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Kevin Oct 18, 2007 04:22 PM
Official Leopard GUI discussion thread
I made this for those of us who do want to discuss the GUI or changes Apple has made in the graphical user interface.

What are your feelings about Apple's Unified GUI? Feel free to go into a long rant, or a long praise. Either or is welcome.

BTW For those of you that are saying "HUH? What is a GUI?" here ya go

What is GUI? - a definition from Whatis.com - see also: graphical user interface

A GUI sometimes uses one or more metaphors for objects familiar in real life, such as the desktop, the view through a window, or the physical layout in a building. Elements of a GUI include such things as: windows, pull-down menus, buttons, scroll bars, iconic images, wizards, the mouse, and no doubt many things that haven't been invented yet. With the increasing use of multimedia as part of the GUI, sound, voice, motion video, and virtual reality interfaces seem likely to become part of the GUI for many applications. A system's graphical user interface along with its input devices is sometimes referred to as its "look-and-feel."
 
0157988944 Oct 18, 2007 04:35 PM
I think it is more "Unified" in the sense that all windows look the same, but all Aqua elements have to go. I don't really care if they are present in 10.5.0, but I really hope that Apple will see that they need to do an update to them. I mean, it's really just a couple images. It's down to 5-10 elements that need an update, nothing huge.
 
.Neo Oct 18, 2007 04:41 PM
Pros
  • Fresh new look, I found the few changes applied to Tiger very disappointing at the time
  • Only one window theme left, instead of having Aqua, Brushed, Unified and "dark Unified"
  • Transparent Menu Bar, adapts better to my desktop pictures
  • Stacks is pretty useful, I like how they implemented it as well
  • Beautiful new system and application icons
  • Support for 512x512 pixel icons
  • Finally, no more stripes!
  • The ability to set the icon grid sizes
  • I love the idea of having blue LED lights beneath running applications, rather than a black triangle, looks cool and adds to the realism factor
  • The inactive window states of the Unified windows look much better than they do right now in Tiger
  • The strong drop shadows are pretty cool, gives the illusion that a window is hoovering high above the desktop

Cons
  • The new Dock works poorly with windows that occupy the full hight of the screen
  • The new Dock looks busy compared to the current Dock
  • Apple didn't adopt the full set of changes provided by iTunes (scroll bars, checkboxes, buttons) system-wide
  • Stacks have poorly antialiased icons and labels (hopefully Apple fixed that in the GM build)
  • Widgets look exactly the same as the ones in Tiger (boring!)
  • I was hoping they would update the Mail and iChat Dock badges to match the iPhone ones
  • Not all windows provide an animation upon opening and closing. That's still reserved for the Finder windows and pop-up bubbles only
  • Overal very little updated system animations, which is a real shame considering they went though all this trouble developing Core Animation

Other
  • I really want some new system sounds
 
Chuckit Oct 18, 2007 04:43 PM
I don't really like the new stoplights (way too bright), but the only thing that actively annoys me is that abomination they've turned the Dock into. I like the stacks idea, even — the Dock itself just looks bad. I also like the idea of the spotlights for running apps, though the actual light (at least as it looks in pictures) seems a little dim.
 
Kevin Oct 18, 2007 05:04 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by adamfishercox (Post 3508525)
I think it is more "Unified" in the sense that all windows look the same,
And it is. And I applaud Apple for this. Not only that, that look doesn't have brushed metal of stripes in them at all. It's a nice canvas for a decent painting.
Quote
but all Aqua elements have to go. I don't really care if they are present in 10.5.0, but I really hope that Apple will see that they need to do an update to them. I mean, it's really just a couple images. It's down to 5-10 elements that need an update, nothing huge.
Agreed.

And .Neo, excellent list you got there. I pretty much agree with them all. But I still like the dock. :D
 
0157988944 Oct 18, 2007 05:17 PM
The new dock sucks because windows won't expand to it anymore, because the "floor" starts halfway down the icons.
 
.Neo Oct 18, 2007 05:30 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by adamfishercox (Post 3508571)
The new dock sucks because windows won't expand to it anymore, because the "floor" starts halfway down the icons.
Yeah that's what I don't like.
 
Horsepoo!!! Oct 18, 2007 06:00 PM
The Dock is weird...especially so for people that put their Dock on the side instead of the bottom.

