Apple creates religious experiences, not by being consistently awesome, but by making us yearn for rare, sublime moments of awesomeness
Apple products aren't user-friendly. Average users frequently encounter frustrations trying to do simple things, and yet the reputation of user-friendliness persists for Apple. Without a question, Apple's products are relatively more user-friendly than their competitors, but they get away with the "user-friendly" label because they add something extra to their user interfaces: the random religious experience.
Some of the time, when using an Apple product, there are magical "it just works" moments that are nearly absent in all of their competitors. The Apple experience then becomes like actual religious experiences in that they create a separate aspirational experience. Most churchgoers do not experience an epiphany every Sunday or when they pray. But most of them have had some significant, moving experience at some point in their life, and it's the hoping for that experience that is the bulk of their day-to-day religious experience. The aspiration is enough to be a kind of religious experience in of itself.
Craigslist is a superior job board because its only master is simplicity. By spending less time catering to employers and job-seekers, it ends up being cherished by both
When looking for jobs on craigslist, you receive more personal responses, as opposed to automated or mass emails that come from other large job sites like Elance or Monster. Craigslist's competitors provide all sorts of tools to help advertisers re-post ads and to help job-hunters to apply in bulk. On craigslist, there are no templates. There is no "apply to all" or "post to all" buttons. Everything is a one-shot event. One job post has one fee. And if the post or email gets buried over time by the competition, so be it. There's no gaming it, so the results are more genuine and personal, which benefits everyone.
The emphasis on content in responsive design has turned the art of making web pages from the "anything goes" of Geocities back into the walled garden of AOL
The title "web designer" used to be cutting edge and creative but now (2015) it has become a paint-by-numbers routine. Most websites follow a few basic templates. Everything is simply a matter of filling in the navigation here, a title bar there, and so-on. This is a result of the web becoming more mobile-centric. There's simply only a handful of ways to build a responsive site, one that collapses correctly into a mobile-appropriate way. Thus the web is becoming more consistent, and potentially more content-focused.
The native vs. web app debate would be moot if browser cookies and caches truly kept us signed on with offline surfing
Native apps are superior to web apps in essentially two ways that a browser can fix very cheaply: consistent caching rules, and naturally permanent cookies. The promise of a browser cache doesn't seem real, as it's impossible to surf your browser history without an Internet connection. Even though many users are on broadband, it would seem like there's still an incentive to serve assets from a cache as often as possible, so as to keep web pages load times down.
The promise of browser cookies also doesn't seem real, as it's impossible to go a day of surfing the web without having to log into a site again. This is the most bizarre of all patterns, because login failures equal lost business. But stricter caching, and cookies that are more obviously permanent would be all it would take to give a native app experience to web. After all, isn't the main benefit of native apps that the UI works offline and you don't have to log in every time?