Slug: get-your-graphic-designers-off-macintoshes Date: 2006-01-19 Title: Get your graphic designers off Macintoshes! layout: post
I was looking for some information discussing the intersection of extreme programming (which our development team is adopting) and user experience, and I ran across this selection (in Google's book search) from Extreme Programming for Web Projects (by Doug Wallace, Isobel Raggett, and Joel Aufgang).
Get your graphic designers off Macintoshes! We are big Mac fans and have a great deal of respect for the operating system (OS), but it is a fact of life that most Web team [sic] use Windows. Furthermore, Macs are brighter than PCs. So many times we have seen a design created and shown to a customer on a Mac and then found that it was too dark for the general audience, which is 95 percent Windows users. It pains us to say it, but every Web development tool that we have seen is either not available for Mac or has a perfectly good equivalent on Windows. Photoshop and Illustrator are identical on both platforms. The only role with an argument for having a Mac is the tester and then only if the customer has selected to support the platform.
I'm curious as to what folks think of this. In a discipline which tries to include a worker-focused environment (scroll down to "ExtremeEnvironment") I think that the designer should be able to use the hardware and software that makes him/her the most productive (and happiest).
To the writer's statements about software and tools not being available for the Mac ("every Web development tool that we have seen is either not available for Mac or has a perfectly good equivalent on Windows") I would say: turn it around. Every development tool I've needed has either been available for the Mac or has had a perfectly good – and in this designer's eyes , better – equivalent.
As to the comments about designs having to work on the appropriate platform; these are givens - any designer worth their salt will be doing this anyway. We've known about gamma issues since forever and know how to avoid these pitfalls.
What do you guys think? Does running a Mac spoil the XPishness of your team? (He asked, expecting the answer no.)