Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 10th Oct 2010 14:17 UTC, submitted by Extend
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Yes, yes, it's that time of the year again - a new Fiona Apple album confirmed (which makes anything that happens between now and spring 2011 irrelevant and annoying), MorphOS 2.6 released (will be the next news item), and, of course, a new Ubuntu release showcasing the best of the best that the Free software world has to offer in the desktop world.
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RE[3]: Design fail
by cycoj on Wed 13th Oct 2010 04:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Design fail"
cycoj
Member since:
2007-11-04

I read the "You Can't Innovate Like Apple" article linked on the sidebar (http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/magazine/6/4/you_can... http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/magazine/6/4/you_cant_i nnovate_like_apple" rel="nofollow">http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/magazine/6/4/you_can... ) and I've been keeping Apple's pixel-perfect design method in mind as I've been going over 10.10.

Bad visual design is like bad writing. You can point out the flaws, but that doesn't get at the whole picture. To extend the writing metaphor, every element should be thought about very carefully a la Chekhov's gun, and it's clear that the new volume control applet's elements need more work:

1. What is that arrow bullet on the left next to the Rhythmbox info? Is it a control? If so, why is it flush with the edge of the menu (Fitt's law)? Why would we even need a control there to hide it?

2. Why is there a musical notation icon next to the Rhythmbox title? Isn't it already clear that it controls music?

3. Why is Rhythmbox even mentioned by name at all? How is that important? If you're going to be locking in the applet with a particular music player anyhow, what's the point of repeating its name?

4. This tiny applet is designed around no fewer than six columns, five of them left-justified and one center-justified. Very jarring.

5. The left edge of the menu is not aligned with with the left edge of the speaker button on the toolbar.


And here you have shown that you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. This sort of misalignment is done very often (also and especially by Apple, who do indeed have very good designers) to make an object look more "real" or "3D" (plastisch in German). This is done purposefully and it looks better that way. That you did not know this already, pretty much makes you unqualified to talk about visual design with any authority.

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