Home > macOS > Mac OS X Users Discuss the Aqua UI Mac OS X Users Discuss the Aqua UI Eugenia Loli 2003-02-13 macOS 58 Comments MacOSX developers and users are discussing in their blogs some inconsistencies found in MacOSX’s user interface and some found in the iApps. Read here, here, here and here. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 58 Comments 2003-02-13 2:18 am Anonymous too sexy for my shirt. 2003-02-13 2:18 am Anonymous pc users visiting my post should know that because of an issue with my css and probably of ie not following any number of standards, my site does not render correctly in ie (for mac and for windows – thoug ie for mac renders stuff a lot better). i will be changing the site tonight so that stuff does or atleast tries to render correctly. currently under ie 6 the images fromt he article are not visible, but you can find them in http://www.vinayvenkatesh.com/blog/upload/hig-gripes/ thank you for bearing with my lack of bending over for microsoft (i guess i have to now (= ) 2003-02-13 2:47 am Anonymous A few of these articles were rather good (especially the “Irate Scotsman” one with all the pictures). Here’s another fun one he didn’t point out: In iTunes, you have double-arrow buttons that act like next/previous track buttons when clicked, and act like fast forward/rewind buttons when held down. This is rather different than Quicktime, which has distinct buttons for those purposes. Which is different yet again from DVD Player, whose buttons function like iTunes but have double arrows and a line. (DVD Player screenshot: http://184.108.40.206/software/macosx101/images/dvd1.jpg ) My only major grip is his approval of using stateless (visually) toolbar buttons to function as tabs, as iChat and whatnot do. Sure, the titlebar changes, but that’s a pretty minor visual cue, and the user is given no other clue as to which tab he/she is on other than guessing by context. This is very similar to the issue where if you click on the bold button in iChat, it doesn’t change to show you that you’re in “Bold mode” now; you have to type a few letters to know. Tabs have been shown to be very clear to people; I don’t see why they can’t simply use graphical tabs in such cases. (A horizontal list view like Project Builder uses is better than using merely a toolbar, but could still be better). 2003-02-13 3:10 am Anonymous one must not forget the terrible maximize functionality in os x (and earlier versions of mac os) i never did like the idea of the maximize button doing effectively nothing. you click it, and in some apps it makes the window fill the whole screen (as it should), and it some apps it just makes the window a little bigger (or even smaller!!!) also, mac os totally ignores the ideas of corners. i can’t remember who it was offhand, but someone who did a lot of work in UI design stated (and this makes sense to anyone who has ever used windows) that you should always use corners, they’re the easiest places to just ‘snap’ your mouse to. for example, in windows, i can double click a windows title bar to maximize it (very usefull), and then i can whip my mouse to the top right corner of the screen and click to close the window. also, mac os has piss poor support for the apple+tab. apple+tab should switch between all active WINDOWS, not just active apps. also, not a UI bit, but font rendering in os x is disgusting. sure, it’s all smooth and antialiased, but for readability, it’s just terrible. look at verdana on any other os, and then look at it on the mac. what in the hell is going on in os x? the poor UI and lousy fonts is why i STILL do all my php development on a windows machine. i just can’t use my mac to get any real ‘work’ done. 2003-02-13 3:34 am Anonymous I really, really don’t like the brushed metal look (okay, it works for iTunes, but not much else) Now, this is just personal preference, but holy cow, what’s with Apple making every new application brushed metal? My main problem is Apple has been flagrantly violating their own interface guidelines regarding the brushed metal look: http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macosx/Essentials/AquaHIGuideli… These guidelines state: This window style has been designed specifically for use by—and is therefore best suited to—applications that provide an interface for a digital peripheral, such as a camera, or an interface for managing data shared with digital peripherals, such as the Address Book application. This appearance may also be appropriate for applications that strive to re-create a familiar physical device—the Calculator application, for example. Avoid using the textured window appearance in applications or utilities that are unrelated to digital peripherals or to the data associated with these devices. I remember when people used to joke about a brushed metal web browser being the ultimate low that could be reached with the brush metal look. Then Apple came out with Safari. The