Re: All about money
>Steve Jobs wasn't interested in the user experience. He was interested in the perceived value of his products.
The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the easiest way to up the perceived value of your products is to make sure they have some value to begin with.
Felix Dennis had the same model of microwave in each of his homes around the world. This was because he couldn't be arsed with relearning how to heat some food. Being wealthy, he could afford to remove such minor annoyances from his life. Some microwaves are easy to use, some are just unaccountably awkward.
Jobs did care about the user experience - in the products he used himself (as Mercedes Benz and Sony will testify), as well as those his company sold. If you are going to differentiate your products, it makes sense to differentiate them in area you care and think about. If you are overly sensitive to shit, careless product design, then use it as an asset. This is no less true just because Jobs also wanted to makes lots of money (though his first billion came about by accident, because he financially supported the animation side of Pixar when really he wanted their hardware to be adopted by hospitals).
Of course, the PCs I steered my dad towards buying in the nineties were for gaming, where the more MHz and MBs the better the user experience (in this case, the user experience was shooting hellspawn in Doom at a decent framerate)- you'd want them to be as high as possible for the £. So most PCs were sold on those numbers, and money was saved everywhere else - there was simply no motive for a company to invest money in smoothing off the rough edges. Were these 486-era PCs user friendly? Hell no. And whilst I learnt some skills and aptitudes as a teenager which have since been useful to me, I would had sympathy for someone who just wanted to write and print a letter, for example. I also used Acorn Archimedes and Macs from LC IIs to PowerPC models in school, consoles from Sega and Nintendo, and there was plenty to appreciate in them.
There has been plenty that Apple has done that isn't mere fairy dust, and offer tangible benefits to the user experience. Would Jobs then (maybe over-) sell it? Yeah, that was his job. That should be the job of anyone in his position.
Good design costs time and money, and for a company to make that investment it has to see a return.
I've never owned a Mac, iPod, iPhone or iPad, so perhaps I'm more familiar (and the breeds contempt) with the occasional problems and rough edges of competing products - DOS and Windows PCs, iRivers, Androids. I've encountered so many clumsy and arbitrary design choices I've lost track. Like many people here, I have the experience to skip over many of these issues, but for many laypeople they appear more like hurdles.