No flags, no skin

Everything is controversy in motion these days. What was okay 6 months ago is now politically incorrect and taboo. Apple caught flack last year when they tweaked iOS so that the Taiwan emoji flag was blocked on devices in China. Now Apple is removing ALL flag images from their web site country/region selection (gone from the main site, still there in support pages). Apparently flags are a no-no.

After months of BLM related demonstrations and riots in America, Apple is removing hand imagery from their web site and iOS art work. Apparently skin is also a no-no.

I get it, but I don’t think banishing or wishing away something you don’t want to deal with solves anything. It’s the same kind of boneheaded move that Apple did removing the Sea of Japan name from Apple Maps altogether.

One of the traditional sufferings explained in Buddhism is having to deal with things and people that we don’t want to deal with. Traditional Buddhism also teaches that as long as we live in the physical world we should engage with all things therein in the most positive and mutually beneficial way we can.

What Apple is doing doesn’t strike me as positive engagement. Pandering to one group at the expense of another group solves nothing. Tough times demand clear thinking and better solutions for all. When it comes to UI design challenges Apple would do well to remember the genius of the original Mac UI design and Susan Kare’s timeless wisdom:

When something’s really realistic, it looks like somebody in particular who’s not you. When you take all the detail away, everyone can project themselves on to something simple. The fewer details, the more universal something is.

The Story Behind Susan Kare’s Iconic Design Work for Apple
No more flags