Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 1st Jul 2007 15:21 UTC
Editorial Sometimes, Apple's (or any other software maker's) complete lack of respect for usability never ceases to amaze me. Take today for example. Apart from the close, minimise, and "maximise" widgets Apple places on window decors, there is also a fourth widget programmers on the Apple platform can use. This widget resembles a sort of dash, and is placed on the top right corner of the window decor. This widget is used in many applications, both from Apple as well as from various third parties. It has one function: toggle the visibility of the window's toolbar.
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Liquidator
Member since:
2007-03-04

I agree with Thom. These are annoyances that happen even in commercial systems (OS X, Vista). Unfortunately these systems are developed by humans and these kinds of annoyances do happen. Mostly because:
- The software is developed quickly
- It's developed by system developers and it's not reviewed by usability specialists
This happens thousands of times more with KDE and Gnome. Have a look at the KDE and Gnome usability section of their bug report site. It's crazy. But that's life. As long as we, users, report these annoyances, developers fix them over time, and in the long run, the software gets better and better ;)

Here's the page where you can report any problem related to OS X: http://www.apple.com/macosx/feedback/

Reply Score: 4

exigentsky Member since:
2005-07-09

Actually, that isn't really the right place for this kind of problem. Better would be: https://bugreport.apple.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/RadarWeb.woa I've submitted a number of issues and Apple has been prompt. Many times, it turned out I just didn't know how to do something, like keyboard navigation.

Reply Score: 1

historical
by maccatalan on Sun 1st Jul 2007 15:56 UTC
maccatalan
Member since:
2005-12-31

Hi Thom,

Yes, the Finder's behaviour is surprising. But let's remember that lots of people were shocked and hated the new spacial-navigational Finder when it was first introduced.

Apple used that "toggle" button to provide a way to go back to the previous Finder look for those having trouble adopting the new one.

So the reason for this apparent inconsistent behavior is historical. I guess it would have been better to have a Finder preferences setting to chose which apparence should the Finder have and from that point of view you are right. But that "simpler" look - as you call it - is the former look which we happily enjoyed for years before the brushed metal came along (was it Panther? or Tiger maybe? ... can't remember).

The question is: will the Leopard Finder allow you to switch back to that original Finder apparence or will they stick to that iTunes-look and move forward once for all?

:-)

Have a good one,
Pierre.

Reply Score: 5

RE: historical
by RGCook on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:25 UTC in reply to "historical"
RGCook Member since:
2005-07-12

Thanks for your explanation on the behavior of Finder Pierre. However, Thom's point is still valid because I'm guessing that not many folks would know this. To have such a prominently displayed widget that provides alternative functionality to a select group of individuals for legacy functionality completely divergent from what I expect of Apple. I'm not ready to show all the usability experts the door, but they might have considered burying this in the preferences settings or something.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: historical
by tyrione on Sun 1st Jul 2007 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE: historical"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

I suppose you think Apple is devoid of egos and people in-fighting on keeping legacy GUI behavior. I can still remember the amount of time wasted on those wars at Apple. It was annoying as hell.

Reply Score: 2

RE: historical
by sultanqasim on Sun 1st Jul 2007 17:16 UTC in reply to "historical"
sultanqasim Member since:
2006-10-28

The dash button in the Leopard finder does the same thing as in the tiger finder. Just with the unified iTunes look. I can't post a screenshot due to the NDA but trust my word. It's the same.

Reply Score: 2

Hardly a good example
by SlackerJack on Sun 1st Jul 2007 15:57 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

Colloquy is not a app that comes with OS X so it's not the same, it's like comparing a gnome app with a GTK one(GTK apps dont have to follow the HIG guides). The fact that it serves a different function on the finder changing it's appearance is not a issue to me.

Seems strange to me that you would just hide the toolbar on the filemanger, but with Colloquy your hiding stuff you dont need.

Edited 2007-07-01 15:59

Reply Score: 5

RE: Hardly a good example
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:09 UTC in reply to "Hardly a good example"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Colloquy is not a app that comes with OS X so it's not the same, it's like comparing a gnome app with a GTK one(GTK apps dont have to follow the HIG guides).

I could have used an Apple application as well, such as Mail.app. Or Automator. Or Fontbook. Or whatever. They all use the toggle-toolbar like it's supposed to.

Seems strange to me that you would just hide the toolbar on the filemanger, but with Colloquy your hiding stuff you dont need.

What are you talking about? I have the toolbar hidden on Colloquy by default (see the before/after shots).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hardly a good example
by SlackerJack on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Hardly a good example"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

What I'm saying is why shouldn't the filemanager have a different use for that, to me the filemanager servers a different function to all other applications anyway.

It seems logical to me that spatial mode would be switched by the forth widget on the right hand side. Having two methods one to switch spatial and one to hide the toolbar seem abit off to me just for the finder.

Why can't the finder have a different function, applications dont have a spatial mode and if they did where would the button be!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Hardly a good example
by Chicken Blood on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hardly a good example"
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

What I'm saying is why shouldn't the filemanager have a different use for that, to me the filemanager servers a different function to all other applications anyway.

It shouldn't have a different use for the same button. That defies user's expectations and hampers learning. Should the filemanager also redefine the behavior of the 'close' or the 'minimize' button?

A button with a different appearance that did not look like the well-defined 'toolbar pill' would have been adequate. That's all we're saying.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Hardly a good example
by Chicken Blood on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:21 UTC in reply to "Hardly a good example"
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

Colloquy is not a app that comes with OS X so it's not the same, it's like comparing a gnome app with a GTK one(GTK apps dont have to follow the HIG guides). The fact that it serves a different function on the finder changing it's appearance is not a issue to me.

You missed the point. It's a perfectly good example because it behaves like all other Apple apps that use the pill button. Thom could have chosen any other Apple app as an example and it would behave as Colloquy does.

Reply Score: 3

RE
by Kroc on Sun 1st Jul 2007 15:59 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Er, this functionality has been there since the metal Finder was introduced in Panther. Why wait until now to complain?

And I think the statement "complete lack of respect for usability" is way off the mark. OS X may not always be visually consistent, but it very largely functionally consistent. For example:

Where's the Options menu in a Windows app? Anywhere it fancies. On OS X it's always on AppName > Preferences. And the shortcut is Cmd-Comma (Except for on Photoshop, but then Adobe are pricks)

You can Cmd-Click on the "Pill" widget in OS X to cycle through the different toolbar styles (text on/off, icon size), or Cmd-Alt click to customize the toolbar. No hope of this level of consistency on Windows.

