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Is Apple design good for autistic people?
Yes, Apple design assists autistic traits 67%  67%  [ 18 ]
No, Apple design makes life harder for autistic users 33%  33%  [ 9 ]
Total votes : 27

StuartN
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28 Jul 2010, 8:51 am

MyType wrote:
Consumer research firm MyType conducted the study, in which opinions of 20,000 people were analyzed between March and May. The firm’s conclusion was that iPad owners tend to be wealthy, sophisticated, highly educated and disproportionately interested in business and finance, while they scored terribly in the areas of altruism and kindness. In other words, “selfish elites.”

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/07/ipad-owner-are-selfish-elites-critics-are-independent-geeks-says-study/

This is something I have wondered for a while - is the Apple design philosophy anti-autistic, in the sense that the enforced consistency, connected, always-on, highly controlled and commercially-oriented is contrary to the design needs of many autistic users?

I am well aware that Apple is reputed to employ many people with autism and autistic traits, but my autism is not your autism and I imagine that people with autism are poorer at adapting to enforced design philosophies and less tolerant of having their own methods frustrated than people who are not autistic. So an Apple product may be absolutely perfect when it coincides with a particular autistic person's needs, and hell in a shiny box for the majority.

Edit: Link was not clickable



Last edited by StuartN on 28 Jul 2010, 3:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Orwell
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28 Jul 2010, 8:57 am

Macs tend to be very popular among academics, especially in the areas of mathematics, physics, and computer science. I would expect those areas to have a disproportionate number of people with autistic traits.


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28 Jul 2010, 11:34 am

i find that Macs help with my work (music composition, audio for multimedia etc) - and in general. i couldn't use windows again if i tried.

and yes, i also use ubuntu.


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StevieC
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28 Jul 2010, 11:42 am

i should also point out that while a Mac computer is made for CREATING content (music, videos, photo editing etc), the iPad is for CONSUMING content - (buying music, ibooks etc). iPad does not have the creativity potential of the Mac. just a thought.


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BNineFounder
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28 Jul 2010, 1:14 pm

I've used Macs on and off for almost 20 years. Some aspects of OS X are much better for me than Windows, but then there are a few really awful design problems that I can't handle in OS X. For example, you can't set the Finder to display folders first, which to me is maddening. Also, you can't set up Finder for single-clicking items, you can only double-click them. Maybe there are 'haxies' out there to remedy these things, but I will never use them because I don't trust them.

Most Linux desktop environments and Windows are easier for me to use, most of the time. The addition of 'Libraries' in Windows 7 is a pain for me, but other than that, Windows does exactly what I want it to do...not so on OS X.

I guess I'm in the minority in saying Apple products aren't autistic-friendly, but that's just me. I may be on a different part of the spectrum than most.



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28 Jul 2010, 1:31 pm

you can get finder to organize objects into groups by type/kind - but i'm not sure whether it puts folders first or not...


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28 Jul 2010, 1:33 pm

StevieC wrote:
you can get finder to organize objects into groups by type/kind - but i'm not sure whether it puts folders first or not...

Thanks for the tip, but I already tried that, and it doesn't do what I want. I just want the Finder to display folders first like Windows and most Linux desktop environments do, without a bunch of hacking and nonsense. I'm sure Steve Jobs thinks his way is the best, but he's not me...is he!? :wink:



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28 Jul 2010, 2:29 pm

BNineFounder wrote:
StevieC wrote:
you can get finder to organize objects into groups by type/kind - but i'm not sure whether it puts folders first or not...

Thanks for the tip, but I already tried that, and it doesn't do what I want. I just want the Finder to display folders first like Windows and most Linux desktop environments do, without a bunch of hacking and nonsense. I'm sure Steve Jobs thinks his way is the best, but he's not me...is he!? :wink:


Pathfinder is a file browser and management application created for those who have these kinds of issues with Finder.

http://www.cocoatech.com/

I switched to Mac 7 years ago. The main thing I miss about Windows (not enough to go back to it though) is it was far easier to customize, which I often did via the registry. However, I much prefer the Mac for creating content, such as web sites, graphics and movies.



StuartN
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28 Jul 2010, 3:24 pm

StevieC wrote:
i should also point out that while a Mac computer is made for CREATING content (music, videos, photo editing etc), the iPad is for CONSUMING content - (buying music, ibooks etc). iPad does not have the creativity potential of the Mac. just a thought.


