Home > Graphics > Two Interface Designers Talk OS X, XP/Vista Two Interface Designers Talk OS X, XP/Vista Submitted by Pierre Grabolosa 2006-03-16 Graphics 14 Comments Two former user interface designers at Apple and Microsoft – now co-workers at Frog Design – come together to discuss the design considerations that have gone into Mac OS X and Windows XP/Vista. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 14 Comments 2006-03-16 5:23 am JaredWhite Enjoyable read. I tend to believe Microsoft when they say they don’t copy as much as people say they do. The problem is that they’re always late to market. Or late to a polished implementation. Apple is a sleeker, leaner, faster company. In addition, the fact that Microsoft design teams are more autonomous is telling. At Apple, everyone ultimately has to justify their work (and sometimes their jobs!) to one man: Steve Jobs. Like it or not, when a single visionary is able to run a tight ship like that, great things happen. Every time you add a leader to a project, you lose cohesiveness and momentum. Microsoft needs to learn that. Vista is a good-looking OS with good features, but compared to OS X it’s still lacking. The graphics are overkill. OS X is easier on the eyes and simpler. And iLife just can’t be beat. Hopefully, Apple will continue the trend of further streamlining the UI with 10.5 Leopard. 2006-03-16 8:45 am Kroc Sometimes the streamlining is never noticied. I bought a MacMini when they came out, so it had Panther installed, with a Tiger upgrade disc bundled in. If you go from one to the other after regular use, you notice just how many dialogs and things Apple changed. Most notable is the copy dialog, and authentication dialogs. In Panther the copy dialog was a bulky great thing with too much information – and the collapse arrow hid everything you wanted and kept nothing you needed. The copy dialogs in Tiger are infinitely more streamlined now, able to stack themselves together so that you don’t get hundreds of small floatys around the screen. 2006-03-16 5:59 am iTorrey http://flickr.com/photos/itorrey/112767338/ It was an enjoyable talk. It’s interesting that they both moved on and work at Frog now. The most telling part was that when the OS X designers came to the engineers with what was needed, they laughed.. but the people in charge said to the engineers “DO IT!”. And they did. At roughly the same time, the Microsoft designers had a list of similar things they wanted from the engineers… the engieers laughed.. so Microsoft told the designers to rethink things. 2006-03-16 6:50 am iTorrey One more thing to add. Because the under the hood stuff didn’t exist to do the effects the designers wanted they would do their mockups in Director. Steve Jobs would go back and forth to get these prototypes just right. He apparently worked with them all week and once a week had a session where they’d go over what they had. Once they got to the implementation of the prototypes, Jobs would sit there with two computers running. One with the prototype and one with the actual implemented design. He would run the effects on both and if anything was out of place some poor engineer would get an earful. If the engineer was dumb enough to say “We can’t get the system to do that”, Jobs would yell back “You’re not trying hard enough! The Director people figured out!” Fun times I’m sure 2006-03-17 5:28 am hobgoblin hmm, jobs dont have a clue about limiations or anything like that, he just wants it his way, and thats final… in some ways it sounds like the “perfect” way to design a device, put old grandma in charge. if she dont like it, fix it, not her… 2006-03-16 10:38 am tyrione Oh yeah! Tim Wasko from NeXT who did many of the UI Work for OS X. Perhaps he’s missing in this conversation because he’s still there and during the time this guy gets called into meet Steve is the same time Keith Ohlfs was unavailable with WebTV to do a new design for OS X. If he were available this guy would have had to report to Mr. Ohlfs. 2006-03-16 1:25 pm avih Funny but would have been true. Video clip (google video) about what would have happened if MS would have packaged the iPod: http://tinyurl.com/kwl69 2006-03-16 2:06 pm nicholas Fantastic! So funny, yet so true, and so sad. 2006-03-16 2:43 pm jtrapp I thought they were laying the background. When I thought the article was getting ready to start, it ended. As to the MS iPod package video. You do know that is a MS creation, don’t you? 2006-03-16 4:00 pm modmans2ndcoming so? it is hillarious!!!! 2006-03-16 7:45 pm broken_symlink i felt like the ms guy didn’t actually have anything to say about the design of the xp gui. 2006-03-16 8:06 pm halfmanhalfamazing ————-With that, Mr. Ratzlaff and his team’s list of requirements for the operating system, which had been called overly ambitious and led to laughter from engineers who heard of them only weeks prior, became mandatory. These included 32-bit color with alpha channels and QuickTime integration, all being able to run on a system with just a G3 processor and as a little as 8MB of video memory. Mocking up the operating system’s design and functionality with Macromedia’s Director, Mr. Ratzlaff frequently would remind Apple engineers that “Macromedia can do it, so why can’t you?”————— I’d say they never will. A single g4 processor with 16/32mb perhaps. Today’s MacOS has become horribly bloated, approaching MS’s domain. But given the recent discussion about Vista, they’re taking bloat to a whole new level. 2006-03-17 8:38 am D-J-P Nice to see they both agree on the future of the computer interface will be a windows media center/frontrow one. This can be added to the “The Desktop Is Changing… But to What?” which osnews posted a few days ago. http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=13974 2006-03-19 5:29 am hobgoblin while the “console as desktop” item spawned a commentnumber thats mostly only rivaled by some kind of X vs Y, this one hardly registers on radar. is people so hungry for conflict these days?