Window widgets still Aqua. Time Machine pane in System Preference has the platinum look for buttons. Every app (not counting utilities) except Mail and Preview have platinum buttons. In most cases, these platinum buttons are not custom graphics. The functionality to create these buttons exist within IB. But now a mismatch exists between these buttons and the Aqua buttons, tabs, scrollbars, checkbox, radio button, list header, pop-up menu (combo box), sliders.

Has Apple decided not to touch these because it defined Mac OS X's look? Perhaps. If this reason didn't exist, would Apple have another reason not to update these?

Lack of time to change this would be a bad reason...I refuse to believe it could be a reason simply because Apple had all the time in the world to do this.
 
Horsepoo!!! Oct 18, 2007 06:04 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by .Neo (Post 3508588)
Yeah that's what I don't like.
I hate it when a window actually crosses the invisible Dock boundary (if the window was moved slightly) and when you try to resize the window you're clicking an icon in the Dock instead even though your cursor *isn't* on the icon but on the corner resize widget.

I appreciate Apple making the icon targets bigger in the Dock but not at the expense of the bone-headed move of making the Dock look 3D even though it isn't and causing problems with windows that happen to be underneath the invisible dock boundary.
 
MindFad Oct 18, 2007 06:21 PM
I don't see the stoplight widgets ever changing, really. Like I mentioned in that other thread, it's too ingrained as the most noticeable feature of OS X's UI. It's a GUI trademark, if you will. It's been there from the beginning—I don't see it ever going away. Maybe an Appearance preference for changing it to other colors (graphite, of course, but maybe a color picker one day?), but the stoplight, I imagine, will always be the default.

As for the scroll bars, I honestly don't care. I would like the iTunes-esque ones (and maybe a little "grabby" graphic in the center of the bar), but I'll live without them. I really don't pay that much attention to them!

The Dock? Well, I hate it. I personally find it too busy and gaudy with its 1,200 different light sources, and really prefer the old Dock more (flat and enclosed). I like my Dock small and on the left side, and this new one gets uglier the smaller it gets. But I guess I'll just have to get used to it. I don't care about reflections; it doesn't add to my Mac OS experience. If you drag windows to the Dock just to watch them reflect ... well, just stop using computers.

But all in all, I like the steps they've taken with the Finder and the general look of the windowing system. It's a good step forward. Sure, I have gripes, but they won't make me any less productive in the long run. I'll have my copy on the 26th!
 
imitchellg5 Oct 18, 2007 06:24 PM
I think that the new GUI looks okay, but it obviously not very mature. I believe that some software updates will easily make it be a bit easier to live with. I think it's a step in a good direction, just might take a while to get there.
 
xi_hyperon Oct 18, 2007 07:03 PM
Wonder if it will be possible to make the dock resemble the Tiger version. I'm not so big on all the reflections and curves, and little plasma blobs (for open apps).
 
EndlessMac Oct 18, 2007 07:05 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by .Neo (Post 3508528)
Pros
  • The new Dock looks busy compared to the current Dock
I agree. The 3D effect just makes the Dock look too big and in your way. I don't think it even looks good so it doesn't work as either form or function. I much prefer the current dock and hopefully Apple will gives us an update that will allow us to go back the the 2D Dock. The current Dock works perfectly for my needs so there is no need in fixing a problem that doesn't need to be fixed. IMO the Dock should be functional but yet out of the way. It shouldn't be trying to capture your attention 24/7. The new Dock seems to be more to show off rather than for practical purposes.
 
Jim Paradise Oct 18, 2007 09:48 PM
My two cents: I really don't care that the scroll bars are still the old Aqua. A lot of the other refinements are nice, though. The new Dock is a smidge too busy, but I do enjoy the blue-white little dot at the bottom.
 
besson3c Oct 18, 2007 11:02 PM
Not that it's a big deal, but I thought I would point out that this thread so far is not about actual GUI discussion...


The fact that our definitions are all messed up is just a little peeve of mine.
 
0157988944 Oct 18, 2007 11:12 PM
And now that you've said it, let's not keep correcting, ok? No one is going to stop saying GUI, as we know what we mean and it basically is the right word. I mean Graphical User Interface, I would interpret to mean the graphics that the users interface with (And I know, I know, it's not quite right, but still...)
 
osxpinot Oct 18, 2007 11:24 PM
The thing that really irks me about Apple is how the operating system is always in a state of transition in regards to the UI. In Leopard, they are strarting to transition away from aqua...but they aren't quite there. In Tiger, we have brushed metal and the new plain metal (another transition). In Panther we had the transition away from pinstripes. Usually what we find is that Apple teases a new UI through iTunes. It's very annoying because it creates inconsistancy. I'm all for evolution of the UI, but it seems they that they are not able to fully implement a new idea before they go and change it again.
 