I think you are correct that it is the mobile devices that have the properties I find hardest to get on with, not Mac computers. (As an aside, I think even the mobile products like iPhone and iPad are superb pieces of engineering and design, just not suited to my preferences).



gramirez
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28 Jul 2010, 5:17 pm

I'm autistic. I'm a Mac user. So no.


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Fuzzy
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28 Jul 2010, 5:43 pm

gramirez wrote:
I'm autistic. I'm a Mac user. So no.


Yes, but can you box chocolates on an assembly line? :P


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02 Aug 2010, 7:39 am

Fuzzy wrote:
gramirez wrote:
I'm autistic. I'm a Mac user. So no.


Yes, but can you box chocolates on an assembly line? :P


No, but I can eat chocolates while reading lines of assembly! :lol:

Anyways, this thread has to be a joke. Of course Apple isn't anti-autistic. They do, however, make high-end products, and people more interested in finance and business are usually the people with the money to buy said high-end products. It ain't rocket science!

Even if that wasen't true, though, I fail to see where autism comes into this...



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02 Aug 2010, 7:50 am

Interesting. I can learn either pretty easily but I had to work with Macs only at one of my old jobs and they did seem inherently backwards to me, even after getting used to them.



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02 Aug 2010, 11:20 am

Asp-Z wrote:
Fuzzy wrote:
Yes, but can you box chocolates on an assembly line? :P

No, but I can eat chocolates while reading lines of assembly! :lol:


Oh man, don't make me spit my coffee out!! ! :lol:



StuartN
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02 Aug 2010, 5:03 pm

Asp-Z wrote:
Anyways, this thread has to be a joke. Of course Apple isn't anti-autistic. They do, however, make high-end products, and people more interested in finance and business are usually the people with the money to buy said high-end products. It ain't rocket science!


No, the thread is not a joke - but I do not mean that Apple the company is anti-autistic, I am asking if autistic people may find aspects of Apple's latest mobile devices more difficult than non-autistic people.

An example, from something that someone showed me yesterday: If you download a bunch of applications from the Apple store, then they go onto one big, flat workspace. If you click to select one application icon and then drag-and-drop it onto another icon, the operating system will automagically create a new folder using the type of the first application (e.g. "Games") and put both applications into it.

This kind of automagic functionality is brilliant, and superb for anyone who's mind works that way, or who's mind adapts to changes in operational sequences while working. Some people with poor Executive Function may find these design features extremely confusing and counter-productive, and be extremely poor at adapting to an operating system that dynamically changes in function.

Personally, I find these features extremely difficult. The application that I dread the most is iPhoto (although iTunes is fairly frustrating) because it dynamically chooses how to organise and tag my images. I do manage very well on my own (using very traditional librarianship with an image browser, photo editor and manual tagging) to maintain an extremely large image library.



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03 Aug 2010, 3:00 am

StuartN wrote:
Asp-Z wrote:
Anyways, this thread has to be a joke. Of course Apple isn't anti-autistic. They do, however, make high-end products, and people more interested in finance and business are usually the people with the money to buy said high-end products. It ain't rocket science!


No, the thread is not a joke - but I do not mean that Apple the company is anti-autistic, I am asking if autistic people may find aspects of Apple's latest mobile devices more difficult than non-autistic people.

An example, from something that someone showed me yesterday: If you download a bunch of applications from the Apple store, then they go onto one big, flat workspace. If you click to select one application icon and then drag-and-drop it onto another icon, the operating system will automagically create a new folder using the type of the first application (e.g. "Games") and put both applications into it.

This kind of automagic functionality is brilliant, and superb for anyone who's mind works that way, or who's mind adapts to changes in operational sequences while working. Some people with poor Executive Function may find these design features extremely confusing and counter-productive, and be extremely poor at adapting to an operating system that dynamically changes in function.

Personally, I find these features extremely difficult. The application that I dread the most is iPhoto (although iTunes is fairly frustrating) because it dynamically chooses how to organise and tag my images. I do manage very well on my own (using very traditional librarianship with an image browser, photo editor and manual tagging) to maintain an extremely large image library.


The folders thing is the same as any computer system, though. When you download something, it gets shoved in a folder, then you can organise it if you want. I don't get where the problem is.

As for iPhoto, I have mine set up with all the fancy crap off. I just organise the events myself, no face detection rubbish. Though, actually, I think I have an old version.

If you personally don't like it, turn the features off, don't use folders, jailbreak your iDevice and change it to how you like it, or just buy a Zune instead.