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Steve Jobs Hates Buttons

Posted by kiwiscanfly on July 27, 2007

Key Rings  Image Source: History of the button

“Buttons have long been a hot-button issue for Apple’s CEO. Bruce Tognazzini, a former user-interface expert at Apple who joined the company in 1978, says Mr. Jobs was adamant that the keyboard for the original Macintosh not include “up,” “down,” “right” and “left” keys that allow users to move the cursor around their computer screens, giving it a sleeker appearance than other personal computers have. Mr. Jobs’s reasoning, says Mr. Tognazzini: Omitting the cursor keys would force independent software developers to create programs that used the Mac’s mouse — a novel technology at the time.”

“In the ’80s, Apple computer scientist Larry Tesler recommended that the company offer a computer mouse with a single button on it, reasoning that it would be less confusing for users. Years later, after Mr. Jobs returned to Apple and much of the personal-computing world was making the switch to more versatile multibutton mice, Mr. Jobs resisted the idea that computer mice should have more than one button, a former Apple executive says.”

“With the iPhone, Mr. Jobs is making a similar gamble that users will quickly familiarize themselves with typing text and phone numbers on the device’s “virtual” keyboard — a set of “buttons” simulated by software rather than etched in plastic keys on the front of the device. Mr. Jobs has said the decision to omit physical buttons from the front of the iPhone was driven by functional, not aesthetic, considerations since a virtual keyboard can be hidden when users want more screen space to view a map or watch a movie.”

For the full article & video click here.


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