Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 17th Mar 2003 22:49 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces So many operating systems and so many graphical desktop environments... This article is a comparison of the UI and usability of several Desktop Environments (DEs), that have been widely used, admired and reviled: Windows XP Luna, BeOS 6 (Dano/Zeta), Mac OS X Aqua and Unix's KDE and Gnome. Read on which one got our best score on our long term test and usage.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Windows XP consistency
by JK on Tue 18th Mar 2003 09:36 UTC

I'm surprised the author of this comparison didn't mention the inconsistency of Windows XP running a mix of SDI and MDI apps. To me that's much more inconsistent and a bigger usability issue than Apple's metallic windows, MDI apps work in a significantly different way to SDI apps.

For example they don't show all their windows on the taskbar, while all Mac OS X apps I've seen use the Dock in the same way. MDI apps have a single menubar for all windows, SDI apps have a menubar for each window, while Mac OS X apps all consistently use the menubar at the top of the screen. The window management behaviour inside different MDI apps can be totally different. For example some have their own internal taskbar, some have a window menu and don't let you minimise windows. I could go on, there are a lot of other inconsistencies and they aren't just in older apps.

IMO MDI is a terrible design, it makes working with multiple windows of different apps a real pain. Having to deal with MDI is the main reason I prefer a slower Mac to my fast PC when doing DTP and Photoshop work.

But I guess everyone has their pet hates that don't bother other people, that's what makes UI design such a personal thing.