Appleâ€™s location devices â€” called AirTags â€” have been out for more than a month now. The initial impressions were good, but as we concluded back in April: â€œIt will be interesting to see these play out once AirTags are out getting lost in the wild.â€
Thatâ€™s exactly what our resident UX analyst, Peter Ramsey, has been doing for the last month â€” intentionally losing AirTags to test their user experience at the limits.
This Extra Crunch exclusive is a simplified conversation around this Built for Mars article, which helps bridge the gap between Appleâ€™s mistakes and how you can make meaningful changes to your productâ€™s UX.
For an industry thatâ€™s often soured by privacy concerns, Apple has an unusually strong stance on keeping your data private.
AirTag not reachable
There are two primary purposes of an error message:
To notify the user what has gone wrong (and how it affects them).
To help the user resolve the issue.
Most businesses do a decent job at the first one, but itâ€™s rare that a product will proactively obsess over the second.
Typically, Apple is one of the few examples that do â€” itâ€™s indisputably one of the leaders in intuitive design. Which is why I was surprised to see Appleâ€™s error message when an AirTag is not reachable:
Thereâ€™s a huge amount of ambiguity in the statement â€œmove around to connect,â€ and it fails to mention that this error could be because the AirTagâ€™s batteries have been removed.
Instead, Apple should make this message clickable, which opens a modal to learn more about this issue.