I'm not saying that OS X is perfect, by any long stretch, but this article is just junk. Panther coined the term FTFF for a reason, but it's a bit late to be complaining about this part of Finder so near to Leopard.

Or should we start discussing the consistency in Vista?

Edited 2007-07-01 16:01

Reply Score: 5

RE
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:06 UTC in reply to "RE"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Er, this functionality has been there since the metal Finder was introduced in Panther. Why wait until now to complain?

Because I only realised this just now?

And I think the statement "complete lack of respect for usability" is way off the mark. OS X may not always be visually consistent, but it very largely functionally consistent.

My apologies, the word "sometimes" got lost in the c/p process between TextEdit and Safari. Sorry, fixed now.

Or should we start discussing the consistency in Vista?

Why do people *always* talk about Vista when you discuss a shortcoming on Apple's end? Since when is Vista Apple's yardstick?

Reply Score: 1

RE
by Kroc on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:29 UTC in reply to "RE"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Because you said "Sometimes, Apple's (or any other software maker's) complete lack of respect for usability never ceases to amaze me.", which includes Vista, XP, Linux and other softwares in the discussion.

Reply Score: 4

RE
by Nelson on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I don't even see this as being that bad..toggling the Menu Bar is useful at times.. and it's even present in Vista..

what's the issue?

Reply Score: 1

RE
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't even see this as being that bad..toggling the Menu Bar is useful at times.. and it's even present in Vista..

Go read the article before making comments like this. You obviously have no idea what this is all about.

Reply Score: 1

RE
by zetsurin on Sun 1st Jul 2007 19:13 UTC in reply to "RE"
zetsurin Member since:
2006-06-13

Yeah, how about this one: Home, End, Page Up, Page Dn. On OSX it's all over the place, functioning differently between cocoa and carbon apps. Under Windows, it's globally consistent and predictable. Heck, even Linux gets this one right.

Reply Score: 5

RE
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 3rd Jul 2007 23:01 UTC in reply to "RE"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Where's the Options menu in a Windows app? Anywhere it fancies. On OS X it's always on AppName > Preferences. And the shortcut is Cmd-Comma (Except for on Photoshop, but then Adobe are pricks)


Neither OS is anywhere near being a panacea of usability. You can find the same sort of inconsistency in OS X - what's the consistent way to select text with the keyboard in OS X? Or what's the keyboard shortcut in OS X to move the insertion point to the beginning/end of a line in a text field? In Windows, the "Home/End" keys will perform that function almost invariably - while in OS X, sometimes Home works, sometimes it's the up/down arrow keys, sometimes it's Cmd-left/right arrow, and sometimes it's Cmd-A/E.

Of course, it's one of those topics where we could equivocate until facial-blueness sets in. E.g., while keyboard shortcuts for text manipulation is one of the few things that I think Windows gets "right," I also acknowledge that it's probably entirely due to Microsoft simply "carrying-forward" the keyboard shortcuts from their pre-mouse DOS programs.

Reply Score: 2

Sort of "fixed" on Leopard?
by PowerMacX on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:06 UTC
PowerMacX
Member since:
2005-11-06

Considering that the iTunes look is now universal in Leopard (meaning no brushed metal Finder windows with a "metal border" around them), the non-standard behavior of the toolbar toggle button probably is a lot less noticeable/visually jarring than on Tiger, since the only difference in behavior between the Finder and the rest of the apps would be that in addition to hiding the toolbar, it also hides the sidebar.

Not 100% consistent but an improvement, even if only visually.

edit: forgot the link to the new Finder look:
http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/features/finder.html

Edited 2007-07-01 16:06

Reply Score: 4

RE: Sort of "fixed" on Leopard?
by Schmeggma on Sun 1st Jul 2007 17:52 UTC in reply to "Sort of "fixed" on Leopard?"
Schmeggma Member since:
2006-01-14

A small but welcome step forward.

Edited 2007-07-01 17:54

Reply Score: 1

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Thank god they finally got rid of the brushed metal look. It was hideous.

Reply Score: 1

Too much whining far too late...
by SVPirate on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:13 UTC
SVPirate
Member since:
2007-07-01

We all did this jive years ago when Tiger came out and hadn't fixed these UI inconstancies that first cropped up in Panther. Yes they exist, yes they can be at times annoying, but Apple have stated *repeatedly* that they have paid a *lot* of attention to this issue in Leopard and screenshots and demos of Leopard have shown that the UI constancy has improved *greatly*.

I don't see why you pipe up now, only 4 months before Tiger becomes a part of Apple history to complain about something most Apple users, and Apple bashers, already have known about and have done to death, and that Apple have rectified in the new version of OS X.

Fact is OS X remains far more consistent in it's modes of operation than Windows, GNOME or KDE. Linux especially is a UI mess. These small blemishes on OS X's copybook don't make it as bad as the rest of the crowd, sorry. Take your ball home please...

Edited 2007-07-01 16:14

Reply Score: 5

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"Fact is OS X remains far more consistent in it's modes of operation than Windows"

In Windows, when I hit the maximize button I can rest assured that said window will indeed maximize to the entire size of my screen. In OSX, I never know quite what the window is going to do when I hit maximize...just get a little larger, or actually maximize to the entire screen?

Just one of many examples. 'Nuff said.

Reply Score: 5

KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

The "maximize button" in OSX has the function to resize the window to the "optimal" size. Hold Shift while clicking the maximize button and that window resizes to full screen.
If an application acts different, then it's a bug in that application.

Reply Score: 4

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The "maximize button" in OSX has the function to resize the window to the "optimal" size. Hold Shift while clicking the maximize button and that window resizes to full screen. If an application acts different, then it's a bug in that application.

Then there are bugs in Safari, Adium, Finder, Address Book, ..., .... Are you sure this is the right combination?

Reply Score: 1

aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

Then there are bugs in Safari, Adium, Finder, Address Book, ..., .... Are you sure this is the right combination?


A message window in adium fills the entire screen when I hold down shift and click the 'green' maximize button.

Finder seem quirky in that it maximizes height only.

Shift + Maximize fills the screen with safari 3.0 beta

Address Book maximizes to the height so that the info has no scrolling.

Not sure why safari and adium don't work for you, but I can confirm the other two.