linked articles do a great job picking Safari apart from a usability standpoint so I won’t go into that. But why, why oh why, did Apple make Safari brushed metal? That being said, I got quite a kick out of one of the article’s calling Safari’s horrible text input box/progress indicator a NSSchizophrenicTextFieldAndProgressIndicator. Why Apple ever combined these two I’ll never know, but it just feels horribly, horribly wrong, and is just confusing for other people who try to use my Mac. Now, my other problem. I absolutely love the Aqua look (yes, read: Aqua as in blue, not Graphite. I don’t like the Graphite look. Don’t tell me to use Graphite, that’s not a solution) However, the traffic light buttons drive me insane. Where did Apple ever come up with such a stupid idea? Their functionality is completely masked until you hover over them. Sure, you get used to them eventually, but it’s still a stupid premise, and furthermore they’re ugly. Here’s how I would prefer the buttons: http://fails.org/titlebar.png The idea being the “x”, “+”, and “-” would always be there regardless of if you’re hovering over them unless that function isn’t applicable (this example window shows – not being applicable, and is thus greyed out. The – can stay on there when greyed out… it’s not in this example but I don’t see that as being a problem either way) I agree with everything said about iChat and iCal… they’re just weird applications as far as the look and usability, with too many custom widgets to the point that they become discontiguous with the UI. 2003-02-13 3:58 am Anonymous I’m sorry, I apologize for being a dick, but… How can a guy complain about following standards when he doesn’t even capitalize his own sentences and proper nouns? Sure, you’re free to do that, but when you choose to break the rules in favor of a particular visual style, it seems hard to complain about someone else doing the same thing… Capital letters are like interface guidelines. They might not seem important, but they actually help the user navigate. 2003-02-13 4:12 am Anonymous that someone criticising a user interface doesn’t capitalize where he should. It makes the text hard to read, in fact I gave up half way through. Also, the default letter size is small and is a dark gray against a lighter gray. What’s up with that? (I’m using Phoenix) He does make some valid points, it just seems a little silly complaining and doing this kind of stuff. 2003-02-13 4:14 am Anonymous Does Steve Jobs micro-manage? 2003-02-13 4:16 am Anonymous You see, maximizing on the Mac is very very different from the PC. This goes back decades. On the mac, it maximizes to the amount it requires the most, but not to the entire screen. On Windows on the other hand, since overlapping windows was a feature in Windows 2.0, maximized windows cover the entire screen. My point is that you can’t complain about this because the UI comes from very different paths than Windows’, and I can imagine the amount of people getting pissed if Apple decided to copy Windows yet again. Personally, I’m okay with this, but for certain apps I notice it normally maximizes vertically off the screen – IE especially. 2003-02-13 4:58 am Anonymous They’re blogs you dolt. they’re personal journals. they have every right to use AlTeRnAtInG HaXoR cApS if they want. 2003-02-13 5:04 am Anonymous 1. Zoom behaves CORRECTLY on the Mac it’s NOT Maximize. I find Zoom PREFERABLE to Maximize anyday. I could explain in depth why, but I’ve already done that recently. 2. Don’t know what your corner issue is, you need to clarify. (There are certain issues with OS X that could be said to be related to corners: only resizing windows from their CORNERS; Dock defaults are centered rather than pinned at the CORNER–but this is configurable.) How is clicking title bars related to CORNERS? Huh?… Seriously, huh? 3. Title Bars: clicking on title bars MINIMIZES a window on a Mac. More sensible than maximizing to me… Don’t get you PC users. Also, Command-clicking on Title Bars always the user to navigate UP the hierarchy–if there is one: file directories, the web, etc… Much cooler than just maximize. 4. Command-tab should NOT move through ALL windows. Command-(Shift)-tab should move through apps; Command-(Shift)-` [I call it: tilde, the ~ thing, you know the little button above the tab key] to cycle through the DOCUMENTS of the foregrounded APPLICATION. 