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Aliza Ben-Arie

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Mac vs Windows OS: One Size Fits All?

With regard to the Mac and Windows Operating Systems, it is clear that designers make assumptions about your values, choices, and the ways in which we relate to our interfaces.
What assumptions about you are embedded within the program? As a user, how are you affected by these designs?
How do the designs (aesthetics as well as usability) of the Apple and Microsoft Operating Systems affect the way you relate to the OS?
How do the designs of these Operating Systems affect the way you interact and communicate with others in the physical world?

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  • May 9 2013: I am an Apple user, so I'll speak from that perspective:
    It assumes, first and foremost, that I am somebody creative who cares a lot about visual presentation. It believes that being meticulous and careful will make me more likable (cool or otherwise, but definitely creative) to other people. It is somebody who values hands-on approaches (especially with iPads, and even the new Mac mouse, there is an emphasis on being one with the machine)...
    • May 9 2013: Hi Francis,
      I get what you're saying. Society has a sort of pre-conceived notion of the sort of person a Mac-user is, as opposed to a PC-user? A Steve Jobs as opposed to a Bill Gates?
      I find it interesting that you say, being an Apple user, "It assumes...I am somebody creative who cares a lot about visual presentation".
      My brother is an industrial designer, is extremely creative and visual presentation is not only his passion, it is also his livelihood. He uses CAD (computer-aided-design) which is designed specifically for the PC, so although he too grew up in a Mac environment, his creativity and passion for visual presentation led him to becoming a PC-user.
      My other brother is a senior graphic designer. He is also extremely creative and visual presentation is also not only his passion, it is his livelihood. He uses Adobe, which is just as accessible for PC as Mac, despite the fact it was first picked up by Apple, but for some reason his choice ended up the Mac.

      I get the impression Apple is more accommodating when it comes to implementing a dual platform environment, but at the same time has an overrated, expensive and rather elite reputation. It is more intuitive, and innovative, but the majority of the world uses PC for a very important reason - it's more affordable and more accessible.
      • May 9 2013: I would absolutely agree with you, Lizanne. I too began as a PC user but switched to Apple when I started college.

        To me, it seemed at the time Apple was about sophistication. I still remember when I first saw my friend having a MacBook Pro and how cool it looked. Of course that was before having any experience with it, and I was expecting a "difficult to use machine," as my parents have said. But I quickly found found that its setup is simple and intuitive. With a simple pinch I can change screens, whereas on the PC, I have to manually click buttons. I'd venture to say the touch approach is perhaps why Mac's are so successful today because the machine literally becomes an extension of man. What Apple offers then is the appearance of sophistication yet simplicity of use.
        • May 9 2013: I think, it's important to have experience using both platforms, before suggesting one is 'better' than the other. My dad, (who actually had to argue to his superiors in support of computers in the industrial design department at the University of Washington back in the 80's) brought home a Classic Mac that was I can only describe as my 'best friend' for many years. Just the happy little computer face that welcomed me at start-up was enough to personify it!
          I thought the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials were pretty enlightening!
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5z0Ia5jDt4

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