More than a year after first release and couple updates, I still don’t like new Keynote. I thought features like similar look and feel between OSX and iOS, new transitions, and iCloud support will win me over but…It is clear that in order to simplify this time around Apple actually added more steps for a user like me to get job done. Let’s look at simple example to understand what I mean by additional steps.

Consider changing color of an object on the chart. In Keynote 09 color tool was right there in the top menu bar, just one click away. See screen capture below:

Keynote 09

In Keynote 6.1 same tool is at least two clicks away. One for expositing the “Format” side bar from right, second to expand “Fill” menu so as to click on color tool.

Keynote 6.x

Of course one need to remember simply clicking on color shown next to “Fill” menu only exposes predefined colors and gradients based on template you are using. Which means you must expand “Fill” menu to access color wheel.

Interface is same on iOS and OSX but this is coming at cost of adding more steps for simple task like one I described above. Why would Apple do something like that?

  • Common UI is more important than fewer steps to complete a task
  • Appropriate defaults will make novice users productive quickly

First reason is really against Apple’s design principles. Second reason may be true but works only if your goal is to please novice users. BTW these novice users may realize these additional steps sooner than later as they get comfortable with the software. Quickly turning in to an annoyed user like me.

I always appreciated Keynote’s design compared to PowerPoint. Simple things like how ruler work, aligning of objects and text on a chart, and many more such features shows thoughtful design. Not just me but others who suggested Keynote over PowerPoint probably did so because of thoughtful design. Has Apple lost focus on their user base who appreciated this thoughtfulness? Or this is new Apple who is more worried about monetizing hardware than providing the best tool to get job done? We will see. As much as I like their hardware which is still the best in the industry, software (free softwareĀ šŸ˜‰ is bothering me a lot lately.