Kevin Oct 19, 2007 07:30 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by MindFad (Post 3508622)
I like my Dock small and on the left side, and this new one gets uglier the smaller it gets. But I guess I'll just have to get used to it.
Ah, one letter slip, and that post would be taken on to a new level. :D
Quote
But all in all, I like the steps they've taken with the Finder and the general look of the windowing system. It's a good step forward. Sure, I have gripes, but they won't make me any less productive in the long run. I'll have my copy on the 26th!
The only way it would make you less productive is, if you have a wandering eye that is annoyed by inconsistencies. But I am not worried about that. I can HACK 10.5s gui to how I want it. And I probably will. Juts curious what others like or don't like about it before I do.
Quote, Originally Posted by adamfishercox (Post 3508836)
And now that you've said it, let's not keep correcting, ok? No one is going to stop saying GUI, as we know what we mean and it basically is the right word. I mean Graphical User Interface, I would interpret to mean the graphics that the users interface with (And I know, I know, it's not quite right, but still...)
Just ignore it.
 
Kevin Oct 19, 2007 07:34 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by osxpinot (Post 3508848)
The thing that really irks me about Apple is how the operating system is always in a state of transition in regards to the UI. In Leopard, they are strarting to transition away from aqua...but they aren't quite there. In Tiger, we have brushed metal and the new plain metal (another transition). In Panther we had the transition away from pinstripes. Usually what we find is that Apple teases a new UI through iTunes. It's very annoying because it creates inconsistancy. I'm all for evolution of the UI, but it seems they that they are not able to fully implement a new idea before they go and change it again.
Agreed 100%. Apple used to be the King of consistency as far as their OS GUI went. That is why people enjoyed it's simplicity.

Apple needs to get back on the right track.

I really thought Apple would have it's GUI issues fixed by 10.5. I was sadly disappointed, and so are many other Mac users. No idea what is going on in Steve's head right now.

The only thing I can think of is, he is trying to make the transition away from aqua as "painless" and "sneaky" as he can.

I think swiz's quote in my sig pretty much sums it up.
 
PaperNotes Oct 19, 2007 08:04 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Kevin (Post 3508992)
The only thing I can think of is, he is trying to make the transition away from aqua as "painless" and "sneaky" as he can.

I think swiz's quote in my sig pretty much sums it up.
Obviously it is really hard to change the Aqua elements because the artist keeps falling asleep. Just take a look at this little sweet bit of legacy crap....open the Dock app package, take a look at the resources folder where you will find the images that make up the new Dock. Remember Docklings? There's still a Dockling inside the package that hasn't been used since 10.0!!
 
Kevin Oct 19, 2007 08:08 AM
PaperNotes, that's nothing. There are still resources for the Platinum look in OS X.

Not to mention that the Extras.rsrc is full of non-used resources.
 
.Neo Oct 19, 2007 12:49 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Kevin (Post 3508992)
Agreed 100%. Apple used to be the King of consistency as far as their OS GUI went. That is why people enjoyed it's simplicity.

Apple needs to get back on the right track.
I looked a bit around when it comes Mac OS 9 and it's consistent UI and to be frank I think you remember things a little differently than they really are. While the system GUI, Platinum, itself was very consistent the applications on the other hand were the exact oposite. Especially when it comes to third-party applications and icon styles, consistency increased massively on Mac OS X.

http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/4065/macos9wc6.jpg

Mac OS X Leopard looks like consistency heaven compared to that.

Quote, Originally Posted by Kevin (Post 3509007)
Not to mention that the Extras.rsrc is full of non-used resources.
They didn't clean that up in the GM build?? From what I know Extras.rsrc isn't actively being used anymore by Mac OS X Leopard. Maybe it's still there because older applications rely on it?
 
CharlesS Oct 19, 2007 01:17 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Kevin (Post 3508992)
Agreed 100%. Apple used to be the King of consistency as far as their OS GUI went. That is why people enjoyed it's simplicity.
Consistency refers to things like:

- Commonly used menu items always being in the same place. Items like "Preferences" always being in the Edit menu (on OS 9) or the Application menu (on OS X), as opposed to being hidden in just about any menu and being named "Preferences" or "Settings" or "Setup" or "Options" or just about anything, as happens on Windows sometimes. Some apps, notable many of Microsoft's, actually have several different "Settings" options that bring up different settings, and these menu items can actually be in different menus! The result is that it can take me 15 minutes to find the setting I'm trying to change, as opposed to a standard Mac app where I just know it's going to be in App menu -> Preferences. Done.