5. I could critique the SAME elements in Windows for their own quirks of behavior, but I find the PC UI uninteresting to talk about–it’s a complete and utter mess. As for these blogs, there are a lot of valid points. Some of their issues I’m willing to dismiss and give Apple the benefit of the doubt for at least some time–I can see that they are experimenting and shifting things around: widgets; icon sizes, placements, the location of features in preferences, toolbars, and menus, etc… Some I do not think will ever be resolved–but there’s always been a bit of this also–let’s not fool ourselves–and I don’t always like this. But for a while, I’ll tolerate a fair bit of this…. Some of this I think really is bad. A couple things here and there I disagree with–the iApps should be pretty unique and tailored to HOW YOU USE THEM–but when possible, they should be consistent to themselves. It’s funny–some people are going to bring up gripes now that are completely consistent, or really good UI design, but because of their own indiosyncrosies and preferences, people are going to rip to shreds the WRONG STUFF for the WRONG REASONS. I already STRONGLY disagree with much of what’s been posted in the comments–though I agreed with 80% of what the blogs said. 2003-02-13 5:12 am Anonymous Jesus, man, I know about typefaces and typography, and no one has ever beaten the Mac. I don’t know what you can be thinking–proper kerning, spacing, true WYSIWYG rendering, it goes on and on… Don’t understand how anyone can say what you said about the Mac and fonts. 2003-02-13 5:15 am Anonymous It’s called Fitts’ Law. Read up on it, and then try to say that I’m wrong. http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~cs5724/g1/glance.html 2003-02-13 5:20 am Anonymous Lucky you. I know about typography too, in fact, it’s my major, so don’t think I’m just talking out of my ass here. (even though this isn’t a typography issue) While it may render fonts ‘correctly’, from a readability standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to have EVERY system font anti-aliased. All fonts on my Powerbook (yes, I’m bad-mouthing Apple UI’s and I own a Ti Powerbook) are anti-aliased, they all look ‘bold.’ Take a look at a Windows XP box with ClearType and then at a Mac, and you’ll know what I mean. 2003-02-13 5:30 am Anonymous Are you kidding me… my point was your examples didn’t correspond to what you were talking about, which was still incoherent. Let’s turn the table: why can’t I resize document windows in FrontPage–they are trapped in the tabbed interface… Why wouldn’t I want to see two docs side-by-side–why do I have to cyce through them? Why are all Access dialogs and docs (datasheets or other) tied to the app window, why does every window and dialog move to the foreground if I just want to cycle to one window… wouldn’t I want to look at a query and a word or other doc without bringing ten windows and a big app window forward… Hell, why does ODBC Connections not tell you that you need local admin rights to create connections: you can “WIZARD” through a connection, test it, and save it, and not have anything saved without being prompted for a password or being prompted in anyway. Jesus christ! The fact is Apple is always evolving their standards, they will also break their standards. But they are much more uniform, and more frequentl adhered too. Consistency is a criticism, but no other considerable platform really wans to try to compare with the Mac UI on the topic of consistency. If you’d like you can relevently apply Fitt’s Law to elements of the Mac UI, but you haven’t yet as far as I can tell. 2003-02-13 5:35 am Anonymous And I still hardly see anyone using it. I find it hilarious how you can still configure ClearType via the web… what the fck… why do I configure it over the internet? Anti-aliasing? Jesus–what about Windows bitmapping, letter spacing, word spacing, line spacing… It’s a joke. Anyway, I’m not going to get into the font issue because it’s as laughable as the consistency issue. 2003-02-13 5:40 am Anonymous Everyone I know uses it and they love it. If you have LCD, it is a must-use. 2003-02-13 5:44 am Anonymous “Personally, I’m okay with this, but for certain apps I notice it normally maximizes vertically off the screen – IE especially.” I don’t have IE on my machine anymore, but I thought they finally fixed it. I find very few apps misbehaving now… If they do, they’re bad ports. Nearly all of my apps I properly aware of the Dock–they size to full vertical extent if the Dock is Hidden; they size to the Dock if the Dock is Visble. None go right off the screen. Can you mention other examples? 2003-02-13 5:45 am Anonymous I don’t understand how people can spend such lengthy amounts of time arguing about font rendering. It’s entirely a matter of personal preference. I own an iBook and a Windows desktop with an 18″ LCD with ClearType on. On both systems the font rendering is excellent. There’s so many decisions to be made as far as antialiased font rendering goes… whether or not to use a font’s built in hinting or autohinting, whether or not to use subpixel hinting (perhaps the primary difference between OS X and ClearType) I would say both Windows and OS X have done an excellent job. I’ll say this though… if I take a screen capture from my iBook and look at it on my Dell LCD, the fonts do look too fuzzy/blurry. The only thing I can think to attribute that to is the size of the pixels on the two displays… the iBook having a much