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New Hires in the Apple UI Dept.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
From Think Secret:

"Our source also noted that Apple has recently added new hires to the OS X team -- hires with user interface experience. This could potentially lead to refreshing interface tweaks."

Does anyone else think this could be a tremendous development? After using OS X full-time for more than 8 months I think there is definite room for improvement. I know this has been discussed extensively but I thought I would add my .02 Here are some problems I've noticed:

1. The "drawers"- the pop out drawers that appear under windows in programs like Mail frequently force me to shift the window just to fit it within the screen (on a 19" monitor) . An unnatural slide motion is also required to close them which could easily be fixed.

2. Text-Text is my biggest complaint. It is frequently obscured and jumbled in the dock and finder windows when they are in close proximity to each other. This happens all the time during a Dock rollover. Unfortunately there is no way to differentiate say, 5 explorer windows in the dock, without the text. This is another UI problem in itself.

3. Quicktime movies no longer play in the dock like they were supposed to, a little trick I liked.

4. The incosistencies between using different Apple programs like Quicktime, Sherlock, iMovie, Appleworks and iTunes.

5. Trash on the desktop

I have a general feeling that some things may have been thrown together for the sizzle factor with little regard for interface consisteny. I heard the original Mac GUI team conducted extensive research and analysis into how people could best interact and be productive with computers. I hope some of these new employees bring those ideas back.

[ 03-04-2002: Message edited by: al-h ]

[ 03-04-2002: Message edited by: al-h ]</p>
post #2 of 19
[quote]Originally posted by al-h:
<strong>5. Trash on the desktop </strong><hr></blockquote> <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

Your other ideas are fine, but this one... that's just funny!

Well, maybe these new guys will fix the widget inconsistencies and get the clr# resources to be recognized by Cocoa apps so I can finally get Iridium to work... after a year and a half.

grrrr...
post #3 of 19
[quote]3. Quicktime movies no longer play in the dock like they were supposed to, a little trick I liked.<hr></blockquote>

What???
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post #4 of 19
[quote]Originally posted by al-h:
<strong>
3. Quicktime movies no longer play in the dock like they were supposed to, a little trick I liked.

4. The incosistencies between using different Apple programs like Quicktime, Sherlock, iMovie, Appleworks and iTunes.

5. Trash on the desktop
]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Umm...Quicktime movies still play in the dock, at least in 10.1.3.

I agree with 4., get rid of the brushed aluminum and go Aqua all the way. Haven't used Appleworks much so I don't have any comments there.

I think the trash should stay in the dock, but they definitely could make an option available to move it.
post #5 of 19
[quote]1. The "drawers"- the pop out drawers that appear under windows in programs like Mail frequently force me to shift the window just to fit it within the screen (on a 19" monitor) . An unnatural slide motion is also required to close them which could easily be fixed.<hr></blockquote>I don't know how you would have to shift the window.... With Mail, whenever I click the "Mailbox" button to open the drawer, it opens up on the side of the window that has the most space. As for the unnatural slide motion, you could just click the Mailbox icon again to close the drawer.....
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post #6 of 19
I disagree - the iApps should stay differentiated.

Why?

Take a close look at the style of the UI - full screen, large buttons, simple to use, one window.

Like, say... for use on a 'set top box' as the focal point of a home entertainment center? The reason I put that in quotes is because I don't believe Apple will ever put out such a device under Jobs - too close to consumer driven TV. *BUT*... hook up a Mac to the entertainment center, and those apps are perfectly usable on a TV, unlike most apps on a computer. Try it, if you have a PowerBook or other computer with S-video out. You may need to go to 800x600 resolution to make it really clear, but at least on my 18 year old Sanyo tv (which sucks), it's clearly legible across the living room.

Could they Aquify the appearance and still have it have many of the above traits? Sure. But, the brushed aluminum is much closer in style to a consumer component system for home entertainment. I think it's worth it to keep it as a ready to go option for Apple. Besides, I rather like it. The multimedia apps have their own 'branding', independent of the Mac UI.
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post #7 of 19
[quote]Originally posted by Kickaha:
<strong>The multimedia apps have their own 'branding', independent of the Mac UI.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Nicely put, and I fully agree.
post #8 of 19
Hmm... I think Apple should move Aqua to the Quicktime Player, iTunes, and iPhoto UI
post #9 of 19
Originally posted by Kickaha:
[quote]option for Apple. Besides, I rather like it. The multimedia apps have their own 'branding', independent of the Mac UI.<hr></blockquote>

Well QT has the "brushed metal" look, but preview does not. Why? Are Photos and still graphics not cool enough to qualify as multimedia?

Then sherlock - surely this is a system helper, not a multimedia app. However it used to have the metal look.

Mail.app should maybe have a metal skin - after all email is more like multimedia than like text editing.

Interface consitency is completely broken in MacOS-X. Basic button style for push buttons is jelly beans, for bevel buttons is "white iced". iTunes had "Sys 9ish" bevel buttons with blue symbols (now grey and blue in 2.0.3), iPhoto has "Sys 9ish" with grey symbols.
DVD player is "metal" but has the Aqua "iced" buttons (for eject etc. where iTunes uses the 9-ish). And the Viewer-window is Aqua,not "metal". For no apparent reason.