Reply Score: 2

tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

The "maximize button" in OSX has the function to resize the window to the "optimal" size.

Who determines what is "optimal?" Steve Jobs?

"I want my 'maximize button' to maximize my window, Steve, thank you very much!"

Reply Score: 5

Mediv Member since:
2006-05-10

Who determines what is "optimal?" Steve Jobs?

"I want my 'maximize button' to maximize my window, Steve, thank you very much!"


Hey, all, let's stop on complaining about the use of the toolbar buttons in each operating system.

Every programmer knows it has nothing to do with the operating system core: it is up to the programmer to manage what the button will do.

If Firefox does not fill all the desktop when I maximize the window, it's not Apple's fault.

There are consistency rules, but programmers may not always follow them. It's the same thing with all window manager environments, even Mac OS X and Windows.

Edited 2007-07-01 20:57

Reply Score: 1

zetsurin Member since:
2006-06-13

That's the whole problem though - Non client area controls handled by application code. For true consistency, it should be done the way Windows does it. ie. If the control is outside the client area of the window, it should be up to the operating system on how to manage that. Of course, the instant messenger apps reskin all this but even then they leave the fundamental workings to the OS.

I think if an app wants to act non-standard, it should be a result of more work by the programmer, not less (ie. the OS specific behaviour will apply by default unless it is overridden).

Edited 2007-07-01 21:02

Reply Score: 4

emission Member since:
2005-07-21

There are consistency rules, but programmers may not always follow them. It's the same thing with all window manager environments, even Mac OS X and Windows.


But that's actually the real problem. For MacOS 9 Apple had a well written set of UI guidelines, which were easy to follow and comprehend. Now everything is a mess, and although guidelines exist, they aren't nearly as well thought out as the MacOS 9 version and not even Apple follows them.

OS9 looks old now, but it's consistent, tactile (draggable items look draggable) and the metaphors work.

Reply Score: 3

biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

[quote]Every programmer knows it has nothing to do with the operating system core: it is up to the programmer to manage what the button will do.

If Firefox does not fill all the desktop when I maximize the window, it's not Apple's fault.[/quote]

Right, but Apple should give some hints. I mean, there's no Apple application where the "maximize" button works like in another Apple application! Sometimes the window gets bigger, sometimes smaller, sometimes it changes position, sometimes nothing happens.. what's going on???

All three buttons leaves much to desire: you have to move the mouse over them before you see they do instead of always showing it, the "+" button acts strangely, and sometimes the "x" changes color without an apparent reason (I understood it only when I read the developer docs).

Reply Score: 1

aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

[quote]there's no Apple application where the "maximize" button works like in another Apple application!


Safari, Mail, iMovie, Automator all do the same thing when I shift click on the maximize button. It fills the screen (minus the area for the dock). I haven't tested the others, those were the ones I tend to use on a daily or semi daily basis.

Reply Score: 2

biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

That's good, but shift+click is not what one thinks to do. You just click.

Reply Score: 1

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"Every programmer knows it has nothing to do with the operating system core: it is up to the programmer to manage what the button will do."

Perhaps that's how it's done on Macs, but on Windows all of that is indeed actually handled by the OS. For the programmer to change the default behavior, it has to be manually overridden, meaning the programmer has to make a conscientious choice for it to behave differently.

Via Win32 it's not very difficult, but from managed code (.Net) you have to manually tap into the unmanaged WndProc for the window...i.e. MS really doesn't want folks monkeying around w/ the default behavior. For very good reason as it leads to confusion on the part of end users.

Reply Score: 2

cm49 Member since:
2007-03-23

There is no maximize button in Mac OS, and never has been.

Reply Score: 2

zetsurin Member since:
2006-06-13

"There is no maximize button in Mac OS, and never has been."

So why the plus sign when I move over it then? It's misleading. You would expect that to do the opposite to what the amber minus sign does, no?

Perhaps a question mark should display over the green button instead of the plus ;)

Edited 2007-07-01 21:04

Reply Score: 1

cm49 Member since:
2007-03-23

I agree this particular design choice might be somewhat confusing.
But, my point remains, the maximize button as such exists in Windows, not in Mac OS.

Reply Score: 1

tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

But, my point remains, the maximize button as such exists in Windows, not in Mac OS.

Well, obviously, you have a different name/definition for the green "jelly-bubble."

On Apple's "Switch 101" webpage, the green button is called both the "maximize box" and the "zoom button": http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=304720

I think that we can all agree that it is a "make bigger" button. The question remains: Why would anyone want a button that expands a window to some arbitrary size instead of a true maximize button?

Also, I am not sure that your assertion about Mac OS never having a maximize button applies to pre-OSX Macs.

Reply Score: 1

paws Member since:
2007-05-28

OS X's maximise behaviour is perfectly consistent. It maximises to show you the content of the window, and clicking again snaps back to the previous size. The fact that it doesn't work like you expect it to coming from Windows doesn't mean that it's incosistent.

Reply Score: 5

kittynipples Member since:
2006-08-02

That's probably because in osx it is not a maximize button.

Reply Score: 4

macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

I have no idea why the original post has gotten a score of 5. But I guess the score pretty much sums up how clueless people are when it comes to operating systems that aren't the one they learned on.

The green button doesn't "maximize". It "optimizes" the screen so that the content fits the window. If there's alot of stuff in the window it gets bigger. If there's a little bit of stuff in the window it gets smaller. It's not a difficult _concept_ to grasp.

Edited 2007-07-02 05:33

Reply Score: 2

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"If there's a little bit of stuff in the window it gets smaller. It's not a difficult _concept_ to grasp."

I've been using computers since I was but a wee lad. I grew up on Macs (System 7-OS 8, skipped 9, and currently have a Tiger machine laying around for testing). If it's difficult for me to grasp, then no doubt it's even harder for other folks.

Go search Google for 'mac window maximize' and you'll see that bunches of other folks are confused as well. Not to mention that almost everyone refers to that button as the 'maximize window' button, not the 'optimize window' button, or 'scale window to fit contents' button.

My point is that clicking it doesn't do consistent resizing. Sure it (sometimes) consistently resizes the window to fit its contents, but that can vary with each window depending on how much contents it has, which IMO leads to a poor user experience as you never really quite know what your window is going to do when you click that button. Good usability equals a consistent user experience across the entire range of applications being used.

Reply Score: 4

macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

What are you talking about? It consistently resizes the window to fit the contents of the window.

