Mac OS X - Are the flashy icons worth it?

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Everyone has nothing but praise for OS X, but the novalty has got to run out sometime. What do you think is wrong with it? and what could be easier?



For instance, I work on a power mac in Graphic Design and everytime I log on it kindly tells me "Your AppleTalk Network is Available". Nice to know it cared the first couple of times, but its waring off.8)
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    You know what bugs me every time I think about it? The three traffic light buttons on the top left of the window.



    Back in Mac OS 9 you had controls on both sides of the window, on one side the 'safe' controls, Minimize and Zoom to Fit, on the other the 'dangerous' close window. Whereas on Windows you had these tiny little controls all bunched up, which meant even if you feel like the mouse is an extension of your hand you still had to slow down and pay attention when using these controls.



    Then along comes Mac OS X with the controls all bunched together on one side. I don't know if they did it to emulate windows, or for purely aesthetic reasons, but for a while I thought Mac OS X was going to be a complete eye-candy sell-out of everything that Mac stood for (i.e. usability and design).



    What convinced me otherwise was, surprisingly enough, the Genie effect for windows getting sucked into the dock. While most people consider it pointless eye candy, I had previously read usability reports about novice Windows users who had ten or more browser windows open because they kept 'disappearing'. The users were actually minimising them to the task bar, but since they didn't know they could do that, they thought they had closed them or the browser had crashed and simply started up a new session by clicking on the IE icon. The swoop of the genie effect shows you exactly where the window is going - genius.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Portable Al

    Everyone has nothing but praise for OS X, but the novalty has got to run out sometime. What do you think is wrong with it? and what could be easier?



    For instance, I work on a power mac in Graphic Design and everytime I log on it kindly tells me "Your AppleTalk Network is Available". Nice to know it cared the first couple of times, but its waring off.8)




    Your network is not the norm. For most users, AppleTalk is "just there." For users of AppleTalk network volumes, the only thing that tells them its is the appearance of the icon of a mounted volume on the Desktop. Perhaps, you would do well to inform your network administrator that you are tired of the advertisement and that you would like the option to disable it.
  • Reply 3 of 22
    jlljll Posts: 2,709member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Portable Al

    Everyone has nothing but praise for OS X, but the novalty has got to run out sometime. What do you think is wrong with it? and what could be easier?



    For instance, I work on a power mac in Graphic Design and everytime I log on it kindly tells me "Your AppleTalk Network is Available". Nice to know it cared the first couple of times, but its waring off.8)




    Isn't that a Mac OS 9/Classic thing?



    Btw. perhaps it's time to let AppleTalk go.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally posted by JLL

    Isn't that a Mac OS 9/Classic thing?



    Btw. perhaps it's time to let AppleTalk go.




    Maybe its because there are only 3 Mac OSX on the network, the rest are OS 9.



    And, also. I agree the 'dangorous' close button should move back to the right.
  • Reply 5 of 22
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Portable Al

    Maybe its because there are only 3 Mac OSX on the network, the rest are OS 9.



    And, also. I agree the 'dangorous' close button should move back to the right.




    I agree that it does seem a bit dangerous having them close together.



    However... I'm curious just how many times people actually click the wrong button? In all my years of OS X use, I can't remember missing a widget and losing data. Perhaps it is because double clicking the title bar minimizes so the middle button goes relatively unused. (by some users)



    But... everyone isn't like me. So I'm interested if people have actually been bitten by missing the minimize widget and closing the window?



    While there is the potential for data loss, it doesn't seem to be the most dangerous spot in the OS X workflow. Such as... trashing music in iTunes doesn't move it to the trash. Instead, files are lost immediately!
  • Reply 6 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dfiler

    ...I'm interested if people have actually been bitten by missing the minimize widget and closing the window?



    Personally, it doesn't present much of problem most of the times. But I have noticed that new users seem to do it quite often and after all it is new users that Apple has to convince to buy the system.



    Anyhow, I agree with stupider...likeafox. It was better the old way.
  • Reply 7 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dfiler

    trashing music in iTunes doesn't move it to the trash. Instead, files are lost immediately!



    That's not true in my experience. Removing music from iTunes always places it in the trash.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by stupider...likeafox

    What convinced me otherwise was, surprisingly enough, the Genie effect for windows getting sucked into the dock. While most people consider it pointless eye candy, I had previously read usability reports about novice Windows users who had ten or more browser windows open because they kept 'disappearing'. The users were actually minimising them to the task bar, but since they didn't know they could do that, they thought they had closed them or the browser had crashed and simply started up a new session by clicking on the IE icon. The swoop of the genie effect shows you exactly where the window is going - genius.