higher number of pixels per unit area. FreeType is terrible per default, but looks pretty good after spending a few hours configuring it. Neither OS X nor ClearType allow a high degree of configurability, so if you don’t like what Microsoft and Apple give you, you’re basically screwed. (although Windows does let you turn ClearType on/off) So, bottom line, the font battle is entirely subjective. Don’t complain about OS X’s font rendering, complain about its lack of configurability. And anyway, isn’t this all off topic? Wasn’t this supposed to be a discussion of problems with the Aqua UI? 2003-02-13 5:53 am Anonymous And can’t duplicate a window going beyond the screen… heck, I can’t get it to misbehave with the Dock, and it even has the SuperCoool “Dock Hammer” functionality–as I like to call it. Most Apple apps don’t even use this behavior. IE is a good UI citizen in this respect, Rajan. 2003-02-13 5:54 am Anonymous “Does Steve Jobs micro-manage?” They should have his picture in the dictionary under that term 🙂 I remember well, beofre OS X, when the Brushed Metal look first appeared – it was in the QuickTime Player. Instantly, there was freeware to get rid of it. People were almost in shock. It was like, “They’ve got to be kidding??!!”. Little did we know it was just the beginning. It is interesting how you do get used to stuff after a while. The idea of it being used with a program representing a device, I think, is appropriate. If Apple would stick to that, it would be consistent at least. I do wish Apple would do that. I also wish, as the blogs were talking about, that widgets would have the same meaning in these programs. Lastly, the red/yellow/green scheme – I think it’s okay (although I like your blue ones, Bascule). You learn what they are and go from there. So, in all these three areas, I think consistency is what is needed. Whatever pros and cons there may be, if there is consistency, the user experience (and work getting done) will be all the better. 2003-02-13 5:59 am Anonymous I forgot to say, i have to disagree with some – I think the progress bar idea in Safari is really good. 2003-02-13 6:01 am Anonymous Testing out window Zoom in IE made me really miss this behavior in Safari, TextEdit, and others. I just sat in IE for a few minutes resizing windows beyond the Dock and Cmd-Opt-D’ing the window into sweet, sweet malleable positioning while singing: “DOCK Hammer!! … Dock HAMmer!! … DOCK HamMER!!” doo-tee-doo 2003-02-13 6:41 am Anonymous Hide (Others) used to universal so Cmd-Opt-H always worked to Hide Others. Now it is in the app, and is subject to different treatments–sometimes this shortcut doesn’t work. This is unfortunate. 2003-02-13 7:00 am Anonymous Sorry for the OT, but I need to ask Bascule what to do with the fix_prebinding bug. It crashed my Powerbook today again… 🙁 (and this time was fix_prebinding, not update_prebinding) Bascule, please email me if you have a suggestion, don’t post here, as I might not read it, thanks. 2003-02-13 7:29 am Anonymous Navigating the Finder and file dialogs… Pre-OS X Apple supported a great way to traverse file directories: Cmd+Up Cursor, Meant move up to Parent. There were also shortcuts simple ones for common locations (but Desktop was the only well-implemented one.) OS X kinda broke this, but also majorly enhanced this navigating with the Go Shortcuts (Cmd-Shift-C,-H,-I,-A,-F,-G) By the way, why no -D? I guess Desktops are somewhat deprecated, maybe they will have virtual desktops someday because every user has one unique Desktop now, and this shortcut still works in File Dialogs. At this point (10.2.3), the behaviors are still mixed and a little confused, but powerful. In any Finder View (Icons, List, Columns), Cmd-Up moves up to the parent. In Column View, simply Left, Right work as well to traverse directories. (I believe tab also used to work, but now tab either changes the selection status, or does nothing.) Up, down moves through the dir. (This is the messy part–it’s sometimes difficult to know if an alpha shortcut will be in the current directory level or the target level–there is an indicator, and the bahavior can be learned, but it’s tricky.) In Icon View, Left, Right, Up, Down moves from the selected file to the next in the appropriate direction. (The weird part about this is when icons aren’t “arranged,” but it’s not that weird). With these “spatial” shortcuts, the Go Shortcuts, (and of course, spelling shortcuts, back, forward…) I can navigate by memory through the file system on a Mac faster than I can on Windows. (Even if equivalent shortcuts exist, if they do, what are they?–I’ve never found them–I know most of them do, but… Locations?, Up to Parent?) Once you start using these shortcuts, they are natural and really speed many tasks because when you can move down AND up through the file system simply with keys, you learn to remember the common sequences. 