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Inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: Developer Preview 3 dials down animated tabs

post #1 of 113
Thread Starter 
The third developer preview release of Mac OS X Lion reverts an experimental change in how tabbed panes are drawn and animated, dropping a iOS-like slider animation to present the active tab as simply a depressed button.

Apple is retaining Lion's toned down new version of its Aqua design language, which strips much of the bright blue highlighting and bubbly interface controls such as buttons and window navigation arrows, the omission of which tend to make Mac OS X look more cohesively related to iOS.

However, Lion's new sliding pane tabs, which originally appeared to make the control function like a physically raised button that slid into place on a click (as depicted below) have been revised in Lion DP3 to work, but not look, more like the existing controls in Snow Leopard.



Rather than adopting a bright blue highlight, the selected tab section is now drawn as if it were depressed inward, with a dark background and high contrast, white lettering. The Security & Privacy pane below shows the difference between the current Aqua look, the original Lion appearance, and the revised new design in Lion DP3.







The overall look of the new tab controls when they appear in nestled panes is portrayed below, comparing the Speech pane in Snow Leopard with the revised appearance of Lion DP3. The graphics also depict the loss of colored highlighting throughout the interface, and flatter, round radio button controls as opposed to the "candy drop" bubbles introduced by Aqua.



post #2 of 113
Why the loss of color? It looks dour, monochromatic without Aqua highlights...

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post #3 of 113
Thank god for that. Previous iteratiom looked like you had three tabs active, and one not.
But yes, it is dull.
post #4 of 113
It's not officially "Preview 3", is it? It's just an update to Preview 2.

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post #5 of 113
I like it. Very simple and elegant. Typical Apple always improving the details.
post #6 of 113
I for one will miss the slider effect. It was simple and elegant. I do wish they would at least allow an option to get rid of that faux leather look in iCal and have a less gimmicky Address Book design.
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post #7 of 113
Thank goodness Apple finally came to their senses on this previously-horrible UI decision. There's hope for Apple yet!
post #8 of 113
This slider-to-button change is very welcome. It's awesome that developer previews and beta testing are doing their jobs.

I can't recall (iCal?) where I've used that slider interface, but it's very confusing to tell what the selection is.
post #9 of 113
I like that they are tweaking the interface. The Aqua widgets we have in Snow Leopard are feeling out of place as other aspects of the over UI have evolved over time. I like the flatter look of buttons and appreciate that some colour is still retained.

The slider effect for the tabs looked cool, but I think that was it.... Great for switches (on / off), but not great for a multi-tab UI switcher. But the latest gray look still doesn't look quite finished... let's see some colour added back.
post #10 of 113
What's the use of having a high-def monitor if the sliders and buttons are monochromatic. I hate the new look! What's the obsession with removing colors?? It looks so dull
post #11 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azhar View Post

What's the use of having a high-def monitor if the sliders and buttons are monochromatic. I hate the new look! What's the obsession with removing colors?? It looks so dull

Silly rabbit, candy colors are for kids.

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post #12 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacloo View Post

Thank god for that. Previous iteratiom looked like you had three tabs active, and one not.
But yes, it is dull.

It's a slider for Christ sake. How hard can it be.

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post #13 of 113
I like the animated tabs, but this is a classic example of where a touch of color would help clue the user which tab is selected especially if there's only 2 tabs. If it's a matter of shades of grey then it's completely arbitrary which one represents selected and which one unselected.

Color. Please.
post #14 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Silly rabbit, candy colors are for kids.

Sorry friend but this is absurd. Maybe your brain isn't wired to interpret rich information sources, but mine is. Color is an extremely powerful and deep way to provide cues. Flattening out the information layers is desirable only to people with OCD or to people who are shallow enough to think "That's the way we used to do it. This is different. Therefore this is better." is a rational design philosophy.

Also: snark is for amateurs. There's a difference between "color" and "candy colors". (And frankly, just because you mock "candy colors" doesn't make bright colors bad, either. It was used with great skill and beauty in the early days of OS X, and if you think that was an OS for kids, I'd invite you to grow up. Beauty might be enjoyed by children, but it's only fully appreciated by adults. Understand that point, and maybe you'll have taken a small step toward becoming an adult yourself)
post #15 of 113
Well, there will hopefully (read: probably) be an unofficial patch to change it back to the animated slider. I quite liked it to be honest.
post #16 of 113
Quote:
I do wish they would at least allow an option to get rid of that faux leather look in iCal and have a less gimmicky Address Book design.


