Surfin Safari

A rapidly cooling take Apple’s beta season.

Safari went on a wild ride this summer

If you were on Apple’s betas release this summer or listened to the coverage on tech podcasts, you might know where was a lot of controversy around the changes in Safari’s interface. Change is hard.

There were concerns that showed Apple didn’t understand how people used their products. But this was a test. Testing isn’t only to validate what you’re doing right. Valuable feedback can be an understanding of what an assumptions are wrong. I would have liked the pundits to be less histrionic in their feedback, but that’s another story.

Tabs? Tabs. Tabs!

Tabs are a key way people organize content and workflows in their browsers. So, changing the tabs interface was a big bet. As someone outside of Apple, I don’t know how it paid off. I do know they received a ton of feedback from all kinds of users. That kind of data not only informed the final release, it can inform future decisions.

Maybe, the strong reaction to this kind of testing is because it’s more public that we’re used to from Apple. They’ve demystified their process. And that feels less magical. But, it’s this kind of investigation that can lead to novel ideas.

I’m glad they went big, and I can’t wait to see what they do with it.