2003-02-13 11:45 am Anonymous also, mac os totally ignores the ideas of corners. i can’t remember who it was offhand, but someone who did a lot of work in UI design stated (and this makes sense to anyone who has ever used windows) that you should always use corners, they’re the easiest places to just ‘snap’ your mouse to. That’s why I wrote Cornerfix: http://www.keindesign.de/stefan/cornerfix.html 2003-02-13 11:48 am Anonymous After spending many years on Linux desktops and even more on Windows desktops, these issues seem rather trivial in comparison to the UI inconsistancies of apps on these platforms. However, since consolidating platforms on the Mac, about 8 months ago, I obviosly started following the platform (something I never did before). I’m rather amazed at how beloved the GUI is to the Mac community. I never quite understood this, but now have some anactdodial support and understanding. I’ve recently switched my wife to a Mac (about a month ago) and she is doing more with her computer now then she had ever done under windows. What’s more she’s asking me less “how do I” questions. She’s not a technical person. For me: let me run the apps I need to, they way I need to, don’t make me edit a hundred conf files to do something trivial, and allow me to edit a hundred conf files to do something really complex. 2003-02-13 2:35 pm Anonymous //thank you for bearing with my lack of bending over for microsoft (i guess i have to now (= )// Shows how little you know about Internet usage, I guess. Why don’t you just stick to plain text files? Anybody who *DOESN’T* code for IE shouldn’t even have a web site. Fool! Begone! 2003-02-13 2:53 pm Anonymous I like the brushed texture. For most Apps i use i tried to change it to that texture too. If you don’t like it you can turn it off the same way. There are some guidelines for this i found on http://www.macosxhints.com to change the brushed metal look to normal (or whatever they call the stripes) in Safari. This works also for other apps like Mail, Calculator and even the Installer. 2003-02-13 2:55 pm Anonymous Well, I am sorry to say this, but I don’t come up with sites which don’t render with the latest browsers. It should be really hard to do that. Besides this, how come such a site owner can talk about UI elements on Mac OS X is beyond me. Although, I aprreciated your concern and effort to fix the problem. 2003-02-13 3:08 pm Anonymous I hate Microsoft, but ClearType does beat Apple’s version hands-down. 2003-02-13 3:58 pm Anonymous “apple+tab should switch between all active WINDOWS” oh heck no. Many applications use many windows that I do not want to tab through. Have Quicken open? I’ll usually have 5-6 windows open (for different accounts within Quicken). I don’t want to have to tab through all those. 2003-02-13 4:43 pm Anonymous This is really tedious stuff to slog through. How much of it matters? Some, but not all. Apple has had to prioritize. What’s more important, whether you can plug in your digicam and iPhoto opens (no drivers, no install, no nuthin), or what apple-tab does? That said, I would like to see Apple doing a big mop-up operation at some point – with OS X rapidly maturing they should be able to devote some people to cleaning up the little less well designed things. I will say one more thing – consistency is not always desirable (hobgoblin of small minds or something like that). 2003-02-13 5:17 pm Anonymous I find the Mac UI to be the worst possible design I have ever seen. It has some good points to it butThe bad out weigh the good. I like the Transparency implementations that it has, I also like the drop shadows. And I like the dialog sheets and the photo realistic icons those are some pretty neat items I would like to see the sheets under KDE, but I doubt we will. Now for the bad, I dont like throbbong buttons, they are very distracting if you are working with an Application just like the gray stripes, the color scheme of white is a good color but I dont need different color buttons and I dont need a blue or grey Apple and I sure dont need Icons that can bounce, Apple needs to seriously work on the UI some more, make the colors a little more blended so they dont stand out as much as they do. Well there is my two cents. 2003-02-13 5:31 pm Anonymous Almost everything that you mentioned is look-and-feel. Some of us would like to think, rather KNOW, User Interface is much more than this. Please, please, please learn this for your own good. People who say these things just sound silly to people who are actually talking about UI. As for look and feel, people act as if tiny red, yellow, green buttons, and a couple of blue lozenges prevent them from working…. That’s just silly–you clearly have done nothing to get used to it. As for the effect on the UI, I find that there is very little distraction–most of the “userspace” is white or nearly white while controls that I will quickly want to access are distinctive and attractive — scroll bars, window buttons, apple