- Standard behaviors. Clicking and dragging, shift-clicking, command-clicking, etc. should all do the same thing. Things like the OS 9 Finder, where shift-clicking in list view did what command-clicking did anywhere else, and command-clicking did nothing, are a no-no for consistency. The user shouldn't have to learn a different set of behaviors for each different app. OS X is far better in this regard.

- Command key shortcuts being consistent across applications. The guidelines for creating a menu shortcut in the classic OS were sparse. And considering this attitude of theirs, it's not surprising. Thus you have strange shortcuts like Command-N for New Window in the Finder, where Command-N would bring up a new window in any other browser-type app.

These things actually affect usability, and were much of what we were talking about when we talked about consistency back in the OS 9 days. And OS 9's consistency was pretty good - although OS X's is better, brushed metal windows being the one exception as they actually do behave differently (you can drag a brushed window by the edges - an Aqua window you can't). This UI consistency makes a much better case for switching platforms than the color of the scroll bars.

Hey, what color were the scroll bars in Platinum again, anyway?
 
Kevin Oct 19, 2007 01:43 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by .Neo (Post 3509191)
I looked a bit around when it comes Mac OS 9 and it's consistent UI and to be frank I think you remember things a little differently than they really are. While the system GUI, Platinum, itself was very consistent the applications on the other hand were the exact oposite. Especially when it comes to third-party applications and icon styles, consistency increased massively on Mac OS X.
You mean when Jobs started working there. I was referring to pre-jobs. Jobs brought in the BM, and the AQUA elements into OS 9. OS X 10.0/10.1 etc was very consistent. It wasn't till 10.3/10/4 did things start getting silly.
Quote
They didn't clean that up in the GM build?? From what I know Extras.rsrc isn't actively being used anymore by Mac OS X Leopard. Maybe it's still there because older applications rely on it?
I was referring to the Mac OS now.
Quote, Originally Posted by CharlesS (Post 3509211)
Consistency refers to things like: <snip>
Yes consistency is all about those things too. But it is also about the look and usage and design as well.
Quote
Hey, what color were the scroll bars in Platinum again, anyway?
Yeah you got a choice to match your scrollbar color with the color theme you are using at the time. It was neat. That is why I said it would be neat if Apple brought iTunes scrollbars into OS X and made it so you could change colors like that. That isn't what I refer to when I am talking about consistency.

As long as the OS consistently changed the scrollbars to the same color, there would be no problem.

But take IE 5 for OS 9. One of the biggest complaints about it was how it used non Apple scrollbar colors and highlights. But used it's own. And it started using OS X stripes in OS 9 that didn't even match OS X's stripes...

It really stuck out like a sore thumb. People themed it to death to make it look decent.
 
.Neo Oct 19, 2007 01:59 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Kevin (Post 3509231)
You mean when Jobs started working there. I was referring to pre-jobs. Jobs brought in the BM, and the AQUA elements into OS 9. OS X 10.0/10.1 etc was very consistent. It wasn't till 10.3/10/4 did things start getting silly.
You specifically mentioned how consistent Mac OS 9 was/is on more than one occasion in these Mac OS X Leopard discussions. The OS was released in 1999, Steve Jobs returned in 1998. There is no "pre-Jobs" Mac OS 9.

Next to that it has absolutely nothing to do with how inconsistent third-party applications looked on Mac OS 8 and 9.
 
CharlesS Oct 19, 2007 02:07 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Kevin (Post 3509231)
Yeah you got a choice to match your scrollbar color with the color theme you are using at the time. It was neat.
But by default the scroll bars were... <gasp!> blue!

Everything wasn't a bland grey in OS 9! The horror!
 
Kevin Oct 19, 2007 02:07 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by .Neo (Post 3509249)
You specifically mentioned how consistent Mac OS 9 was/is on more than one occasion in these Mac OS X Leopard discussions.
I apologize for not being further specific. Even though I mentioned on many occasion the bringing in of Brushed Metal into OS 9 was the starting of the downfall of teh GUIs.

I remember when programmers were specially having fits about it. And others were complaining how it was non-standard. Some were even worried that Apple's new OS would be all BM.

