Can we get rid of the bugs in our designs? -

Can we get rid of the bugs in our designs?

Maybe, just maybe, we can dream about a day in the not-so-distant future when systems don't just look good, but also work beautifully without any glitches.

Recently, I experienced two awesomely beautiful designs. To my disappointment, I also encountered some bugs, which caused me to wish that formal verification tools had been used as part of the development process.

The Apple of my eye
Last month, I persuaded my family to abandon their Windows machines due to too many bugs — more bugs than I care to list throughout years of use. We purchased the newly released 27-inch iMac with a 5k Retina display. This is a beautiful computer with a strikingly sharp image powered by 14.7 million pixels, and we were all excited to get our hands on the system.

However, it didn't take long for me to experience the first set of bugs. I needed to use “Migration Assistant” to transfer files from my MacBook Air laptop to the new iMac. This should have been a simple task, but it proved to be much more difficult than it should have been. Here's what transpired:

  • I connected my MacBook Air to the iMac using a Thunderbolt cable and did all the steps instructed by Migration Assistant. The iMac didn't see the fast Thunderbolt connection. It was using WiFi to transfer data, and it projected a 76-hour time to do so. After struggling for a while and finding no answer with iMac itself, I resorted to web forums and found the trick: I had to boot my MacBook Air as an external hard disk for the iMac to see the Thunderbolt connection. If this is required, why doesn't Apple provide instructions?
  • At first, the migration process seemed to go smoothly. Eventually, the system reported that it would take less than a minute to finish the process. I waited and waited and waited. Nothing changed after 30 minutes, and it seemed like it was stuck. A new web search revealed many angry users who experienced the same problem as early as the beginning of the year. Many lost all their migration work after waiting hours. Talk about the anger and frustration. Apparently, this is caused by a few incompatible files, and it raises a simple question: Why doesn't Apple provide the information up front instead of waiting until the end of the process?
  • Just as I was about to kill my process, the computer informed me about the incompatible files. The migration process gave every indication of having completed — but not yet. A key motivation for buying the iMac was to move all my photos and videos to this beautiful machine. When I checked on the results, however, those files had not migrated. I'm not sure why. I ended up doing a manual copy of files between the two machines. It was past midnight by then, and I had been doing this for more than four hours. Frustrated and tired, I almost wanted to give up on the new machine and return it to Apple.

Apple is well known for its ease of use, yet it couldn't get this right. Data migration is one of the first things a user might be expected to do after buying a new machine, so why was my experience so difficult and frustrating? What makes this even more frustrating is the fact that users reported all these issues months ago, yet there are still bugs with the recent release of the O/S X Yosemite operating system.

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