The x-+ widgets in iPhoto are (in their inactive state) different than in _every other_ application in the system (they look blurred).

iPhoto (like iTunes) has "etched in" fonts in the UI (similar to some windows apps, iMovie does not. iMovie on the other hand has the rigid "fullscreen" paradigm that no other Mac-app has (not even iPhoto, the closest relative).

Rant, gripe, whine? Nope, I can live with it. But it is a strange change away from the old Apple where interface consistency was one key selling point.
post #10 of 19
The set-top box is the most ill-conceived invention of the 1990s. I hope it never flies.

This doesn't include one-trick ponies like TiVo and ReplayTV. Devices like those DVRs are fine. They serve a purpose.

Crippled Swiss-Army set-top computers will never fly.

You'll sooner see the ability to control and display your actual desktop on your TV via wireless.
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post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
I always thought the ease of use of the OS, applications and hardware together was the brand not individual applications. This was/is the "Mac advantage" as opposed to Windoze.

[ 03-06-2002: Message edited by: al-h ]</p>
post #12 of 19
A comprehensive restructuring of how Apple manages UI design would be nice -- Apple should be producing an operating system with a very human feel. Something that caters to aesthetic tastes and the science that allows their software to make things easier to use. In my opinion, Mac OS X is a good looking mess of a quality operating system. There's no reason why I shouldn't be raving about it in the future, and I hope that the hires are a result of Apple thinking the same things.
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post #13 of 19
i thought i read somewhere that steve hated user interface people... so these folks getting hired, if true, are indicative of a refreshing trend n the face of lots of user feedback apple has received, or else they're gonna have a coronary the first time steve asks them to "make scrollbars that look like this sunflower..."



also, if any of those new hires are reading, here are my thoughts...

KEEP RUNNING PROCESSES, ALIASES, AND MINMIZED WINDOWS IN SEPARATE TOOLS (this might be just me, but the dock gets pretty darned cluttered pretty quickly). if you MUST have aliases and apps in the dock together, please make the running apps look a little more, well, active. like glowing brightly as if backlit as opposed to the inactive ones. that little arrow underneath, especially when the dock is a bit small, is practically invisible. thankfully, some folks have been releasing freeware and shareware apps that allow for multiple docks, so there are solutions coming around.

BRING BACK THE OPTION FOR ONE APP MODE! there, i said it. i still do a lot of production in quark, and therefore classic, and i use the now-freeware app wapp pro which allows this, and it REALLY helps reduce the clutter when i've got a dozen apps open, and they all just quickly run off-stage when another is brought to the front. and hey, it WAS there in public beta.

ALLOW THE ABILITY TO NOT SHOW SOME APPS IN THE DOCK (perhaps via a contextual menu?). i know the finder is running. otherwise, i wouldn't get very friggin far, would i?

BADGE MINIMIZED WINDOWS WITH THE ICON OF THE APP TO WHICH THEY ARE ASSOCIATED. five white squares without names does not help me (especially if a couple are named "untitled-1").

LET ITUNES VISUALIZATIONS RUN IN THE DOCK LIKE QUICKTIME MOVIES DO. i dunno, i thought this would be kinda cool - distracting, sure, but just a neat "look what quartz can do" thing.

so there are my votes.

[ 03-06-2002: Message edited by: rok ]</p>
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post #14 of 19
[quote]Originally posted by Smircle:
Well QT has the "brushed metal" look, but preview does not. Why? Are Photos and still graphics not cool enough to qualify as multimedia?<hr></blockquote>

iMovie, iTunes, iDVD, and iPhoto all create or organize. Preview does neither.

[quote]Then sherlock - surely this is a system helper, not a multimedia app. However it used to have the metal look.<hr></blockquote>

Used to. Past tense. Why? Not a multimedia creation or organization tool. They finally figured out what way they wanted to take that branding...

[quote]Mail.app should maybe have a metal skin - after all email is more like multimedia than like text editing.<hr></blockquote>

Not creation or organization of multimedia.

[quote]Interface consitency is completely broken in MacOS-X. Basic button style for push buttons is jelly beans, for bevel buttons is "white iced". iTunes had "Sys 9ish" bevel buttons with blue symbols (now grey and blue in 2.0.3), iPhoto has "Sys 9ish" with grey symbols.
DVD player is "metal" but has the Aqua "iced" buttons (for eject etc. where iTunes uses the 9-ish). And the Viewer-window is Aqua,not "metal". For no apparent reason.

The x-+ widgets in iPhoto are (in their inactive state) different than in _every other_ application in the system (they look blurred).

iPhoto (like iTunes) has "etched in" fonts in the UI (similar to some windows apps, iMovie does not. iMovie on the other hand has the rigid "fullscreen" paradigm that no other Mac-app has (not even iPhoto, the closest relative).

