Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 13th Aug 2008 23:50 UTC
Mac OS X An interesting article has been making its way around the internet the past few days, titled "Top 10 Usability Highs Of Mac OS". Mac OS X indeed does some things very, very right, just like many other operating systems and graphical environments do some things very, very right. The issue with the list of the article in question is that many of the items on the list are not exactly examples of "Usability Highs" at all.
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RE: Not quite intuitive
by WereCatf on Thu 14th Aug 2008 11:02 UTC in reply to "Not quite intuitive"
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Some of the metaphors are only intuitive once you've been shown them. The drag-and-drop installer is one of those. Completely baffled me, but of course it's so obvious *once you've been shown*.

It sure baffled me too, I actually had to search and read how to install apps in OSX ;) So, no, it definitely isn't as intuitive as people make it out to be. And uninstallation of apps is rather annoying since there is no consistency..some apps require using uninstaller application, some has to be found via Finder and dragged to trash and so forth.

Same goes for dragging a device into the trash to eject it.

I definitely didn't know this! Atleast my brains doesn't automatically think of "hey, lets drag my devices and all to trash" as a good idea.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Not quite intuitive
by apoclypse on Thu 14th Aug 2008 13:14 in reply to "RE: Not quite intuitive"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

True but if you've been a user since the old Mac OS days then things have stayed pretty consistent throughout the lifetime of Apple's premier OS. While dragging devices to the trash to eject them isn't ideal in some cases and confusing (though that is why apple has that nice little eject button in the far right of their keyboard), I personally wouldn't have it any other way. For a windows user who has never used an Apple OS before, then yeah its confusing, but that behavior has been consistent on Mac OS since the beginning. It does two things that I like 1. It forces the user to un-mount the drive before ejecting (which the OS does as it ejects). In Windows this is an issue. You have to go the far right corner of your screen to un-mount your devices properly and sometimes it doesn't work properly at all because there is some window or process that hanged still using the device. In OSX removing the device usually kills all process related to the device and all windows as well. I've never gottena device busy error in OSX. I'm sure it happens but I have yet to come across that issue.
2. Apple trains their users to use the context menus as little as possible, I personally like that a lot. Sometimes the tendency in GUI's is to put way to much functionality into context menus without giving users the option of not using the context menu. Things that can and should be done with drag and drop operation are stuck in a context menu somewhere. In Gnome/KDE un-mounting and ejecting a device for the most part requires you to use the context menu. For a new user who has no idea what they are doing there has to be a better way to allow users to eject their devices without relying solely on context menus. There is an eject applet for Gnome, I'm sure there is one for KDE as well. Macs don't have eject buttons on their disc drives and that has been true since the floppy drive. I think Macs use of a dedicated eject key on the keyboard is the key, though I did like it better when it was used to power on the Mac. First time I saw that I though it was so darn cool.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Not quite intuitive
by darknexus on Thu 14th Aug 2008 19:00 in reply to "RE[2]: Not quite intuitive"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

That little eject key is only useful for ejecting physical media, most commonly an optical drive. It won't unmount thumb drives, network shares, or other attached storage. However, there is this little key combination, command-e, that will eject anything. Select the device and press command-e and that'll do it. That's another thing that's stuck around and remained consistent.
I've never seen OS X close files or kill applications that are utilizing mounted media when you eject it. I've gotten "device busy" errors many times and have had to go hunt around to find which program was using it. It would be nice if OS X would tell you which programs or files are still in use on the device, that would certainly be an improvement. On the other hand, I haven't seen any os so far that was able to do this reliably by itself. Of course in UNIX-style oses you can use fuser in conjunction with ps to see what's happening, but that's far from automatic, and even that doesn't always tell you why a device is busy.

Reply Parent Score: 1