menu… Otherwise, it fades to the background. Comapre that to XP where BLUE, BLUE, BLUE overwhelms the screen from the bottom, the top, the sides (especially if you use taskpanes)… and nothing is very distinct at all, but the start button. I’d rather have only the controls jump out–shouldn’t they? 2003-02-13 5:50 pm Anonymous I didn’t say this before because I was screwing with kyle and was hoping he would reply… Fitt’s law does not specifically have ANYTHING, anything at all to do with corners… except that they are big targets (because they extend infinitely off the edge) but they are also frequently the FURTHEST locations away… No UI designer would ever say that the corners should ALWAYS be used. Let’s state this for the ignorant (in simplified terms): Fitts’s Law: The time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target. And did you read your own link? http://www.asktog.com/columns/022DesignedToGiveFitts.html Windows breaks Fitts’s law more frequently than the Mac. Did you build an app to break the app window metaphor and pin app menu bars to a predictable location? No, well, get to work, buddy. 2003-02-13 6:12 pm Anonymous Windows breaks Fitts’s law more frequently than the Mac. Did you build an app to break the app window metaphor and pin app menu bars to a predictable location? No, well, get to work, buddy. Who the heck are you to talk to me like that? I know what Fitt’s law says and what it doesn’t, and I know how it relates to Cornerfix. What my app does is increase the effective size of the Apple menu and therefore make it easier to hit, that’s all. Fitts’s Law: The time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target. See? Size matters. I change the size, period. Don’t pretend you invented it. Why would I care about the Windows side? It’s been done already anyway. Though it doesn’t make sense moving menu bars in apps that weren’t designed for it. 2003-02-13 6:37 pm Anonymous To be perfectly honest. Sometimes I don’t think having the menubar at the top of the screen is the most efficiant solution. Example, have a desktop that is large, open a small application on one of the bottom corners of the screen. In order to access the menubar functions you have to go all the way up to the top of the screen and then all the way back down to do other things with the application. This problem magnifies when you have more than one monitor and the menubar stays only in the primary monitor. You have to traverse all the way back to the first one in order to do what I mentioned above. I know you get used to it after a while, but it’s not elegant or time saving in places where every second counts like arguing about conistency because it saves you a few seconds per operation. So in closing I think all the computer UI’s have their flaws. I think the UI that came closest to fitt’s law is NeXtOpenstep. But of course it too has it’s drawbacks, especially when considering people have different tastes. 2003-02-13 6:50 pm Anonymous For someone hocking their wares on people who have no clue what Fitts’s law applies to? All I said was there is the same work to be done in Windows. What did I say about window size? Nothing. I didn’t insult you. I didn’t insult your hack. I just said–Windows need MORE work than the Mac when it comes to applying Fitts’s law. Get over it. 2003-02-13 7:03 pm Anonymous How many of you have sent these UI inconsistancies (I hope that’s spelled right) to Apple? It seems that Apple has atlease been trying to implememnt some of the request the macfaithful have asked for. I know I’ve sent at least 25 comments to them about OSX (most on the metadata issue) 2003-02-13 7:45 pm Anonymous For someone hocking their wares on people who have no clue what Fitts’s law applies to? I do know what Fitt’s law says and what it doesn’t. Fitt’s law says my hack makes the Apple menu easier to hit. Fitt’s law does not specifically have ANYTHING, anything at all to do with corners. If you had read the link, you’d know how Fitt’s law does say things about corners: “List the five pixel locations on the screen that the user can access fastest. ” “The pixel immediately at the current cursor location: Click the mouse and you’re done. The bottom-right corner. The top-left corner. The top-right corner. The bottom-left corner.” No, it isn’t explicitly written like that in Fitt’s law. But it’s a direct consequence of it. Oh, and sorry you caught me on a bad day. Maybe I’m more polite to people that actually use a name? 2003-02-13 7:58 pm Anonymous You will see my comments are directed at no one in particular… I was just setting kyle’s misperceptions straight and using your post as a platform. Fitts’s law really doesn’t say anything about corners. People always think it says everything should be located at corners are some such nonsense–it does not. And, by the way, Fitts’s Law is not the be all end all. I hate it when people act as if defying it equals bad UI… most obviously, Fitts’s law says nothing about user preconceptions and habit… Yes, your hack does make the menu easier to hit. Okay. I was just trying to make some points about what it really says. 2003-02-13 8:07 pm Anonymous The things u don’t like, I dont like either. — So I changed them all in the system preferences. Peace. 