story:

When you open up your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro, the glowing Apple logo on its hood sits upright so that everyone in Starbucks knows that you’re using a Mac. However, it hasn’t always been that way. There was a time when Apple logos were upside down on the lid of Apple notebooks, until Steve Jobs realized his mistake.

And here’s the not-at-all-hyperbolic opening from TUAW’s version:

It was perhaps one of the most baffling and frustrating design choices Apple ever made: the upside down Apple logo.

A Steve Jobs mistake. Baffling and frustrating design choice. Hmm. The reason for the “upside down” logo is clearly spelled out in the source material for this story, a blog post by former Apple engineer Joe Moreno:

We were told by the Apple design group, which takes human interface issues very seriously, that they had studied the placement of the logo and discovered a problem. If the Apple logo was placed such that it was right side up when the lid was opened then it ended up being upside down when the lid was closed, from the point of view of the user.

Why was upside down from the user’s perspective an issue? Because the design group noticed that users constantly tried to open the laptop from the wrong end. Steve Jobs always focuses on providing the best possible user experience and believed that it was more important to satisfy the user than the onlooker.

The logo was like it was in order to help users. This story should just be further evidence that Jobs cared more about customer experience and satisfaction than anything else. Yet these stories spin it on its head. TUAW opts to conclude with:

Thankfully, Jobs eventually reversed his decision. […] It also goes to show that Steve Jobs, as great of a design genius as he was, didn’t always make the right design choices the first time around.

Clowns. Fucking poseur clowns. You only use a Mac so you fit in at Starbucks? Who cares what your device looks like to on-lookers? Having the apple “upside down” does aid users with opening the lid. I have witnessed people try to open their Mac from the hinged edge, and fallen for it myself on more than one occasion, because of that logo positioning. If Steve Jobs was involved in this decision then the only mistake you could possibly accuse him of making was giving-in to the Marketing people.

Needless to say, Cult of Mac and TUAW are no longer in my RSS subscriptions.