Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 25th Aug 2007 19:54 UTC, submitted by SK8T
Mac OS X Apple appears to be accelerating seeds of Mac OS X Leopard to developers. After only 5 days since the last seed (9A500n), Apple has issued a new version of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to developers. The latest seed is listed at build 9A527 (client) and 9A528a (server), and reportedly list a number of less significant 'known issues' compared to prior seeds.
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Extra Details
by exigentsky on Sat 25th Aug 2007 22:09 UTC
exigentsky
Member since:
2005-07-09

Someone on MacRumors posted a screenshot of the latest build. See it here: http://img516.imageshack.us/img516/5461/picture4sp9.png

Perhaps most noticeable, the menu bar is only slightly transparent. It is far more readable and even looks better. The previous iteration was poor for usability and ugly when multiple windows were open. It suggested to users that it wasn't solid and windows could be moved under it and was difficult to read (not to mention it was superfluous and gave me nightmares of Vista). It also looked horrible if you weren't staring at the desktop background because it looked completely out of place with the window decoration and other aspects of the OS.

Another change is the window controls. The color is now deeper and this may help for those who don't see well. However, it looks a bit too saturated for me and the main problems remain. The are still very small targets that are difficult to hit and the function of each button is only clear on rollover. It is poor design to force users to move their mouse over every option just to find what they need. There is no need to make this learning curve.

The dock is now no longer transparent. This was a problem with some light backgrounds because the neon glow on a light color is difficult to see. Even now, it is not so clear. However, it was not necessary to completely disable transparency and instead, only a little could be left (or they could stop using the neon glow). Maybe they also wanted to get rid of the visual noise many have complained about (people were especially distracted by reflections). Still, problems remain. The perspective of the icons is wrong, the dock now looks wrong on the side and it suffers from most of the same problems it had from day 1 (although there are advantages to their approach as well).

Some of the criticism for Leopard's GUI (and especially Stacks) is still not addressed, but it's getting better:

http://macnewsonline.com/wp/2007/07/09/5-leopard-gui-gripes/
http://blog.turbomilk.com/archives/000164.html
http://www.thinkmac.co.uk/blog/2007/08/hint-how-to-redesign-leopard...
http://watchingapple.com/2007/06/apples-gravity-lessons-learning-fr...

Edited 2007-08-25 22:20

Reply Score: 5

RE: Extra Details
by Kroc on Sat 25th Aug 2007 22:33 in reply to "Extra Details"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Pic of desktop, sans clutter
http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/1743/picture1uq9.png

Also, pic of Preferences, much more polished icons now
http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/3170/picture3vy7.png

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Extra Details
by henrikmk on Sun 26th Aug 2007 09:10 in reply to "RE: Extra Details"
henrikmk Member since:
2005-07-10

It looks to me, even with an empty desktop, that the dock still looks "busy" with unnecessary (and odd looking) reflections. Apple seem to have wanted to introduce some sort of a 3D appearance into the desktop, and it just doesn't work. I can't believe that Steve approved this?

I would just wish, they would dump and go back to the old look. It's clean and clear to look at. They _have_ dumped features that were shown at a keynote before, when OSX was before beta, so hopefully they will go for it.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Extra Details
by tyrione on Sat 25th Aug 2007 23:36 in reply to "Extra Details"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

When you see a red sign coming up towards you while driving, do you not know already that the sign will read, "STOP"? Or do you need it glowing and readable from any position within your viewing port?

It's different, but so is a rectangle, underscore and X to learn that they mean maximize, minimize and close.

After repetition the brain recalls their purpose.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Extra Details
by exigentsky on Sat 25th Aug 2007 23:50 in reply to "RE: Extra Details"
exigentsky Member since:
2005-07-09

You can reason that way, but it is not so obvious. In fact, Apple even concedes this by showing a more descriptive function when the mouse hovers over each button. Of course people will learn after just a few minutes, but the key is to be so intuitive that it wouldn't even take that long. This is why the iPhone is so amazing.

This is not only my complaint. Many usability experts dislike this design as well. But I suppose it's impossible to get modded up on OSNEWS if one provides constructive criticism of Apple. How dare I say the Dock has issues, the menu bar was a mess and that the window controls could be made friendlier?! Seriously, even as a relatively happy Mac user, this bias is getting annoying.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Extra Details
by sappyvcv on Sun 26th Aug 2007 01:31 in reply to "Extra Details"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

It suggested to users that it wasn't solid and windows could be moved under it and was difficult to read (not to mention it was superfluous and gave me nightmares of Vista).

Can you explain your logic to me on this one? It's still more transparent than Vista's bar and Vista's bar at least displays its text as opaque and not the whole thing as transparent.

Reply Parent Score: 2