It was perhaps one of the most baffling and frustrating design choices Apple ever made: the upside down Apple logo. For those of you who haven’t been using Macs long enough to remember this, the “upside down Apple logo” refers to how PowerBooks and iBooks used to display the Apple logo “pointing” at the floor when the laptop was opened.

Former Apple employee Joe Moreno reveals the story behind the upside down logo. Apparently when Steve Jobs and company designed the PowerBooks and iBooks they discovered that if they placed the Apple logo upside down from the user’s prospective when the lid was closed, the user would constantly try to open the laptop from the wrong side — by the hinges, because from that angle the Apple logo was right-side-up.

Now, you would think that a company that prides itself on its branding would want their logo right side up so all the passersby would see it in the correct orientation, but Steve Jobs thought the upside down Apple logo was the right way to go. As Moreno writes:

Steve Jobs always focuses on providing the best possible user experience and believed that it was more important to satisfy the user than the onlooker.

Thankfully, Jobs eventually reversed his decision. But this story does beg the question: were that many people really trying to open their laptops from the wrong side time after time again? If so, the upside down Apple logo is probably the least of their worries. It also goes to show that Steve Jobs, as great of a design genius as he was, didn’t always make the right design choices the first time around.

The story of Apple’s upside down logo originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 21 May 2012 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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