So Maybe I should start referring to 8.0/8.5 Or just "pre Steve" period when I refer to this period from now on. I assure you my intentions weren't to fool you.
Quote
Next to that it has absolutely nothing to do with how inconsistent third-party applications looked on Mac OS 8 and 9.
If a 3rd party application didn't follow the guidlines I am sure I complained then too. But then again, a lot of Mac users did.

I remember back in the day people ditching Ircle (and IRC client) because of GUI inconsistancies until Onno fixed them.

I don't recall saying that 3rd party developers didn't make horrible apps during this time either. I was specifically speaking about Apple.
Quote, Originally Posted by CharlesS (Post 3509258)
But by default the scroll bars were... <gasp!> blue!
So? All of them where blue. Thats all that matters. Some weren't blue, some weren't grey, then others pink.
Quote
Everything wasn't a bland grey in OS 9! The horror!
GUIs should be wrappers for the content. Not distract from it. There was nothing really "bland" about Platinum when it first came out. Esp during that time and comparing it to the GUIs that was out. I guess Apple won GUI awards during this time for nothing.

Anyhow, I didn't start this thread so people that had chips on their shoulders could continue to drag them around. I started it to talk about the Leopard GUI. What you liked about it. What you did not. How you think Apple could make it better.

Lets start focusing on the positive, and stop with all the negative shenanigans.
 
besson3c Oct 19, 2007 02:08 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by CharlesS (Post 3509211)
Consistency refers to things like:

- Commonly used menu items always being in the same place. Items like "Preferences" always being in the Edit menu (on OS 9) or the Application menu (on OS X), as opposed to being hidden in just about any menu and being named "Preferences" or "Settings" or "Setup" or "Options" or just about anything, as happens on Windows sometimes. Some apps, notable many of Microsoft's, actually have several different "Settings" options that bring up different settings, and these menu items can actually be in different menus! The result is that it can take me 15 minutes to find the setting I'm trying to change, as opposed to a standard Mac app where I just know it's going to be in App menu -> Preferences. Done.

- Standard behaviors. Clicking and dragging, shift-clicking, command-clicking, etc. should all do the same thing. Things like the OS 9 Finder, where shift-clicking in list view did what command-clicking did anywhere else, and command-clicking did nothing, are a no-no for consistency. The user shouldn't have to learn a different set of behaviors for each different app. OS X is far better in this regard.

- Command key shortcuts being consistent across applications. The guidelines for creating a menu shortcut in the classic OS were sparse. And considering this attitude of theirs, it's not surprising. Thus you have strange shortcuts like Command-N for New Window in the Finder, where Command-N would bring up a new window in any other browser-type app.

These things actually affect usability, and were much of what we were talking about when we talked about consistency back in the OS 9 days. And OS 9's consistency was pretty good - although OS X's is better, brushed metal windows being the one exception as they actually do behave differently (you can drag a brushed window by the edges - an Aqua window you can't). This UI consistency makes a much better case for switching platforms than the color of the scroll bars.

Hey, what color were the scroll bars in Platinum again, anyway?

I see I'm not the only one whose definition of GUI consistency has nothing to do with how scrollbars look like...
 
Kevin Oct 19, 2007 02:13 PM
What does it have to do with the topic besson? Go start a "The Definition of a GUI thread"

Seriously people. I made this thread for those that want to discuss GUIs. Not for those that want to bicker, and act 12.

You have your own forum to do that in. Cut it out.
 
Big Mac Oct 19, 2007 02:18 PM
So Kevin, I don't mean to rub it in, but it sounds like you've given up hope that any additional changes will be made to the shipping version of Leopard. What finally convinced you?
 
besson3c Oct 19, 2007 02:18 PM
So, as far as GUI consistency goes, I guess Apple has committed to making the whole iTunes style sidebar a common OS element since the Finder has adopted this general concept.

How is the sidebar configured in the Finder? Can you drag and drop stuff on and off the sidebar any longer like you can in TIger? Can you collapse the sidebar? Is there still a "customize toolbar", or has the sidebar replaced the toolbar?
 
CharlesS Oct 19, 2007 02:22 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Kevin (Post 3509259)
So? All of them where blue. Thats all that matters. Some weren't blue, some weren't grey, then others pink.
You clearly didn't look at that screenshot that Neo posted.

And besides, if the scrollbars were blue, grey, and pink (I haven't seen any pink scrollbars in any Apple apps, nor have I seen grey outside of the iLife apps), it wouldn't matter all that much, as long as the scrollbars remained recognizable to the user as scroll bars and their function remained clear.
 
