SEX AND THE CITY TV SERIE 006影集「Sex And The City(慾望城市)」中出現的PowerBook。

在多年以前,Apple筆電的發光水果標誌曾經是上下顛倒的──至少從旁觀者的角度來看。 而在最近,Apple前員工Joe Moreno在他的部落格上敘述了這段小故事……

Sometimes, even the science and studies can be wrong. Not because of an error, but because you didn’t dig deep enough.

About a dozen years ago we had some discussions at Apple about the placement of the logo on the back of Apple’s laptops. As you can see in this Sex and the City scene, the Apple logo is upside down when the lid is opened.

Apple has an internal system called Can We Talk? where any employee can raise questions on most any subject. So we asked, “Why is the Apple logo upside down on laptops when the lid is open?”

We were told by the Apple design group, which takes human interface issues very seriously, that they had studied the placement of the logo and discovered a problem. If the Apple logo was placed such that it was right side up when the lid was opened then it ended up being upside down when the lid was closed, from the point of view of the user. (If you’re currently using an Apple laptop made in the past eight years, then close the lid and you’ll see that the Apple logo will be upside down from your point of view, but right side up when opened)

Why was upside down from the user’s perspective an issue? Because the design group noticed that users constantly tried to open the laptop from the wrong end. Steve Jobs always focuses on providing the best possible user experience and believed that it was more important to satisfy the user than the onlooker.

Obviously, after a few years, Steve reversed his decision.

Opening a laptop from the wrong end is a self-correcting problem that only lasts for a few seconds. However, viewing the upside logo is a problem that lasts indefinitely.

有時,即使是科學或是研究也有可能會是錯的。並不是因為失誤,而是你還研究的不夠深入。

大約十幾年前,我們曾經在Apple內部討論了關於Apple筆電背面標誌擺放的位置問題。正如同您在Sex and the City(慾望城市)中所看到的,Apple的標誌在筆電打開時,是上下顛倒的。

Apple有個內部系統,叫做「Can We Talk?」。在這系統裡,所有的員工都可以在絕大部分的議題範圍內提出問題。所以,我們問了:

“Why is the Apple logo upside down on laptops when the lid is open?”

為何當筆電蓋子打開時,Apple標誌是上下顛倒的?

之後我們得到了Apple設計團隊的回應,他們非常重視人機介面相關的問題。根據他們的回應,在經過了標誌擺放位置的研究後,他們發現了一個問題。如果Apple的標誌在蓋子打開時是正確的方向,那麼就使用者的方向來看,當蓋子蓋上時Apple的標誌就是上下顛倒的。(如果你現在正在使用的Apple筆電是過去八年內生產的機種,當蓋子蓋上時你會發現Apple的標誌是顛倒的,而蓋子打開時標誌卻是正確的方向)

為何從使用者的方向看顛倒的標誌會是個問題?因為設計團隊發現使用者常常會試著從錯誤的方向來打開筆電。Steve Jobs一直都專注在提供最佳的使用者體驗,並且相信與其滿足旁觀者的需求,滿足使用者本身的需求更加重要。

不過顯然,在幾年之後,Steve推翻了他的決定。

從錯誤的方向試著打開筆電,是一個使用者可以自行改正的問題,而且整個過程直持續幾秒鐘。然而,看著顛倒的標誌卻是個無限持續的問題。

另外,回到1990年代。當時擔任Apple產品經理的Jon Holtzman正推動Apple產品在好萊塢電影內的置入性行銷,為了方便電影工作者拍攝,也曾經在Apple內部試圖說服高層變更Apple標誌的擺放設計。(當時常見的方式是用貼紙蓋住機身上方向顛倒的Apple標誌)不過當時Jon Holtzman並沒有成功說服Apple高層改變Apple標誌的擺放方向。

在Steve Jobs回到Apple後,也曾經針對Apple標誌的擺放問題進行了許多辯論。根據Ken Segall在其網站上的敘述:

During one of our agency’s regularly scheduled marketing meetings with Steve, he asked for our advice on what he felt was a conundrum.

Which was more important — to make the logo look right to the owner before the PowerBook was opened, or to have it look right to the rest of the world when the machine was in use?

Look around today and the answer is pretty obvious. Every laptop on earth has a logo that’s right-side up when the machine is opened. Back then, it wasn’t so obvious, probably because laptops were not yet ubiquitous.

So we debated the issue. There were decent arguments on both sides. It seemed like we were damned if we did and damned if we didn’t.

在我們廣告代理商與Steve的定期會議中,他會針對一些他覺得是難題的事情尋求我們的意見。

究竟哪個才是最重要的?是在PowerBook打開之前,讓使用者看到正確的標誌,還是當機器被打開使用時,讓世界上的其他人看到正確的標誌?

環顧今日,答案非常的明顯。地球上的每台筆電都有個當機器打開時方向正確的標誌。不過在當時,這個答案並不是那麼地顯而易見,也許是因為當時筆記型電腦還沒有那麼地普及。

因此,我們辯論著這個問題,正反雙方都有很好的理由,那狀況似乎就像是無論選哪邊都會後悔一樣。

Carrie bradshaw blogging

而在Steve Jobs進行之後的PowerBook原形設計時,才開始重新考慮Apple標誌的擺放問題,並在最後決定,讓Apple標誌以正確的方向面對整個世界。

via Mea Vita (My Life)/ Upside Down Apple Logo and Apple, the Other Cult in Hollywood – Businessweek and upside down apple logo « Observatory