I agree completely. On one hand Apple is going to great lengths to give the OS a more sophisticated look (e.g. removing "candy" elements), and on the other hand they are shoehorning gimmicky faux leather and simulated book-covers into core applications. I'm not sure I understand how to synthesize those two approaches in a single OS update.
post #17 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

I like the animated tabs, but this is a classic example of where a touch of color would help clue the user which tab is selected especially if there's only 2 tabs. If it's a matter of shades of grey then it's completely arbitrary which one represents selected and which one unselected.

Color. Please.

100% agree.

When there are only two tabs it's terrible. Sure once you've used it for a while you'll remember, but if someone new to OS X looks at that and it's ambiguous, then it's probably not the best UI decision.
post #18 of 113
And when will they replace the three tiny buttons in the ULC of a window with something easier to click?
post #19 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Why the loss of color? It looks dour, monochromatic without Aqua highlights...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azhar View Post

What's the use of having a high-def monitor if the sliders and buttons are monochromatic. I hate the new look! What's the obsession with removing colors?? It looks so dull

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

I like the animated tabs, but this is a classic example of where a touch of color would help clue the user which tab is selected — especially if there's only 2 tabs. If it's a matter of shades of grey then it's completely arbitrary which one represents selected and which one unselected.

Color. Please.

It seems that most of us here get it, but apple designers don't these days, such loss of colour makes for a very dour os, and for a downward spiral in usability, I hope they reverse it along with that crappy slider thing they already reversed.

Enough with the colour-less sidebars and toolbar icons guys, get it that nobody likes it and start focusing on the real issues with the os, we don't really care for interface jackass tweaks.

STOP TAKING AWAY AQUA ELEMENTS, WE 'VE GROWN TO REALLY LIKE THEM. We don't want os x to be ios, we don't want a lifeless os, there's enough grey already on the macs, and on the os to not add more colourless subdued elements.

Lion has a chance to be really great if you don't go pandering after the ios croud. We couldn't care less about minor yet backward interface a la ios tweaks....

So focus on real os improvements.

How about some resolution independence?

How about a functioning filevault?

How about proper 2011 cloud integration as opposed to the buggy as hell idisk?

And how about fixing hfs+, a couple o years ago we were still hoping for zfs, now that's off the table at least improve somehow the filesystem, is that what the world's most advanced os should have? I don't think so...

...and no, full screen apps is not really great, it's a tad better than the windoze f11 key, that's all. welcome, but nothing to write home about.

Stop messing with aqua elements we know and love, or at least put the new tweaks in as options, and start with the real annoyances of the os...
post #20 of 113
The slider nature in general just doesn't make sense, looks awkward since we are so used to seeing buttons like that on the iphone. OSX is not a touch system, it is a simple click button. Why make it look like touch controls, and why give it a little animation it doesn't need?
post #21 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

Sorry friend but this is absurd. Maybe your brain isn't wired to interpret rich information sources, but mine is. Color is an extremely powerful and deep way to provide cues. Flattening out the information layers is desirable only to people with OCD or to people who are shallow enough to think "That's the way we used to do it. This is different. Therefore this is better." is a rational design philosophy.

Also: snark is for amateurs. There's a difference between "color" and "candy colors". (And frankly, just because you mock "candy colors" doesn't make bright colors bad, either. It was used with great skill and beauty in the early days of OS X, and if you think that was an OS for kids, I'd invite you to grow up. Beauty might be enjoyed by children, but it's only fully appreciated by adults. Understand that point, and maybe you'll have taken a small step toward becoming an adult yourself)

amen, couldn't have said it better, and I 've tried to.
post #22 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post

And when will they replace the three tiny buttons in the ULC of a window with something easier to click?

Mayhaps?



It's too Windows 7-y.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #23 of 113
The stoplights are just fine as is imho, by virtue of them being colorful (hint, hint) they can be small yet easily noticeable.

Let's make these grey too guys.
post #24 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

The stoplights are just fine as is imho, by virtue of them being colorful (hint, hint) they can be small yet easily noticeable.

Let's make these grey too guys.

FTL problems?

Which of us is the fisherman and which the trout?

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Which of us is the fisherman and which the trout?

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post #25 of 113
I dislike these changes. The tabs "read" backwards to me. In the example the author included the darker tabs look deselected, but they are actually the selected ones.
post #26 of 113
You do all realize Apple is trying to make Mac OS X touch friendly? I'm surprised no one is saying that outright but it's clear that's what they're doing. This means hardware is soon to follow in the form of Macs with touch screens. The Macs unlike the iOS devices will keep traditional input devices as well.
post #27 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I for one will miss the slider effect. It was simple and elegant. I do wish they would at least allow an option to get rid of that faux leather look in iCal and have a less gimmicky Address Book design.