It is not a difficult concept to grasp. Just because you are apparently unable (or as I suspect --unwilling--) to grasp it doesn't make it difficult.

If you grew up your whole life driving on the right side of the road, what are you going to do when you visit a country that drives on the left? Get in a headon collision or learn how to drive on the left?

I grew up speaking English, does that make Spanish inconsistent because I don't understand the conventions?

Sheesh...

Reply Score: 2

legrimpeur Member since:
2005-06-30

not to mention the ridicoulous behavior of Preview.app where when you repeatedly hit the maximize button you get ... an ever decreasing window size... this is really genial!!!

Reply Score: 1

paws Member since:
2007-05-28

A mate of mine who's a Spatial person as well has used Leopard and he says they haven't fixed any of this. You can still go into pseudo-spatial with a click of the pill, but the Finder will do all it can to drag you back to sidebar and browser mode, just like in Tiger.

The new Finder amounts to a new sidebar and the CoverFlow and instant previewing stuff. They've not fixed any of the issues Siracusa has been complaining about since Developer Preview 2. It's still inconsistent.

Reply Score: 2

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Fact is OS X remains far more consistent in it's modes of operation than Windows, GNOME or KDE.


I disagree. KDE apps are *extremely* consistent (and in fact, many reuse the same architectural elements).

Of course, using GTK/Gnome apps in KDE makes this a little less consistent, though the folks at freedesktop.org are trying to bridge the many gaps between the two DEs. However, if you mostly use KDE/Qt apps (as I do), then consistency is actually *higher* than with OSX.

Reply Score: 5

Wowbagger Member since:
2005-07-06

Then I might as well say, all pure Cocoa apps are extremely consistent it gets messy when you look at the legacy crap mostly written in Carbon, like Photoshop and others.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

That wouldn't be entirely true, but sure, go ahead and say it.

Consistency is overrated anyway.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Fact is OS X remains far more consistent in it's modes of operation than Windows, GNOME or KDE."

Your opinion is not a fact.

Reply Score: 2

Cant desing just for you
by Verenkeitin on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:45 UTC
Verenkeitin
Member since:
2007-07-01

Just because a program behaves differently from YOUR expectation does not mean that the behavior is wrong. If Finder would open in the way it was when you closed it, you (or somebody else) would be complaining about that.

One aspect of good interaction design is to match user expectations and application behavior. But even a single user is inconsistent in his expectations, and any group of users has different expectations from other group. The best that any usability expert can do is to design for consistency inside a single application or group of applications. Then for consistency among applications on same platform.

You could just as well claim that programmers are doing bad job because they cant program flawlessly and don't use your favourite programming language.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cant desing just for you
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:51 UTC in reply to "Cant desing just for you"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You could just as well claim that programmers are doing bad job because they cant program flawlessly and don't use your favourite programming language.

Nonsense. This is about one of the simplest rules in UI design, whether it be on a computer on a real-world device.

When I buy a CD player, I expect that the button with the little triangle on it means "play". When I press that button, and suddenly the player turns from black into polka dot, and will only accept MiniDiscs afterwards, it is a bad CD player.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Cant desing just for you
by Kroc on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Cant desing just for you"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I've told you for the 50th thousand time, stop exaggerating!

The pill widget "hides/shows the toolbar". For Finder, it just really hides it. It's not off-the-charts, not-what-you-expected like you're making it out to be.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I've told you for the 50th thousand time, stop exaggerating!

The pill widget "hides/shows the toolbar". For Finder, it just really hides it. It's not off-the-charts, not-what-you-expected like you're making it out to be.


Did you even READ the article, Kroc? The button does NOT "just" hide the toolbar in Finder (as it does on every other application). The button does the following things:

1) hide the toolbar
2) hide the sidebar
3) change the window's theme
4) switches the Finder to spatial mode

And that spatial mode has the following HUGE flaws:

1) it does not mark currently-opened directories as such
2) the spatial mode is ONLY activated when starting your navigation from the SPECIFIC directory you clicked the pill button on (i.o.w., when starting your navigation somewhere else, the windows are navigational). And with spatial I mean that every directory opens in its own window. You can actually have navigational and spatial windows side-by-side.

So, Kroc, it does NOT "just" hide the toolbar.

Update: This is the end result:

http://img76.imageshack.us/img76/5571/blahbu6.png

I clicked the pill button when I had "Cube" open; I then closed this window. When I now start navigating in "Cube", Finder acts spatial. However, when I start browsing at "Thom", it acts navigational. Bonckers!

Edited 2007-07-01 17:20

Reply Score: 1

SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Ok, i'll use the same old lame excuse, IT'S BETA, maybe Apple will change it and realize that you were right after all.

I do agree with Kroc, you are totally exaggerating this to the point where you think the whole UI is broken. Maybe you should stop using beta software and writing about it like it's final, it may lower your blood pressure.

Edited 2007-07-01 17:39

Reply Score: 1

Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

Another person who is not paying attention. Since when is Tiger beta software?

Reply Score: 4

SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Well since Tiger is going to be replaced by Leopard soon and this "feature" could still be in Leopard then he has time to change it.

The fact that he says he just noticed it, shows how much Thom knows about UI design. How many years has Tiger been out now?

Sorry I found not mention of Tiger, anyone could assume he was talking about Leopard.

Edited 2007-07-01 17:52

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The fact that he says he just noticed it, shows how much Thom knows about UI design. How many years has Tiger been out now?

You Apple folk are really willing to do whatever it takes to defend Apple, don't you?

I never noticed this before simply because up until a few weeks ago, I did not have a server. As such, my Mac acted as the central hub for my home network; I trust the Mac most when it comes to storing my files. As such, I did a lot of file managing and browsing on my Mac, and as a consequence, I really needed the Finder's toolbar.

Now that I have a server, I rarely, if ever, do any real file managing on my Mac, and as such, I figured I could just as well hide the Finder's toolbar, just to make the appearance of it even more clean. And that's when I realised what I described here.

It's really telling, SlackerJack, that you need to resort to character attacks in order to convey your point. It's sad.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Cant desing just for you
by stestagg on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 08:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Cant desing just for you"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

I guess any MiniDisc player is a bad cd player ;)

Reply Score: 2

It's a management problem
by Luminair on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:57 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

It's a management problem.

If you don't have someone smart at the top certifying what the people at the bottom do, naturally some bad decisions are going to show up.