Rant, gripe, whine? Nope, I can live with it. But it is a strange change away from the old Apple where interface consistency was one key selling point.<hr></blockquote>

I agree - the slight differences in the iApps are annoying. Just shows how they're all hand-done, instead of using a core set of nice established OO libraries.

And Eugene: I agree, the set top box is, and should stay, dead. But I'd *love* to have a nice silent G4 box sitting as the core of my home entertainment system, either with the other components or remotely. The iApps then make sense. Connect everything up with FireWire (which is what HDTV/AV is going towards anyway) and voila - uber system in a box, courtesy of Apple.
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post #15 of 19
The problem with iMovie is how it is very clearly made up of three components, yet monopolizes the entire screen regardless.

I'd like the ability to separate the timeline/clip viewer, clip shelf and monitor/viewer

or

at least make it a single *window* app for monitors that can handle it...so it doesn't monopolize the entire screen.
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post #16 of 19
[quote]Originally posted by Eugene:
<strong>The problem with iMovie is how it [...] monopolizes the entire screen regardless.</strong><hr></blockquote>Agreed!!

If you ever have this much white-space, you've got a bad GUI.

post #17 of 19
[quote]1. The "drawers"- the pop out drawers that appear under windows in programs like Mail frequently force me to shift the window just to fit it within the screen (on a 19" monitor) . An unnatural slide motion is also required to close them which could easily be fixed.<hr></blockquote>

Huh? All the drawers I've ever used in OS X slide out when you click on a particular icon, and if you wish to close the drawer, you click on the icon again. Simple. And OS X moves the window so that the drawer can open, then returns it to its original position when the drawer is closed. IMO this is interface design at its best.

[quote]2. Text-Text is my biggest complaint. It is frequently obscured and jumbled in the dock and finder windows when they are in close proximity to each other. This happens all the time during a Dock rollover. Unfortunately there is no way to differentiate say, 5 explorer windows in the dock, without the text. This is another UI problem in itself.<hr></blockquote>

Yeah, minimized windows need to be differentiated more clearly. I like the idea of putting a "badge" on each minimized window according to the app that owns it. Another idea would be to group all the minimized windows for each app together, and divide them graphically (either with separators or by dock background shading). Optimally, I'd like to have a second dock, that would contain ONLY minimized windows. He he, that would rule!

[quote]3. Quicktime movies no longer play in the dock like they were supposed to, a little trick I liked.<hr></blockquote>

They do for me....but I don't really care. I've never tried watching a movie in the dock, but if that's what you like then maybe you need a smaller monitor.

[quote]4. The incosistencies between using different Apple programs like Quicktime, Sherlock, iMovie, Appleworks and iTunes.<hr></blockquote>

Agreed. Apple's greatest strength back in the late 80s early 90s was the incredible consistency between apps on a Mac. It meant that once you learned one app, you could figure out any app. However this is more difficult now because there are so many different things that apps can do, it would be hard to keep interfaces consistent. But it's clear that Apple doesn't even try. And I HATE the brushed metal windows, they lack functionality.

[quote]5. Trash on the desktop
<hr></blockquote>

Good idea, that way my trash will be covered whenever I want to delete something.

What I'd really like is if the trash could be separated from the dock into its own little dock. Set it to be very large, and minimized in a corner. Essentially there would be a "hot corner" for deleting items, just drag into the corner and a giant trash appears! I think that would be so cool...but I still like the current placement of the trash. It needs to be in the dock so that it's not obscured so easily. In OS 9 my trash was never available when I wanted it. Never.
post #18 of 19
I had the impression that iMovie occupied the whole screen because, in OS 9 at least, it required a lot of your processor and memory. The idea was that it acted as a dedicated movie-making machine when you were dealing with those huge DV files. With OS X's memory management, that might not be the case. I could see a new iMovie application for OS X being the main movie window and a set of drawers for the clips, timeline, etc.

I think the inconsistencies with these iApps is attributable both to the different individuals making them, to some degree these people experimenting with the UI and its widgets, and even a certain degree of fashion, like it or not, having its influence. To some degree, the appearances of such apps will always be in flux, and to an even greater extent the UIs will vary more than older apps becuase they are design so specifically to certain tasks. A lot of people thought Apple would just recycle the iTunes UI for iPhoto, but while there are some clear similarities, there are also clear differences better suited for photo cataloging.
post #19 of 19
[quote]Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg:
<strong>Huh? All the drawers I've ever used in OS X slide out when you click on a particular icon, and if you wish to close the drawer, you click on the icon again. Simple. And OS X moves the window so that the drawer can open, then returns it to its original position when the drawer is closed. IMO this is interface design at its best.
</strong><hr></blockquote>Funny, you ignore the example the guy posted. <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" /> He is indeed mistaken about closing the drawer, but he is correct about having to move Mail.app's mail window.

Watch this QuickTime movie I just captured:
<a href="http://brad.project-think.com/movies/MailSnap003.mov" target="_blank">http://brad.project-think.com/movies/MailSnap003.mov</a> (1.9 MB)
(sorry about the low framerate; Snapz chokes on full-screen captures)

Now do you understand?
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