2003-02-13 8:11 pm Anonymous You cant turn them all off from within system preferences. Peace 2003-02-13 8:23 pm Anonymous Look and feel have alot to do with the User Interface, without a good look and feel the consumer wont take the time to learn the OS but instead go onto bigger and better things, in my case it was x86 hardware with Linux, what you find attractive I do not. Personally IMHO the NeXT interface was much more visually appealing and the Apple engineers were stupid for replacing it with Aqua. In its day the NeXT interface was the best desktop environment. All Apple did with Aqua was try to make it flashy and to grab peoples attention, boring. The UI on the mac needs a major overhaul, the whole keep the menu bar on the Apple panel thing is stupid and its severly outdated, the brushed metal look is just more flash. Will Apple change it ? probably not. They feel that their UI and that their user experience is good enough. As for the other aspects of the UI, who cares. Like I previously stated without a good look and feel this whole discussion is mute. You will see more of an adoption of other OS’s and Apple share will keep falling, falling, falling until there is nothing left. And when the market share is gone the Mac is gone. 2003-02-13 9:05 pm Anonymous “I’ll say this though… if I take a screen capture from my iBook and look at it on my Dell LCD, the fonts do look too fuzzy/blurry. The only thing I can think to attribute that to is the size of the pixels on the two displays… the iBook having a much higher number of pixels per unit area.” It looks fuzzy/blurry because of the file format in which it was saved… PDF. I think there’s also an issue with Windows being set at 96dpi while the Mac is set at 72dpi. That might have been fixed though. 2003-02-13 9:42 pm Anonymous ” Now for the bad, I dont like throbbong buttons” Jaguar doesnt have them(perhaps you are referring to X.0 or X.1?), and you can change the color buttons to gray. ” I sure dont need Icons that can bounce’ System prefs will stop that. “I dont need a blue or grey Apple’ not sure what you mean there. Peace 2003-02-13 10:14 pm Anonymous “All Apple did with Aqua was try to make it flashy and to grab peoples attention, boring.” Not at all. I think it’s just the opposite. Everyone acts as if there are blue throbbing lozenges all over the place. They aren’t. There is very little blue; it’s mostly white and uninterfering–I don’t notice blue aquaness at all. You focus on the useable areas. But, when you are looking for a control, they are very easy to be attracted too and you are drawn to them immediately. I find that to be good UI… Yes, look-and-feel do relate to UI, but when everything you mentioned can be modified without affecting the UI, I see very little CONNECTION between the two. On the other hand, other UIs are much less color-activated–the whole UI is nearly the same color, or the control elements are the ones which are not highlighted by color, I consider that bad UI design–not using look-and-feel to carry information… Aqua wasn’t done solely to Wow the user though many are–I find very functional considerations behinad the Aqua look. 2003-02-13 10:40 pm Anonymous It looks fuzzy/blurry because of the file format in which it was saved… PDF. No, they’re PNGs, which is a lossless format. When capturing with Grab instead of option-shift-3, you don’t even have to use PDF as an intermediate step. See http://fails.org/macosx.png which was captured in Grab, and tell me if that looks blurry on your display. It looks great on my iBook’s LCD, but looks incredibly blurry on this CRT. 2003-02-13 10:44 pm Anonymous I use XP on my dell and X on my mac and by far OS X is much better looking and behaving. XP isn’t a gem, at least it crashes less the Win98. BUT the last time it(XP) crashed(on a brand new computer too). I had to re-install everything. That really sucked Bill…. I got a blue screen that wouldn’t go alway. So on stabilty and appearance……….OS X has it for me. 2003-02-13 11:09 pm Anonymous “All Apple did with Aqua was try to make it flashy and to grab peoples attention, boring.” tis sad but i agree. theres a lot of potential and i like it a lot but i like consistancy more. os9 was mint and os10’s prettier but not as usable imho (my first mac was an imac with os9 and i went to 10.1 about two months later) safaris toolbar sucks too 2003-02-13 11:35 pm Anonymous “os9 was mint” I could show you similar inconsistencies… “and os10’s prettier but not as usable imho” …if you can tell me what you can’t do in X that you could do in 9… Feature implementations have changed, but almost the only thing missing from 9 is labels. What is less functional now? 2003-02-13 11:38 pm Anonymous Oddly enough, I’ve found a very large number of laptops that have ClearType disabled. I think by default, all new accounts on XP have it disabled by default. So make sure you actually have it on before trying to compare a Windows laptop to a Mac. Control Panel, Display, Appearance Tab, Effects… button, “Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts:” set to ClearType. 