Has Apple ever made a product with bad design?


Have you heard of the latest revolutionary MacBook Pro with the revolutionary Touch Bar and Touch ID? (link to product)

I have been using Apple products since I was born, and moved to Windows 8 and now Windows 10 and loved it. Lately I had a Dell Precision 5510 full spec 4K touch screen 1To SSD and 32Gb of DDR4 - beast - but shitty battery life of course when you have all of this inside.

But I recently changed my job and they gave me a MBP Touch Bar 15″

I was curious to reuse Apple products after several years away from it.

Everyone was looking at me with envy, especially when they were staring at the touch bar changing the available actions according to the context.

I was less than impressed, it has existed for a long time, especially in the gaming environment, but OK Apple I’ll give you the bonus point of being the first manufacturer to ship laptops built-in feature on a massive scale.

Good thing with the touch bar is that you keep your keyboard.

Now from a usability point of view…

Let me give you one simple explanation with one word: “esc”

Now I am giving you another hint: “mechanical vs tactile”

Do you see where I am going with this?

Basically you’re typing and hitting the numpad 1/! or 2/@ or even maybe since you’re crazy why not use the `/~ ?

All my emails are going to drafts, or I am closing my chat windows… it is not THAT critical, until you hit this more than 10 times a day…

As I mentioned the (obvious) difference between mechanical and tactile, let me elaborate:

  • If I touch (putting my finger on top, no pressing) the mechanical esc key, nothing will happen.
  • If I touch the tactile (yeah…) esc key, suddenly it triggers an action.

Having the mechanical action to trigger a reaction is a safety measure especially while typing on mechanical keys close to each others… but this esc key is so close to the mechanical key that even just slightly touching it, enables it.

To be fair, same happen with the sound or screen luminosity touch keys. But hitting them is never critical, it is just simply… annoying.

Good think you can customize their position: but not for esc - because by habits (best practice?) esc is located on the top left of the keyboard.

But OS X will sometimes replace esc… good luck with that!

In this example you see I have replaces Siri (always launching) with the lock screen function as a test (it is really annoying to lock your screen while actually trying to hit the delete key…

But good thing I can remove it by sliding it to the left, where is the done button on the picture (notice how it replaced the esc button…)

Suddenly done = esc ??? Technically it is OK, since clicking done without doing anything will have the same result as clicking esc


If I have changed something, clicking done will validate, what if I did a mistake or want to cancel and go back to my previous configuration? Well I will just click on esc… oh

Anyways I hope you get my point. I have found so far less good sides than bad sides regarding usability for this revolutionary Touch Bar. I think having contextual menus or keyboards is definitely the way to go but please, be more user centric Apple…

A quick one about Touch ID: it is almost NEVER working, and even makes the computer freeze for 5 seconds before having me to type anywhere on the mechanical keyboard in order to enter my password manually… what a revolution :)

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