Form over function?


macrumors G3
Original poster
Jan 11, 2002
Los Angeles
Which is more important to you? I'm pretty pragmatic, so function usually takes priority over form. Heck, my "desk" right now is a flat, wooden door support by two 2-door filing cabinets. Pretty? No, but she's strudy and I got a heck of a lot of works space for very little money, not to mention she's really easy to move. :D

Do you think Apple sacrifices too much function to keep it's "expected" form? I think the most obvious example is the mouse (hockey puck and one button). Some people's whole arguement 'bout keeping the one button mouse was that it's "pretty/cool" or "it's different." And that, IMO, is just dumb. Being cool or different is fantastic if you still have a competitive product. But being cool or different just to be cool or different is dumb. I think Apple's case design is perfect harmony of form and function. It looks very cool, and it does it's job as good as any other case out there. Aside from the fact that I have to use a hotkey or software "button" to open the Super Drive I love everything 'bout my Quicksilver. The iMac is another good example of form and function.

What do you think? How well do you think Apple handles form vs. function?


P.S. Please don't let this turn into another "mouse" thread, I was just using that as an example.


macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2002
Buffy's bedroom
It's all about trade-offs, and I think Apple handles them all very well. Certainly better than any other computer company.


macrumors 68040
Dec 29, 2001
apples is the only company that takes chances like the cube it flunked
and then they bounced back with the imac whcih is totally cool
like steve jobs said
"were gonna innoviate ourselves out of this one"

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
Apple Design Feng Shui

There's unlimited options in the form vs. function design ideal. For Apple they have an aesthetic that's put into the equation which cause more of a limit on what you get in a computer.

The cube could have kept its form, but been a little bigger to support PCI cards, for example. But the designers were going for something different.

As long as they always have a machine thats expandable, I'll be happy. I'll trust Apple to come up with innovative designs that will stay ahead of all the competition.


macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
I think Apple's always put both form and function at the forefront... (ease of use)

The mouse is a bad example because there are people (Jef Raskin) who firmly believe that the one button mouse is all about "function".

As Mac OS 9 showed it's age, it was a harder argument... but with Mac OS X.... I think function on the mac shines... as well as form.

In terms of other examples of Apple pushing both form and function was Newton OS. A handheld os designed to be used as a handheld....



macrumors 68040
Dec 29, 2001
when steve and the team designed the first imac
steve went and studied the whole zen buhda thing for a while to get inspired
and he said let each element be true to itself