2003-02-14 10:32 am Anonymous Anonymous: I don’t have IE on my machine anymore, but I thought they finally fixed it. I find very few apps misbehaving now… If they do, they’re bad ports. Well, the last I tried, it had that problem. Maybe 5.2 fixed the problem, but I notice most applications ported from the PC made for OS X 10.0 have this problem (well, at least the ones I tried). rockwell: Why don’t you just stick to plain text files? Anybody who *DOESN’T* code for IE shouldn’t even have a web site. Well, if on the average 99.9999999% of your audience are using the Mac, and you like to use a feature only available on Mac browsers, I don’t think they shouldn’t have a web site. Meanwhile, this is a blog, not a commercial web site. Except for hardline PC users that needs ammo against Mac zealots, or for now OSNews readers, I don’t think he takes his Windows audience all that seriously. appleforever: with OS X rapidly maturing they should be able to devote some people to cleaning up the little less well designed things. Prevention is better than cure. Just say I become so used to iMovies’ interface, its icons and toolbars, etc. and somewhere down the line Apple decides to place consistency as the top priority – I’m screwed. I have to get used to a new UI with new keyboard shortcuts, etc. Roberto J Dohnert: Personally IMHO the NeXT interface was much more visually appealing and the Apple engineers were stupid for replacing it with Aqua. You are kidding right? Personally, no offence, NeXT looked terribly ugly. Maybe not so with comparison with Windows and OS 9 those days, but today is different altogether. But at least the icons then while photographic, was livable, plus animation was not so excessive. Roberto J Dohnert: the whole keep the menu bar on the Apple panel thing is stupid and its severly outdated Agreed. IMHO, I think Apple should have follow NeXT’s idea. However they were trying to make it easier on traditional users to move to OS X… but heck, a lot OS X users weren’t all that faithful Mac users before.. yoyo: and you can change the color buttons to gray. I don’t like the default colour scheme, but graphite is many times worse.. Now, to the rest (mostly AC) that have been bashing Windows’ UI – guess what? Windows’ UI is far from perfect. Read the blogs, they are comparing with OS 9 or ntohing at all, not comparing with Windows. Comparing with Windows show how low you go… Anonymous: I could show you similar inconsistencies… Mostly with PC ports and post-Jobs inconsistency (esp. if you compare OS 8 with OS 9, you can see the number of inconsistency increase). But when Platinum was first released, it was eons away from Aqua when it was first released. Jordan: I think by default Yes, it is disabled by default, yet everyone, even non-geeks, have it on if they have a LCD monitor. As for the Fitts law, it is flawed. In comparing Mac OS and Windows, Mac OS may win, but between OpenStep with Mac OS, OpenStep would win. Why? Accessing the menu requires *no* movement of the mouse. So in other words, it is far more productive… And to Windows’ users disillusional about their UIs better than OS X, get a shrink. Minus all the excessive unneeded animation, bad choice of default widget background (strips, doesn’t go well with the vision impaired), etc., OS X is eons better than Windows. But then again, OS 9 is much better than OS X is so so so many different ways. 2003-02-14 5:45 pm Anonymous ” I notice most applications ported from the PC made for OS X 10.0 have this problem” But you can’t name a single one of them? Please… Do you even own a Mac? 2003-02-15 12:38 am Anonymous I am now able to shut up all Windows users who want the Maximize function. I will not it now, sure that the issue will arise again… I can’t wait for them to go, “oh. … well. uhhh…” Option + click Zoom = Fill Screen. Yeah! Now shut up! And once again the Mac can accomodate its own behavior as well as the PC behavior in a nice, neat, cute little package. … Of course, people are going to be pissed that it’s a keyboard modifier plus mouse click, but those whiners are unaware of this and many more combined input device shortcuts… Oh well. 2003-02-15 8:21 am Anonymous I understand the point about Fitts’s Law but the Menu bar is where it it use on Mac OS. On Windows if you want to open 2 window at the same time you loose all the advantage of Fitt’s Law, you can’t even get to the basic function of the app. I don’t know about you but I find the Mac OS way the better of the two.