opinion: TOO MUCH DESIGN?

Apple is known for the importance they place on design.  The company has used the power of design to develop a strong brand identity that is seen across all platforms; from products to advertising.  We all know an Apple product as soon as we see it.  The effect the company has had on the design world cannot be overstated.  

By thinking outside of the proverbial box, by never settling, and by always thinking of new ways to approach design; Apple has helped shape the role design plays in our society.  Of course, nothing is ever perfect.  Apple has been criticized for its share of design sins, from skeuomorphism to a tendency for Apple products to look out-of-date rather quickly.

 IMAGES: APPLE.COM

IMAGES: APPLE.COM

But my gripe is with the Apple mouse.  At the moment I'm typing this on an Apple keyboard, looking at an iMac screen, and performing the brand identity taboo of using a Microsoft mouse.  The Apple Magic Mouse is beautiful.  Its simple geometry is sculpted of clean, symmetrical lines.  The problem is, the human hand is hardly simple, and definitely not symmetrical.

There are 29 bones in the human hand (some of us have even more), 29 major joints, 123 ligaments, 34 muscles, 48 nerves, and 30 arteries; all allowing the hand to move and contort in a near infinite number of ways.  The Apple Magic Mouse has one curved shape.  How can a mouse with a single, symmetrical shape comfortably and functionally fit a human hand with famously opposable thumbs?

 image: dailymail.co.uk

image: dailymail.co.uk

This is a case of Apple putting form over function.  The function of the mouse should have dictated an asymmetrical design ergonomically designed to fit the complex human hand.  Instead, Apple's designers appear to have gotten obsessed with minimalist aesthetics at the expense of functional design.