And if they have an idiot at the top certifying bad decisions, then it's still a management problem ;)

Reply Score: 2

If you want /really/ bad UI...
by Kroc on Sun 1st Jul 2007 16:59 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Remember that in the OS X betas the pill used to be purple and enable "Single Window Mode". You could only have one window open, switching to another app caused the previous window to minimize. Now that was some bad UI...

Reply Score: 2

There is one possible use
by Mediv on Sun 1st Jul 2007 17:36 UTC
Mediv
Member since:
2006-05-10

Hello,

personnally, I quite like the feature.

It allows transforming some folder and the "img" files by putting background images and hiding the filesystem structure.

I clearly see the utility with some distributed "img" files, where we have an application icon, a nice background telling about the application and a link toward the Applications folder to drag and drop the news application.

Mayhaps there should be other way to do that, but currently it combines that capability while letting "img" files being clearly part of the file system.

Reply Score: 4

RE: There is one possible use
by Don Roritor on Sun 1st Jul 2007 19:06 UTC in reply to "There is one possible use"
Don Roritor Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah, I was going to mention this - it does seem to get the most use from software developers for their install disks. Very often when I am installing something and it requires a drag-and-drop of the application to my Applications folder, I will simply click the "pill" to toggle back to the view with the sidebar and then drag the application to it's new folder for installation.

There are also times when I just want a whole disk full of photos so I hide the sidebar and toolbar with the "pill" and set the window option to use the largest thumbnail size.

This all, of course, doesn't speak to the fact that this "pill" behaves inconsistently on other OS X apps, but I do find it a nice feature in Finder for specific purposes.

Reply Score: 1

It's even worst when it used to be right!
by rx182 on Sun 1st Jul 2007 18:09 UTC
rx182
Member since:
2005-07-08

I think the subject of my post resumes what I think very well! There's nothing more frustrating!

Vista is a nice example of complete bad taste. I'm a Windows developer and a user since Windows 3.1 and I always admired Microsoft for making a GUI that may not be the most intuitive, but the most powerful and the most easy to deal with (it's subjective, I know).

Everything was perfect up to Vista. Really. Unfortunately, they had to change everything just to justify a new version.

Explorer.exe was something that I considered perfect since Internet Explorer 4 (Windows 95's stock explorer.exe was a bit too primitive). Unfortunately, they had to ruin it in Vista. Explorer.exe in Vista is one of the worst piece of software I used in my life. Usability speaking, it's the worst thing I've used in the past few years. You make it use View->List and the damn thing display column headers! HEY, THERE'S NO COLUMN IN VIEW->LIST!!! COLUMS ARE FOR VIEW->DETAILS!!! What the hell were they thinking? And everything is like that. And it's slow. God!

The menu being below the toolbar. The toolbar buttons (back, forward) being way to far the mouse pointer. The close button not being in the right corner when using Aero. Damn, it never stops!

Oh, and there are things copied from OSX that I hate with passion. Triangles in treeview. Plus and minus signs were just...better! We were used to them anyway. Oh, the new control panel. It's so confusing. You access the same exact thing in 100000000 different ways. Why??? Why they don't listen to customers anyway? People complained about that during the Vista development cycle and the answer was always "you will get used to it". Sorry, but after 6 months, I'm still not used to it.

Gnome, KDE, OSX all have usability issues as well. Always too much. I don't know OSX really well so I can talk. But KDE has way too much buttons every where. Gnome is way too limited in term of "options" even if you start hacking in gconf settings.

Seriously, I think they can all do much better.

Reply Score: 5

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

The new explorer is pretty horrendous. I figured out how to get rid of the column headers once, but I haven't been able to get rid of them since. It's annoyed me ever since.

I like the bread crumb trail, but Xfce's Thunar does this the best, hands down, of any file manager I've used. (I haven't used Dolphin yet)

I would love to get rid of the navigation buttons, but I can't. I miss the reconfigurability of the old interface. Hopefully they'll bring it back.

Reply Score: 2

Wowbagger Member since:
2005-07-06

Explorer.exe in Vista is one of the worst piece of software I used in my life. Usability speaking, it's the worst thing I've used in the past few years.

So you haven't used Lotus notes yet. Now that's perfect UI design. Perfect in a sense that there's not one thing done right. Everything's perfectly done wrong.

Reply Score: 1

DCMonkey Member since:
2005-07-06

You make it use View->List and the damn thing display column headers! HEY, THERE'S NO COLUMN IN VIEW->LIST!!! COLUMS ARE FOR VIEW->DETAILS!!! What the hell were they thinking?

With the column headers always visible you can easily sort in any view and, by clicking the little down arrow next to every header, access the filtering and stacking features in any view.

Reply Score: 1

molok
Member since:
2007-07-01

There is another thing I noticed:
in Safari you can hide the menu with cmd+| but there is no dash widget?
does this make any sense? (in the safari 3 beta too)

Reply Score: 1

Yes, the Finder is broken
by bousozoku on Sun 1st Jul 2007 18:32 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

During every release of Mac OS X, there has been something (sometimes many things) odd about Finder.

Mac OS X has been a nightmare of inconsistency with 5+ themes existing in Tiger, but no theming engine available. The melding of NeXTStep with Mac OS doesn't make things easy. At least, with Leopard, Apple has tried to fix a few things since Mac OS X is more mature.

The "maximise" widget is still the same zoom box as on the first Macintosh but it comes in a fancy package. It was never meant to maximise and I hope it remains the same. Windows applications are annoying in that many seem to require minimising to get them away from taking up the full screen.

Reply Score: 1

Not a usability expert, but...
by tupp on Sun 1st Jul 2007 18:35 UTC
tupp
Member since:
2006-11-12

Sometimes, Apple's (or any other software maker's) complete lack of respect for usability never ceases to amaze me.

Agreed. I have always maintained that Apple's usability is not anywhere near what it's cracked-up to be.

Off the top of my head, here are a few significant usability problems with Apple interfaces:
- programs don't really close when one closes the program's window;
- the menu-bar of a program always appears at the top of the screen, sometimes miles away from its window and from the user's focus;
- the model/metaphor of trashing drives to unmount and/or remove media is inaccurate and confusing;
- the maximize button on the window really doesn't maximize the window.


Apart from the close, minimise, and "maximise" widgets Apple places on window decors, there is also a fourth widget programmers on the Apple platform can use. This widget resembles a sort of dash, and is placed on the top right corner of the window decor. ... It has one function: toggle the visibility of the window's toolbar.

