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Excuse me, but your agenda is showing.
The notch is a brilliant piece of design, not because it’s aesthetic or usable (because it’s not). The notch is a brilliant piece of design because through it’s introduction, it’s slowly deleting the user’s compulsion to register with their true thoughts. How have they been doing this? The notch is very transparent in how it exposes its subjects (you) to accept a lie that the notch is a superior solution warranting its premium price. Cattle farmers have evolved from the learnings accumulated from the past. They devised a system by which the beef cows they raise feel safe, until the moment they’re slaughtered. It’s a system of curved fencing that sweeps the cattle into a funnelling channel. It’s believed the 180 degree curves that S their way forward, convince the cows they are returning to the pasture (like a U-turn). Successful design is about making the customer feel safely distracted from the underlying agenda. That agenda is to safely steer you into compliance, in order to accept the hand you’ve been dealt.
Many of us who can afford a phone with a component masquerading as a premium solution, do not choose to participate with reality because the compulsion to register with one’s true thoughts has become a burden (under a technological regime). A burden to what? To risk standing out in a crowd of complacent cows? To relate this back to the example above, I would argue that the notch is like a fence (a foreign implement) that conditions the cows (that’s you), to accept the hand that you’ve been dealt or risk breaking the design. As long as the farmers (that’s Apple) make us feel safe, we vigorously ignore the potential consequences in the future (a future which most fear should they not be associated with change). Ironically in the cow’s case, change no longer feels like death. In the customer’s case, that means your blind allegiance.
What are people afraid of? Take your pick. There are a ton of things to be afraid of (and will never happen). Even when your instincts predict your fears are warranted, the cloak of compliance camouflages you from being identified as an individual; an individual that risks being ridiculed. You may think that’s preposterous, because change is the only constant thing we cannot avoid experiencing. By embracing change, I’m associated with the march of progress. Yes, well I’m here to assess the validity of the progress. Change for the sake of change is not good design when its purpose is to merely acknowledge that the present is disappearing. Good design tends to persevere because it manages to make progress without change. Great design gels into the fabric of reality where you learn to appreciate where best to invest your energy within time. Imagine the notch on the iPhone X is the rim of a cowboy’s hat dividing the forehead between his hair line and eyebrows; sitting on the head of a person broadcasting no harm will come to you if you do what we say. Even when your instincts predict your fears are warranted, everyone interprets design differently. That’s what inspires me when I look at the notch. When it comes to exercising compliance, I feel like a cow. Apple is just calling a spade a spade. When change is the principle factor of innovation, anomalies in technology begin to sprout-like the notch. In this case it is a design disorder of the inability to achieve the optimal solution in the budgeted timeframe. In the notch, you are embracing a portrait of an unsettled mutation that fails to camouflage the design’s underlying agenda.
FaceID, is like a cow being branded as property. Yeah I get it, people don’t like bezels…but by sacrificing screen real-estate (your pasture), you are taught to accept a lie out of fear you are not associated with change; even if it makes you look like an asshole. When does good design become about exercising restraint? Where does it end, why do we give up our privacy for the security of our convenience? A larger pasture helps you forget you’re a prisoner. I say we must do the opposite, we must give up our convenience for the security of privacy. Yeah I get it, I am in the minority when it comes to what Apple’s marketshare suggests is a successful design, but giving what I’ve just explained about people who love the notch, I’m ok with sitting in the minority. I refuse to accept that my well being must be undervalued if I do not conform to a lie. Who’s treating me like cattle? That’s not the point, if someone or something is treating you like cattle, remember you’re not a cow. You are not a cow, so don’t respond like a cow being corralled into a chute (don’t be compliant). If cattle could talk, they would tell you, “Don’t be frightened of change, it’s just change that’s all…how can change be bad?
The truth is when I am aware my well being is undervalued, I comply. It’s not a proud thing to admit but it helps to explain where I draw this opinion from. Stand in line, wait here, you are late, you are on time, buy this, watch this not that, sleep here, drive there, where did you eat, hey…I ate there too. In a way I envy people who are not afraid of change, because they don’t live to regret what they should have chosen to persist in their lives. Change is great until it’s not, then it’s the worst thing ever. Quick…whats going to make me feel safe, oh I’ll watch biased media, oh I’ll watch my favourite sports team, oh I’ll play multiplayer video games, oh I’ll buy the latest phone. If you act like cattle there’s always someone out there who is going to treat you like cattle. If companies can know that by treating people like cattle, they are too unaware to resist. Without the promise of immediate relief from experiencing anxiety only if you comply with their agenda. I may be crazy, but I don’t think my readers are cattle.
This is why I can’t be a designer anymore, because by towing the company’s agenda I’m aware that I’m treating my users like cattle. Unfortunately, that’s what I see. I may be wrong, but users predictably respond to fear, authority and change. Buy this and I’ll make you feel safe from change. Oh no…change is happening! If this describes you, you live in a haze above the true thoughts that live to flush you with anxiety when you are treated like cattle. Wake up. The notch as far as I’m concerned is the WORST piece of design in the history of smartphones. You are not a cow, act like it.