Kevin Oct 19, 2007 02:26 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Big Mac (Post 3509282)
So Kevin, I don't mean to rub it in,
No go ahead, rub it in, I deserve it. ;)
Quote
but it sounds like you've given up hope that any additional changes will be made to the shipping version of Leopard.
Yeah I said this a couple days ago. I've pretty much given up on Apple putting out a consistent GUI.
Quote
What finally convinced you?
I talked to an old friend that works at Apple. His response as to why?

"What Steve wants, Steve gets"


Go Figure.
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3509283)
So, as far as GUI consistency goes, I guess Apple has committed to making the whole iTunes style sidebar a common OS element since the Finder has adopted this general concept.
Yes, this and the ONE GUI look of Unified was a step closer to a consistent GUI. And I applaud them for it. It does have it's shortcomings though. Which I am sure will mature as time goes on.
Quote
How is the sidebar configured in the Finder? Can you drag and drop stuff on and off the sidebar any longer like you can in TIger?
Can you collapse the sidebar? Is there still a "customize toolbar", or has the sidebar replaced the toolbar?[/QUOTE]
You can't collapse the sidebar. Nope. One of the shortcomings I was referring to.
Quote, Originally Posted by CharlesS (Post 3509288)
You clearly didn't look at that screenshot that Neo posted.
Read my pre-steve comment.
Quote
And besides, if the scrollbars were blue, grey, and pink (I haven't seen any pink scrollbars in any Apple apps, nor have I seen grey outside of the iLife apps),
I surely hope you weren't actually thinking I was saying Apple had pink scroll-bars...
Quote
it wouldn't matter all that much, as long as the scrollbars remained recognizable to the user as scroll bars and their function remained clear.
It wouldn't matter to you. This is what you mean. And you are still doing that "arguing" thing.

Look how nice besson and Big Mac were up there.

If it didn't matter, Apple wouldn't have done it for so long Before Steve changed things.

Not that I am a Steve Basher, but I don't have to agree with everything he has done either. I know a few Apple employees not happy with the GUI as well. They claim to be first on my list if I ever do what I am planning to.

One use to use my Sosumi theme long ago.
 
Dakarʒ Oct 19, 2007 02:34 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by .Neo (Post 3509191)
I think my lunch just came back up.

The DVD Player... They were serious?
 
besson3c Oct 19, 2007 02:38 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by CharlesS (Post 3509288)
You clearly didn't look at that screenshot that Neo posted.

And besides, if the scrollbars were blue, grey, and pink (I haven't seen any pink scrollbars in any Apple apps, nor have I seen grey outside of the iLife apps), it wouldn't matter all that much, as long as the scrollbars remained recognizable to the user as scroll bars and their function remained clear.

Right...

I think it is futile and pointless for Mac users to stick to the idea that interfaces not only have to behave exactly alike, but they have to look exactly alike. They even extend this idea towards the web, where it is even more of a losing battle.

A GUIs job is to communicate to the user, to provide visual feedback, and to make figuring out how to do various computing tasks transparent. The look of the app is the context and basis of the user experience, but it simply doesn't make sense to me for every single app to be layed out the same way with the same widgets, and therefore, it doesn't make sense for every app to cosmetically look the same.

Apple has provided a set of widgets developers can choose to use for their apps, and they have set examples for a number of different ways dialogs can look, how toolbars and sidebars are used, how various GUI widgets can be used (e.g. drawers, the gear icon, etc.), but Apple themselves have been a moving target in this respect, and clearly developers have differing sensibilities as to how these are to be used in third party applications.

If you really want to make every app look the same way, it would be prudent to consolidate on a set of widgets and conventions. Clearly, Apple has provided a longer leash here, as they should, because it is dangerous to paint every app with the same brush. Even if some Mac users had their little fantasy of every Apple app looking the same and using the same widgets, what would the point be when there is no way this can be enforced on third party applications?

I've been sitting out waiting for how some of this conversation would evolve, but I thought I'd step in now as I see everybody talking past each other. Not only are definitions being misused here, but I think that many people haven't really considered whether or not every app should use the same widgets, and that this would be necessary if Apple were to be strict about making every app look cosmetically alike.
 
besson3c Oct 19, 2007 02:39 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Dakarʒ (Post 3509303)
I think my lunch just came back up.