This button is completely non-intuitive to the uninitiated. Descriptive symbols can convey a lot more about the purpose of a button than the default OSX "jelly-blobs." I have used OSX on many occasions, never clicking this button, and I did not comprehend the purpose of this button until this article explained its use.

In addition, even veteran OSX users don't comprehend the purpose of some of the "jelly-blobs" -- recently, a friend who has been an OS X user for about six years said that she had no idea what the "green bubble" on the windows did, until I had her click on it.

Descriptive symbols would not slow down the veteran user.


A lot of applications, including those written by Apple itself, use this widget this way. However, I rarely saw this widget on brushed-metal applications. One exception to this rule was the Finder. The Finder is a brushed metal application, but it does sport this widget.

I assume this distinction between window borders finishes refers to different OSX releases. In regards to usability, such a minor difference in simulated texture is inconsequential, to both veterans and the uninitiated.


Right. This button not only toggles the visibility of the toolbar, but it changes the entire appearance of the window. Not only does the toolbar disappear, but also the sidebar.

It probably shouldn't do that. However, if one can easily recover by clicking the same "jelly-blob", this discrepancy is not the end of the world, in regards to usability.


On top of that, the theme is changed to plain aqua (or whatever this theme is called, I lost track long ago).

Again, this minor difference in window border finishes is inconsequential to usability. Both veterans and new users will instantly comprehend the window and its widgets.

Consistency in themes/looks is an overrated usability factor. Even if the window border finish suddenly became a course, hounds-tooth, new users and veterans would have no usability trouble, as long as it was obvious as to which windows were focused/non-focused (and as long as it was obvious that nothing was wrong). However, there is no doubt such a window border theme would cause many foppish mactards to faint.

By the way, there are plenty of instances in which consistency in an interface can be a detriment, by allowing an incorrect operation. Here is a photo of an interface that was intentional made inconsistent to prevent a nuclear melt-down (download this photo): http://myfreefilehosting.com/f/a4eb040292_0.01MB


However, that is not all. The worst is yet to come, you see. The button that is supposed to only toggle the visibility of the toolbar, not only changes the things mentioned above, but it also transforms the entire Finder in one of the most fundamental ways you can ever alter a file manager. It turns it from a navigational file manager into a spatial file manager.

Horrors!


Yes, that innocent button changes the entire functioning of the file manager in an extremely fundamental way.

Again, it probably shouldn't do that, but if the uninitiated can easily recover and get back to the original configuration, this discrepancy is not a huge problem. More serious are the usability problems that I mentioned above.


On top of that, the spatial version of Finder is a bad implementation of the concept as well; for instance, open directories are not marked as such, which is a very important aspect of the spatial metaphor. But wait! That's not all! The spatial metaphor is only retained when you start navigating the filesystem from the exact same window you toggled the dash widget on! When you toggle the widget in /usr, destroy that window, and then start navigating in /bin, you get back to the navigational Finder; while when you start browsing in /usr again, you are back in spatial mode! Insanity!

Certainly, this problem could make work difficult/annoying.

Reply Score: 3

Wowbagger Member since:
2005-07-06

- programs don't really close when one closes the program's window;

Why should they, closing a window is a completely different thing than quitting a program. I find it much worse that on Windows I can never tell whether I've got just a forked Window of one instance of Explorer or a second instance of it running.

the menu-bar of a program always appears at the top of the screen, sometimes miles away from its window and from the user's focus

You've never heard of fitt's law, have you? It's much harder having to aim a some tiny menus that are afloat in the middle of the screen, than shooting your mouse pointer up to the top of the screen without needing to aim (because the hitting area becomes infinitely large at the screen edge). So you're just talking bullshit now.

the model/metaphor of trashing drives to unmount and/or remove media is inaccurate and confusing

It's not trashing, the trash icon changes as soon as you even start dragging a drive to an eject button. You might as well use the eject button in the sidebar next to the drive/server (very quick and intuitive) or use the "eject" contextual menu item.

the maximize button on the window really doesn't maximize the window.

Because it is not a maximize button. It will resize the window to make it just large enough to show all content, or if the content is more than would fit in a fullscreen window it will resize to accomodate as much content as possible. The maximize thing is a paradigm that exists only on Windows and/or Linux.

Descriptive symbols would not slow down the veteran user.

Then again it doesn't hurt to click the button to try it out. It's non-destructive, and as you stated yourself, having used the button once you figured our what it does. It's like the brake in your car, there's no label, but having used it once, you know what it's there for. Big deal.

Reply Score: 1

tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Why should they, closing a window is a completely different thing than quitting a program.

Not exactly. It is intuitive to the uninitiated user to assume that the program closes when one closes the program's only window.

If a new user mistakenly opens a program and then instantly closes the window, generally, the user assumes that program is closed. If one performs these moves on a Mac, the program might still be running.

However, I have seen even veteran Mac users confused over which programs are open, when there are programs running with no visible windows nor "non-menu" controls.


I find it much worse that on Windows I can never tell whether I've got just a forked Window of one instance of Explorer or a second instance of it running.

I am not sure that the "fork" model is accurate to what is actually happening. Certainly, two identical windows of the same program must be sharing libraries, but it is troubling from a usability standpoint that users would perceive one or more of such windows as being "forked." It would be interesting to find out if other Mac users share this perception of the program/window structure.


You've never heard of fitt's law, have you?

A lot of those who make reference to Fitts' Law don't really understand usability nor the psycho-motor model postulated by Paul Fitts in 1954 (when there were no computer graphical interfaces).


It's much harder having to aim a some tiny menus that are afloat in the middle of the screen, than shooting your mouse pointer up to the top of the screen without needing to aim (because the hitting area becomes infinitely large at the screen edge).

You seem to have misconceptions regarding basic GUI usability concepts. Even if the target is "infinitely large" on the edge of the screen, one still needs to aim. The width of the target on the screen edge is a direct function of the aiming precision required -- try hitting a target on the edge of the screen that is one pixel wide. Distance to the target is also a direct function of the aiming precision required. With the menubar always at the top of the screen, its targets are always the furthest distance away.

Obviously, the larger the target, the easier it is to hit -- we didn't need Paul Fitts (nor Wowbagger) to tell us that. Fitts did take this idea a lot further. He discovered that distance/time to target was an important factor and formulated the relationship between distance/time and target size. However, the concept of targets on the edge of computer screens being "infinitely large" on one axis was not created by Paul Fitts.


