Reasons Why Not To Choose a Macintosh

Reason 13 of : “Macs are unintuitive and difficult to use”

“You may hear it said that Macs are simple and intuitive to use. Simplistic and dumbed down, perhaps, but intuitive? Definitely not! Nothing is where is supposed to be, nothing works the way its supposed to work. If you want something that works right, best look elsewhere...


Macs are more difficult than what?

If such a claim is made about the Macs ease, of use or lack thereof, one would presume it is from a perspective of comparison with other computing platforms. So probably most likely as compared to a PC running Windows.

You're not going to find the answer as to which is easier by comparing features, because quite simply, what is easy or hard, is entirely subjective.

Info: If you do want to compare Windows with OS X, see the 'Macintosh virgins' page.

But you may ask, if Macs have such a reputation for ease of use and intuitiveness over the more ubiquitous Windows based systems, then how could anyone possibly think the opposite is true? Are they mad?

Okay, tell me, why are Macs difficult to use?

There's no getting away from it, computers are damn complicated things. Having an operating system with a graphical user interface (GUI) does go a large way towards hiding much of that complexity away, but they can only go so far without dumbing it down to a toy-like, feature limited level. As such, for someone who isn't au fait with computers, regardless of how it compares with Windows et al, a Mac most definitely isn't easy to use.

However, from a perspective of an individual who is at least reasonably familiar with using a computer, what they'll find easiest and most intuitive to use, will be whatever they are most familiar with. If that happens to be Windows, then for them, a Mac will inevitably be viewed as, "Nothing is where is supposed to be, nothing works the way its supposed to work."

Adapting to the unfamiliar

Both Windows and Mac OS have kindred origins, but they have since followed different evolutionary paths in interface designs and concepts. Anyone, expert or newbie alike, who is forced or chooses to use one platform when they are predominantly or solely familiar with another, will have to endure a period of acclimatisation. And not only with basic concepts of the user interface. Where things are kept in the file system, or where functions are accessed from, are also things that have to be adapted to. Or even discover if those familiar functions are needed at all anymore.

If you're still having issues or doubts about finding your way around Mac OS, I'd suggest one of the many manuals as an invaluable aid. For example:

How quickly or effectively a Windows proficient individual adapts to a Mac, can vary quite considerably. Some do so quickly, and soon begin to appreciate its way of doing things, proclaiming from now on, Microsoft can kiss their pimply ass! For others though, no matter how much time they spend with Mac OS, they'll continue to find it inferior/unintuitive/difficult/stupid/smelling of something the dog coughed up. Either because it's just not for them, or because they're so set in their ways and far too ingrained within the Windows way of doing things, it's impossible for them to adapt to that which is even slightly different from what they're used to.

So consider, if someone is offering anecdotes of Macs being "difficult to use and unintuitive", ask if they're equally familiar with each platform? Are they more immovably set in their ways that you would be? Could the differences with Macs advantageously benefit you more than they?

Some final advise

If I could offer any advise to anyone looking to try a Mac with Windows experience behind them, it would be to not try and force Mac OS to work like Windows. It'll fight you, and you'll only end up frustrated and disappointed. Go with the flow, and it'll become second nature. Only then can you make an informed decision as to which way of working fits best with your preferred way of working.

So in summary...

...there are many aspects of Mac OS X's design that leans towards the pursuit of relative ease of use. And while some may find that intuitive and logical, others may find it entirely counterintuitive. However, what one finds easy to use is much more likely to be influenced by familiarity than anything inherent. So all things considered, it's safe to say Macs are no more inherently difficult to use than any other computing platform. It's all entirely subjective.

Page content last updated 26 December 2009