The DVD Player... They were serious?
Was there a time when DVD players ever looked like portable CD players, like this interface is obviously trying to communicate?
 
Chuckit Oct 19, 2007 02:46 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3509305)
I think it is futile and pointless for Mac users to stick to the idea that interfaces not only have to behave exactly alike, but they have to look exactly alike. They even extend this idea towards the web, where it is even more of a losing battle.

A GUIs job is to communicate to the user, to provide visual feedback, and to make figuring out how to do various computing tasks transparent. The look of the app is the context and basis of the user experience, but it simply doesn't make sense to me for every single app to be layed out the same way with the same widgets, and therefore, it doesn't make sense for every app to cosmetically look the same.
Yes, clearly a scrollbar in a table in an MP3 player is fundamentally different from scrollbars in all the other tables in the system, and thus requires a different appearance.

Was that supposed to make sense or has it just been too long since you last ranted against UI consistency?
 
Big Mac Oct 19, 2007 02:57 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3509305)
Right...

I think it is futile and pointless for Mac users to stick to the idea that interfaces not only have to behave exactly alike, but they have to look exactly alike.
But they should look alike unless there's a good reason (not just some sort of arbitrary choice) for them to be different. That type of consistency was always a hallmark of true Apple and Apple-like GUIs. If you ever mid-1980s DOS applications, you'll know that some DOS apps tried to poorly mimic GUIs, and they were all very much inconsistent in look and feel. That's what you get when you don't have a uniform vision of the GUI on your system. I'm not saying that could happen in OS X, but that is what happens when you don't have standards. What we have in Leopard is a few, albeit minor, arbitrary interface choices thrown into the mix by Apple, which is unfortunate since they got so close this time to a semblance of unity.
 
awaspaas Oct 19, 2007 03:09 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by .Neo (Post 3508528)
Apple didn't adopt the full set of changes provided by iTunes (scroll bars, checkboxes, buttons) system-wide
Would this be something that a themer could fix in a fairly straightforward manner, or would this be complicated for somebody to fix?
 
CharlesS Oct 19, 2007 03:11 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Kevin (Post 3509294)
Read my pre-steve comment.
Read Neo's comment. There was no pre-Steve OS 9. In fact, there was no pre-Steve OS using the Platinum skin at all - Amelio got booted from Apple on July 9, 1997, and OS 8 came out on July 26 (per Wikipedia).

The one with the least Jobs influence would be OS 8, of course. And it was a cornucopia of window styles:

Normal Platinum:
http://www.charlessoft.com/extraneou...8/platinum.png

"Utility Pattern" style:
http://www.charlessoft.com/extraneou...8/utilpatt.png

Dialog box style:
http://www.charlessoft.com/extraneou...os8/dialog.png

System 1.1 dialog box style: (see also: the crash box)
http://webinstituteforteachers.org/2...ForceQuit2.JPG

AppleCD Audio Player:
http://www.charlessoft.com/extraneou...s8/applecd.png

HyperCard:
http://escience.anu.edu.au/lecture/c.../Hypercard.png

Whatever the hell this is:
http://www.charlessoft.com/extraneou...f/os8/calc.png

Not to mention that a lot of third-party apps still hadn't been updated and ended up having UI elements looking like the older System 7 style still (Netscape's menus come to mind).
 
Chuckit Oct 19, 2007 03:16 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by CharlesS (Post 3509342)
:lol: I always wondered what on earth was up with Calculator ever since the original Macintosh. Such an arbitrary little theme.
 
Big Mac Oct 19, 2007 03:17 PM
You're mostly showing utilities that have always had non-standard appearances. Look across the spectrum of classic apps, however, and you'll hardly ever see two distinctly different styles of scroll bars.
 
besson3c Oct 19, 2007 03:20 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Chuckit (Post 3509312)
Yes, clearly a scrollbar in a table in an MP3 player is fundamentally different from scrollbars in all the other tables in the system, and thus requires a different appearance.

Was that supposed to make sense or has it just been too long since you last ranted against UI consistency?

Who says what I said is limited to scrollbars?