So you're just talking bullshit now.

What is bullshit is the notion that the Mac menubars are detached at the top of the screen to "comply" with Fitts Law, and so is the notion that the Mac menubar model is superior and has no usability problems. If Apple was really concerned with making it easier to click on targets, it would enlarge the clicking area of more of its widgets, for instance, the click-able area of the "jelly-blobs" should encompass the full window border outside of the "jelly-blob."

Some OSs/desktops/window-managers are actually designed to take advantage of the screen edge/corners, such as SymphonyOS's Mezzo desktop (note the corner widgets in the desktop screenshots): http://www.thecodingstudio.com/opensource/linux/screenshots/index.p...


It's not trashing, the trash icon changes as soon as you even start dragging a drive to an eject button.

The model of dragging a drive (magnetic or optical) to the trash is completely non-intuitive, inaccurate and confusing. Performing the same action with a file/directory trashes the file/directory. However, one is not actually trashing a drive -- this action with a drive merely unmounts and/or ejects the drive. It is easy to understand how some uninitiated and non-Mac users get fearful that they will jeopardize the contents of their firewire drives by dragging them to the trash before disconnecting them.


You might as well use the eject button in the sidebar next to the drive/server (very quick and intuitive) or use the "eject" contextual menu item.

Both of these options are better.


Because it is not a maximize button. It will resize the window to make it just large enough to show all content, or if the content is more than would fit in a fullscreen window it will resize to accomodate as much content as possible. The maximize thing is a paradigm that exists only on Windows and/or Linux.

I and others have explained in this thread the usability advantages of true maximization as the default function of the "make bigger" button.


Then again it doesn't hurt to click the button to try it out. It's non-destructive, and as you stated yourself, having used the button once you figured our what it does.

Hiding the purpose of a button is a detriment to usability, unless the designer wants the user to make a mistake or wants the user to fear using the button. Clicking the buton might be destructive. Without descriptive symbols, one doesn't know unless one takes the chance and clicks.

Easy recoverability is important, but it doesn't justify mystifying the user.

As I mentioned, I know a six-year veteran of OSX who, until a few weeks ago, didn't know the function of the "green-bubble" until I told her to click on it. I think she was scared all these years, and a simple symbol would have solved the problem.


It's like the brake in your car, there's no label, but having used it once, you know what it's there for. Big deal.

It is not like the car brake in the sense that brake pedals are standardized on all cars, and window buttons can vary dramatically between the various OSs, desktops, window managers, themes, etc.

Edited 2007-07-02 17:03

Reply Score: 2

Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

I am not sure that the "fork" model is accurate to what is actually happening. Certainly, two identical windows of the same program must be sharing libraries, but it is troubling from a usability standpoint that users would perceive one or more of such windows as being "forked." It would be interesting to find out if other Mac users share this perception of the program/window structure.


When using MS Excel 2003, if you have two or more Excel windows (workbooks) open, and you close one, it will shut down Excel entirely, rather than just the one window you closed. It will prompt you to save etc, but I've been caught out before where I had one spreadsheet open, and opened another to copy some data, then closed the second spreadsheet after pasting the data into the first, then closed what I thought was just the second spreadsheet, not saving, then realising that all my hard work was gone because of an appallingly bad bit of software design.

Yet in MS Word, I can have two word documents open, close one, and the other remains open. Talk about inconsistent UI design...

Reply Score: 2

Blame it to metal-brushed look
by amilcarodonte on Sun 1st Jul 2007 18:40 UTC
amilcarodonte
Member since:
2006-02-07

It is interesting that a few days ago Thom argued that there's no standard of usability, habit trumps intuition, users get used, etc.

Anyway, I agree this is a weird behavior. But I think it's part of a bigger problem which hopefully will be addressed in Leopard: that OSX has one consistent look (aqua) and one anything-is-valid look (metal brushed). Metal-brushed is not standard. Each metal-brushed window has had its own ways, different from the standard aqua windows. We came to expect that from iTunes, Safari, and the Finder. Each has different borders, different ways of drawing sidebars; even as far as I know by that time the Finder was the only Apple metal-brushed window with a standard (customizable) toolbar. The problem is not how the pill thing changes the theme of the window (since users should not expect consistency in metal brush) but the fact that apple relied on two different visual types of window representations with no apparent reason.

And of course, as THom points out, the lack of consistency of the visual representation when you go back to the same folder is also troubling.

Reply Score: 2

v Hmmm....
by foljs on Sun 1st Jul 2007 18:59 UTC
Some remarks...
by MrSidecar on Sun 1st Jul 2007 19:18 UTC
MrSidecar
Member since:
2007-02-13

You got me thinking about the matter. Now I REALLY like OS X and prefer it against all other OS (just my choice, everyone should let their taste decide, fine with me). But thatīs something that sometimes bugs me:

- programs don't really close when one closes the program's window;

That could be fine, once you match it with the paradigm differences mentioned below, but the worst is: Not all Applications behave the same, even Appleīs own are inconsistent on this: try clicking red on iPhoto or Photo Booth: App closed. iTunes, Safari, etc.: window gone, App running. Most certainly a known issue, but: Why on earth...

But this one-

- the menu-bar of a program always appears at the top of the screen, sometimes miles away from its window and from the user's focus;

Iīve always explained that to myself as being a fundamentally different paradigm than, say, Windows. in Windows, the App gets a window and resides in this window. In Mac OS (X or Classic), the Application gets the screen, displays one or several window(s), and gives away the screen to another Application once itīs hidden or closed. Interpreted like this, this hardly seems like a usability prob, just another model. But I might be wrong.

- the model/metaphor of trashing drives to unmount and/or remove media is inaccurate and confusing;

Now, one might nitpick, at least on OS X, the Trash can changes to the worldwide-universal symbol of "eject" whenever dragging a drive or anything ejectable. However, I agree that you first have to notice the changing symbol to make use of the effect. Plus, "drag a drive onto the trash" is a pseudo-official way to say "eject/unmount", and as such, itīs at least worth questioning.

Anyways, letīs all believe in progress for once, things might eventually and perpetually get nicer cleaner better... Just my 2 cents.