    If I'm not mistaken, Windows shows an outline of the window minimizing to the taskbar. Or was it a Unix window manager? Either way the same thing has been around for a long time, and I don't think showing the window contents makes it revolutionary.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    Windows shows outlines of a box for like a millisecond. All you see is a flash. It's not the idea that's missing, it's the implementation which leads to the lack of connection between action and result that is the problem.



    And explicitly making that connection is what the genie does. It graphically shows your window (not an anonymous outline) being moved, and not so quickly that a human being can't actually follow the motion. And then it sits there, a small but still identifiable graphical version of itself, rather than a non-descript bit of text.



    It's kind of like being a good animator. You can't just draw something in one place and then draw it in another. You've got so few frames to play with you need to elongate and blur things to suggest motion or the eye will simply miss what you're trying to portray.



    I believe there's actually a few places in OS X (and OS 9) where the minimum animation time is based on human perception times rather than the speed of the computer, but I can't recall any others right now.



    Also, RE: the close button, even if you've never hit it yourself by accident, it slows you down every time you use one of those controls. It's similar to Fitts Law where larger, further away targets can be hit faster than closer, small ones because of the extra precision necessary to hit a small target. Being extra careful to avoid closing the window slows you down even if you don't notice it.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    I rarely accidently close a window, however, I do tend to accidently open programs on the dock because I put it on the left hand screen because it seems to me like a logical place for it to be. I often accidently open a program when dragging windows around. I also hate the fact that double clicking on things minimises them, because I often do this by mistake. Can I turn that off on 10.1? I believe you can on later versions but I've not so far seen how to do so using 10.1?
  • Reply 11 of 22
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by stupider...likeafox

    Also, RE: the close button, even if you've never hit it yourself by accident, it slows you down every time you use one of those controls. It's similar to Fitts Law where larger, further away targets can be hit faster than closer, small ones because of the extra precision necessary to hit a small target. Being extra careful to avoid closing the window slows you down even if you don't notice it.



    This is why the buttons are spaced much further apart than they are under Windows. Having the buttons together isn't *that* bad, as you said before, it's the implementation details that Redmond tends to bonk on. Yes, there is a small slowdown, I'm sure, but it leaves the right side for the toolbar lozenge! I'm only half-kidding, actually. The toolbar is becoming such a widely used element that having a quick way of toggling it is a great idea. To the left, window controls. To the right, toolbar control.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    Wasn't the double click on the bar (to maximize/restore down) first implemented by windows?
  • Reply 13 of 22
    I accidentally close apps far more often than windows...



    The traffic lights proximity to each other isn't as frustrating as CMD-Q and W being side-by-side.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    i honestly loathe the default icons of OSX. They were fine 4 years ago.. but come on... lets get a move on. I especially hate the "applications" folder icon..



    there's a beutiful icon set I downloaded a long time ago that I use for my User icons. I have no recollection of where I got them from, but they're wickedly well done and smooth and clear.



    Also, check out the GANT icons. That kid is just amazing
  • Reply 15 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Morgoth

    I rarely accidently close a window, however, I do tend to accidently open programs on the dock because I put it on the left hand screen because it seems to me like a logical place for it to be. I often accidently open a program when dragging windows around. I also hate the fact that double clicking on things minimises them, because I often do this by mistake. Can I turn that off on 10.1? I believe you can on later versions but I've not so far seen how to do so using 10.1?



    hmm, on 10.3 double-clicking does nothing...
  • Reply 16 of 22
    r3dx0rr3dx0r Posts: 201member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ichiban_jay

    hmm, on 10.3 double-clicking does nothing...



    check the 'minimize when double clicking a window title bar' option in the appearance pref pane.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    whoops, I thought you were talking about the dock items. haha yeah, I have it enabled so when I double-click it minimizes on the titlebar
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dfiler

    trashing music in iTunes doesn't move it to the trash. Instead, files are lost immediately!



    no it doesn't...at least for me it doesn't. it always moves it to the trash.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dfiler

    However... I'm curious just how many times people actually click the wrong button? In all my years of OS X use, I can't remember missing a widget and losing data. Perhaps it is because double clicking the title bar minimizes so the middle button goes relatively unused. (by some users)



    But... everyone isn't like me. So I'm interested if people have actually been bitten by missing the minimize widget and closing the window?




    This has happened to me about half a dozen times now on MacOS X. About the same on Windows 2000 which I use at work. I also sometimes hit the next widget instead of close which on Windows at least, annoyingly makes the window full screen, the total opposite of closing.



    The close proximity of those three widgets is probably the thing that annoys me most about 10.3. Next would be the delay in bringing up the contextual file list from a folder in the dock. I've got a dual 2.5Ghz G5 and doing this is still slow!
  • Reply 20 of 22
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Ctrl-click, no delay. The delay is an actual timer (.6sec, I believe), it has nothing to do with the speed of your computer.
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