If you really want to limit the conversation to scrollbars, there are reasons for scrollbars to have a different appearance. For instance, if you are setting up a media center interface designed for very large displays, as long as we don't have resolution independence it might make sense to make the scrollbars thicker or bigger. If we are dealing with a very small space, it might make sense to make them smaller. If your interface will be viewed on monochrome displays, it might make sense to remove or tone down the glossy look. There may be times where you want scroll arrows on the top and bottom of the scrollable area.
 
besson3c Oct 19, 2007 03:24 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Big Mac (Post 3509324)
But they should look alike unless there's a good reason (not just some sort of arbitrary choice) for them to be different. That type of consistency was always a hallmark of true Apple and Apple-like GUIs. If you ever mid-1980s DOS applications, you'll know that some DOS apps tried to poorly mimic GUIs, and they were all very much inconsistent in look and feel. That's what you get when you don't have a uniform vision of the GUI on your system. I'm not saying that could happen in OS X, but that is what happens when you don't have standards. What we have in Leopard is a few, albeit minor, arbitrary interface choices thrown into the mix by Apple, which is unfortunate since they got so close this time to a semblance of unity.

I agree that there should be unity, but only when it makes sense to leverage this familiarity. If we really want to have this discussion, we need to consider possible reasons as to why a designer may want to break this unity, rather than simply chastising for doing so.

As a poster in another thread pointed out, perhaps there is a reason to create separation between all pro apps, all iLife apps, and all OS X apps? It might make sense to do the same for iPhone apps, and of course there is already a separation in Dashboard widgets as well.
 
CharlesS Oct 19, 2007 03:25 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Big Mac (Post 3509348)
You're mostly showing utilities that have always had non-standard appearances. Look across the spectrum of classic apps, however, and you'll hardly ever see two distinctly different styles of scroll thumbs.
That's what we're talking about in Leopard, though - most all applications have the blue scroll bars. It's only a few iLife apps that have grey ones.

And if there had been enough text for the scroll thumb to appear in that HyperCard screenshot, you would have seen that its thumb was quite different.
 
CharlesS Oct 19, 2007 03:26 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3509352)
I agree that there should be unity, but only when it makes sense to leverage this familiarity. If we really want to have this discussion, we need to consider possible reasons as to why a designer may want to break this unity, rather than simply chastising for doing so.

As a poster in another thread pointed out, perhaps there is a reason to create separation between all pro apps, all iLife apps, and all OS X apps? It might make sense to do the same for iPhone apps, and of course there is already a separation in Dashboard widgets as well.
Well, the original purpose of Brushed Metal (before Apple decided to make it available system-wide for whatever reason) was to differentiate QuickTime and the iLife apps from the rest of the apps on the system, so it definitely seems plausible to me.
 
Chuckit Oct 19, 2007 03:29 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3509351)
Who says what I said is limited to scrollbars?

If you really want to limit the conversation to scrollbars, there are reasons for scrollbars to have a different appearance. For instance, if you are setting up a media center interface designed for very large displays, as long as we don't have resolution independence it might make sense to make the scrollbars thicker or bigger. If we are dealing with a very small space, it might make sense to make them smaller. If your interface will be viewed on monochrome displays, it might make sense to remove or tone down the glossy look. There may be times where you want scroll arrows on the top and bottom of the scrollable area.
I fail to see the relevance. We're talking about actual, normal Mac OS X apps here, not the interface on a hypothetical watch.
 
Big Mac Oct 19, 2007 03:32 PM
Aside from visual consistency between apps, I don't think anyone can deny Kevin's point that the iTunes style scroll bar fits far better with the new Finder theme than the traditional Aqua scroll bar. Anyone think otherwise?
 
besson3c Oct 19, 2007 03:36 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Chuckit (Post 3509358)
I fail to see the relevance. We're talking about actual, normal Mac OS X apps here, not the interface on a hypothetical watch.
I fail to see the relevance on focusing on scrollbars in responding to my post.
 
besson3c Oct 19, 2007 03:42 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Big Mac (Post 3509363)
Aside from visual consistency between apps, I don't think anyone can deny Kevin's point that the iTunes style scroll bar fits far better with the new Finder theme than the traditional Aqua scroll bar. Anyone think otherwise?

iTunes is a very strange app that has evolved in a very strange way.

It is a part of iLife, but it is also so much more now, and since it is free and also available on Windows, many don't necessarily associate it with iLife.

iTunes still works well, but it seems to lack focus now. It is no longer simply an MP3 player, but a sync tool for your iPhone as well. Is the iPhone a phone first and foremost or an MP3 player? If the former, why isn't syncing done in iSync like you would do for any other supported phone? If the latter, why does it make sense to sync your phone with jukebox software?

I don't think that iTunes is really a part of OS X yet, but I think it should be broken away from iLife and refocused. However, until then I guess it makes sense to give it the iLife treatment.
 
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