Edited 2007-07-01 19:23

Reply Score: 3

RE: Some remarks...
by ubit on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 00:21 UTC in reply to "Some remarks..."
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

I disagree with both of you, I like the way OS X implements the global menu bar, the zoom button, doesn't close programs, etc. I think there's a difference between some programs, such as application vs. document, that Apple used or uses to dictate which ones actually shut down once you close them. Most of the time I only use the 5 or so programs on the Dock so it makes sense to keep them running. Really, the OS X dock is one of the best things to come out of Apple IMO because it unifies so many things, like application launchers, a taskbar, a system tray, trash icon, etc. into one paradigm.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Some remarks...
by MrSidecar on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 00:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Some remarks..."
MrSidecar Member since:
2007-02-13

I think there's a difference between some programs, such as application vs. document, that Apple used or uses to dictate which ones actually shut down once you close them.

Clould you explain that in case of iPhoto (redclick=app closed) vs. iTunes (redclick=widow closed, app running)? I mean, seriously, one displays or manipulates photos in your collection, the other plays music of your collection. I dnīt get the difference.
I see that closing a document window doesnīt mean closing the application. Thatīs obvious. -And, just for the record, I like the menu bar globality thing also.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Some remarks...
by kittynipples on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 01:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Some remarks..."
kittynipples Member since:
2006-08-02

On OSX, if an application can have multiple document windows open, the close button only closed the window but doesn't quit the application. In a single document or dialog type app, the close button actually quits the app. An exception is iTunes where you may close the window but still want the app running to play music in the background.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Some remarks...
by cm49 on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 04:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Some remarks..."
cm49 Member since:
2007-03-23

iTunes can have playlists open in separate windows, like documents. This is the reason it stays open after the main window is closed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Some remarks...
by MrSidecar on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 06:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Some remarks..."
MrSidecar Member since:
2007-02-13

Thank you. As in "Okay, now I get it." Seen like this it sounds pretty logical...

Edited 2007-07-02 06:39

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Some remarks...
by Chicken Blood on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Some remarks..."
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

On OSX, if an application can have multiple document windows open, the close button only closed the window but doesn't quit the application. In a single document or dialog type app, the close button actually quits the app. An exception is iTunes where you may close the window but still want the app running to play music in the background.

Actually iTunes is not an exception because it is a muliple-document application. (Double-click an item in the source list to see a new document window).

Edited 2007-07-02 18:11 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Some remarks...
by exigentsky on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 06:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Some remarks..."
exigentsky Member since:
2005-07-09

It's really simple. A photo program is useless if you can't see the photos. Thus, if you close the window, it makes sense that the program would be closed. It works the same way with system preferences. If you close the window, the system preferences program is closed. This is Apple trying to make things faster.

In iTunes, you can close the window and still listen to the music. Similarly, if you're using a Bittorent client, you might want to close the window but still continue the transfer. It makes sense.

However, personally, I don't know what to make of this. I see how some might see this as inconsistent. It's not much of an issue, but maybe Apple should clarify it.

Reply Score: 1

v ???
by SK8T on Sun 1st Jul 2007 19:36 UTC
RE: ???
by Chicken Blood on Sun 1st Jul 2007 20:45 UTC in reply to "???"
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21


the toggle button is no lack of usability, it hase its sense. Sometimes you just don't need the toolbar, and when you have very large icons in the toolbar (e.g. for older people) it can be very usefull to hide this buttons.


Another person who failed to read the article properly. Thom has no problem with a button that toggles the toolbar's visibility. How did you even reach this conclusion?

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: ???
by SK8T on Sun 1st Jul 2007 23:04 UTC in reply to "???"
v It's funny ...
by Duffman on Sun 1st Jul 2007 20:10 UTC
RE: It's funny ...
by Tyr. on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 03:28 UTC in reply to "It's funny ... "
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

... to see that all posts against the Thom's opinion are suddendly rated at -5.

As usual I should say ... Welcome to China.


Isn't locking the moderation on this post proving the validity of it ?

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: It's funny ...
by sbenitezb on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE: It's funny ... "
RE[3]: It's funny ...
by Chicken Blood on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 18:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's funny ... "
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

Good riddance.

Reply Score: 1

What a weird topic
by oma2la on Sun 1st Jul 2007 21:21 UTC
oma2la
Member since:
2005-07-05

If this is the most important thing going on in Thom's life right now, then I wish I was him.

Reply Score: 4

Where were they?
by l0ne on Sun 1st Jul 2007 22:01 UTC
l0ne
Member since:
2006-11-25

... they were out making the iPhone, it seems.

Reply Score: 3

cato_minor
Member since:
2006-02-13

I never really noticed that toggle button, unless I recently tried to help someone configuring Apple Mail. In Mail's preferences dialog, that button toggles... the tabs!

Now, I understand that it can be effective to toggle a toolbar to get a bigger window. But to hide access to the preferences in a preferences window - wow!

Reply Score: 4

a Reach
by pixelmutt on Sun 1st Jul 2007 23:34 UTC
pixelmutt
Member since:
2006-03-06

Kinda stretching it for moaning and bitching points, aren't we Tom *h?

Reply Score: 2

SuperDaveOsbourne
Member since:
2007-06-24

1. Bring up a go-to window (cmd-shift-g) and type "/tmp/" & return.
2. Double Click the main drive window and make it spatial (cmd-opt-t)
3. Close window to hard drive
4. Close window to 'go-to' window.
5. Double click the main drive again to open a Finder...

See, you get two state conditions in Finder, you get goto windows and you get device windows. However, if you noticed, the zoom closed to the main drive occured for both windows to the icon for the drive. Yet, the state of the view window depends on state in which you left one or the other. Very poor GUI consistancy, and completely confusing to even experienced users of OSX. And try writing test cases for the GUI using Finder based on this behaviour.

Reply Score: 1

Consistency is Overrated...
by rshol on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 13:33 UTC
rshol
Member since:
2005-07-12

as a usability concept. Note I did not say useless, just overrated. The major issue is to meet user expectations regarding what users expect an interface to do or look like. Since every user is different and has different expectations from an interface, configurability should be maximized.

In finder, for example, I would expect the standard window to include a field to enter a path, ie /etc/bin. That's faster and easier for me than hunting for the path with the mouse. I also expect to be able to resize a window from any spot on the edge, for application menus to be part of the application window, for the maximize button to make the window fill the whole screen and for applications to close when I close all their windows. That's just me, your expectations will be different.

Improving usability means increasing user choice about how the interface works. One size does not fit all. Consistency is in the eye of the beholder.

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