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Apple vs Google in 10 honest graphics
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I was randomly browsing the internet when I found something interesting, the “Not By AI” badge, which certifies that your contents are written by a human. It’s the work by Allen Hsu (Design Lead at Modo Modo), and I was captivated by this. I checked his articles on Medium, and I’ve never seen honest, fun stories like this before — today, we feature one of Allen’s stories here to inspire the community. Many designers already look to him for inspiration, and I suspect this story will only increase that. Enjoy!
Apple vs Google in 10 honest graphics
Apple and Google are both tech giants who take pride in UX and design, but why are the products created by one so different from the other (besides the times when they actually copied from each other)? While I don’t work for either company, as a hybrid Apple and Google user who happens to be in the design industry, I decided to illustrate the different design approaches observed between Google and Apple.
Google: create what users think they want
Apple: create what they think users want
Google: development over research
Apple: research over development
Google: consistency focused on visual consistency
Apple: consistency focused on user experience
Google: press releases and teasers
Google: redesigns and new trends
Apple: evergreen, long-lasting design
Google: simulated privacy
Apple: true privacy
Google: extensive coverage
Apple: limited coverage
Google: flat structure with distributed power
Apple: hierarchical structure with centralized power
Google: spotlight and promotions
Apple: retain existing structure
Apple in a nutshell
When the first iPhone came out and a reporter complained about how it was too hard to type on a touchscreen, Steve Jobs replied: “Your thumbs will learn”.
Apple often knows the users more than the users know themselves.
They do this by lengthy and careful research and focusing on providing good and consistent UX and evergreen solutions. They also have a hierarchical structure where a few elite designers control the quality of the final deliverables. While it is great for crafting perfect products, it often requires more time and effort upfront. This “we know what you want” approach can also sometimes be seen as less friendly to many.
Google in a nutshell
Google, on the other hand, tends to get validation from its users. They often open-source their work when possible and appreciate contributions and feedback from the communities. This helps them create a diverse product portfolio efficiently and bring in a massive user base (where Google collects its data from). Remember the modular phone Kickstarter concept that went viral in 2013 and then got took over by Google? Heavily relying on users has its pros, and certainly its cons.
While users’ voices should be heard, designing for users doesn’t mean making them the designers. It means observing the users to learn what they want.
Whose side are you on? Let us know in the comments.
Thank you, Allen! You can follow Allen for more on Medium. Have a fulfilling and productive week. 🙏
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