Agree. The slider effect looks nice. Certainly the selected tab ought to be lighter with dark text, the unselected with a darker background. This works with the slider concept and is the cleanest and in my view clearest way of presenting the tab choice. Having the selected tab darker looks wrong to me though I guess it makes sense following a depressed button concept. But I am happy either way - I am happy to go along with the design changes the Apple designers conjure up - or pare down as the case may be.

The faux leather and pseudo paper address book pages must go, however. Design ebbs and flows and feeds off past forms and norms, but the faux stuff is just naff. And very fucking ugly.
post #28 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngmapple View Post

You do all realize Apple is trying to make Mac OS X touch friendly? I'm surprised no one is saying that outright but it's clear that's what they're doing. This means hardware is soon to follow in the form of Macs with touch screens. The Macs unlike the iOS devices will keep traditional input devices as well.

I don't understand why people keep insisting that future macs will have touch screens. It makes no sense and they wont.
post #29 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

It's a slider for Christ sake. How hard can it be.

They don't even use sliders for that purpose in iOS. Why would you used a slider to select a tab on a mouse-based interface? My complaint is not that it's hard to figure out, it's that a slider is unnecessarily different than what you expect without adding any ease-of-use. In fact, I would argue that it's actually LESS convenient to use.

Button: Position mouse over desired tab. Click.

Slider: Position mouse over current tab. Click and hold. Drag mouse to desired tab. Release mouse button.

I'm also really glad to see the iOS scroll bars go away. I like the scroll bars to be present at all times on screens that have the space to display them. It's nice that they auto-hide on an iPhone, but on a Mac, I want to be able to see at a glance how far into a document I am.

The iPhone interface is amazing... for a small, phone-sized screen. I'm happy to see Apple realizing that the interface on a computer and the interface on a tablet/phone should NOT be the same.
post #30 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

It makes no sense and they wont.

Sure it does. They bring back iMac G4 design (to a certain degree), so you can adjust display position to a more touch friendly. So at least for an iMac it makes a lot of sense, just a problem of making OS more touch friendly.

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post #31 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

FTL problems?

huh? trying to be snarky again? come on, don't make me click to the ignore list settings..
post #32 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maltz View Post

Slider: Position mouse over current tab. Click and hold. Drag mouse to desired tab. Release mouse button.

What? Just move a mouse to a wanted position and click. How hard can it be. Drag and hold, really? it's same old tab Ui just with animation.

Which of us is the fisherman and which the trout?

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Which of us is the fisherman and which the trout?

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post #33 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

huh????

AKA Hyperdrive. Rings a bell?

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post #34 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Agree. The slider effect looks nice. Certainly the selected tab ought to be lighter with dark text, the unselected with a darker background. This works with the slider concept and is the cleanest and in my view clearest way of presenting the tab choice. Having the selected tab darker looks wrong to me though I guess it makes sense following a depressed button concept. But I am happy either way - I am happy to go along with the design changes the Apple designers conjure up - or pare down as the case may be.

The faux leather and pseudo paper address book pages must go, however. Design ebbs and flows and feeds of past forms and norms, but the faux stuff is just naff. And very fucking ugly.

they sure are.
post #35 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

Sure it does. They bring back iMac G4 design (to a certain degree), so you can adjust display position to a more touch friendly. So at least for an iMac it makes a lot of sense, just a problem of making OS more touch friendly.

We have been over this so many times....
Instead of them bringing out an imac with a touch screen, just put an ipad on a stand and voila!
I agree a touch screen 27" iMac could work for some people and probably be 'just perfect' but it is too niche and too expensive. I can't see it ever happening. So no - I don't think it makes any sense.
post #36 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

AKA Hyperdrive. Rings a bell?

not really, I don't see where you are going with this.

this hyperdrive sure looks good though, more than good, great, thanks for the heads up honestly, is there a catch?

//edit: are you referring to the brit sitcom not the actual drive? still don't get it...
post #37 of 113
I really like the new look. I think Mac OS is long due for a interface change, and removing the weird blue bubbly stuff helps it look cleaner. However, I do agree that Apple should decide what they're trying to design. The new calendar and address book definitely do not fit in with the new aqua changes. I don't think Mac OS should be like iOS. I think they should work on new innovative productivity tools like they did with Spaces in Leopard. Yes, iOS is successful, but it's not a desktop operating system.
post #38 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

AKA Hyperdrive. Rings a bell?

At this point posting a link or detailed definition would be apropos.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ects#FTL_Drive
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post #39 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

At this point posting a link or detailed definition would be apropos.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ects#FTL_Drive

oh ok, I get it, sorry I am not a big scifi fan, not at a sci fi fan at all to be precise.

lol, at least I got this

http://www.hypershop.com/HyperDrive-s/119.htm

out of it, which looks really great for my ipad, and just what I was looking for!
post #40 of 113
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