The Dock "floor" is the worst UI idea Apple has ever had

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  • Reply 101 of 195
    ak1808ak1808 Posts: 108member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    OK.

    Or so it seems to me. Can anyone think of an actual reason to do this to the Dock? I was a little unnerved by the TimeMachine interface-- mainly because it also features a very poorly implemented "3D" lower plane, one that does nothing but make the text there harder to read.



    Reason for the 3D effect: The stacks display a mixed icon which is composed of the icons/thumbnails of the individual items in the stack. As they are "stacked" upon each other, a 3D effect makes sense. In this context, the dock, containing the stacks, also has to be 3D.



    Reason for the reflection: Think about a pool of clear water. As you approach with a stick, the sticks reflection appears. As you submerge the stick, the water keeps reflectig the remaining part.

    This is exactly the behaviour of the new dock. It is a metaphor from nature and corresponds to the "submerging" of windows, when you push them through the bottom edge of your screen: Makes actually more sense than simply having them "disappear".



    Does that answer your questions, addabox?
  • Reply 102 of 195
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ak1808 View Post


    Reason for the 3D effect: The stacks display a mixed icon which is composed of the icons/thumbnails of the individual items in the stack. As they are "stacked" upon each other, a 3D effect makes sense. In this context, the dock, containing the stacks, also has to be 3D.



    Not unless a stack changes depth depending on how many items are in it. Otherwise, it doesn't make any more sense for the stack (and the Dock) to be 3D than the folders I keep in the dock right now, which can hold many items, the contents of which can be displayed with a two fingered tap on my track pad.



    Quote:

    Reason for the reflection: Think about a pool of clear water. As you approach with a stick, the sticks reflection appears. As you submerge the stick, the water keeps reflectig the remaining part.

    This is exactly the behaviour of the new dock. It is a metaphor from nature and corresponds to the "submerging" of windows, when you push them through the bottom edge of your screen: Makes actually more sense than simply having them "disappear".



    Does that answer your questions, addabox?



    And if the Dock is on the side, it provides a metaphor for pushing a window through a wall of water, but only to one side at a time? Or if it is on the bottom, when I move a window off screen left or right I just assume it's, I dunno, headed out across the neighboring fields?



    UI cues need to be consistent if they are to be of any use beyond amusement value.



    Look at it this way: a UI is telling a story. To do a good job of telling the story, it has to be carefully crafted to maintain coherent tone, imagery and metaphor.



    Adding elements like a 3D dock on a 2D desktop with a 1/2D menu bar is like writing a sentence that goes something along the lines of "The day was like a banquet, racing down the track on the broken wings yet another open meadow."



    A lot of people in this thread are saying things like "I like meadows! What's wrong with meadows, they're pretty! Also, banquets, yum", and that just does an amazing job of missing the point. Good writing, like good UI design, isn't the sum of bits and pieces of individually pleasant things. It's entirely about the interaction of everything, throughout.
  • Reply 103 of 195
    igrouchigrouch Posts: 47member
    A number of things.



    My understanding is that the menu bar transparency can be turned off. This according to somebody that has the developer preview discs, though they said that they actually tried both, transparent, then opaque and actually liked the transparent best. My take on this is: I'm going to wait till it is actually released and see for myself.



    1. I will change to my preferred current Aqua desktop pic and see what that's like with transparent menubar

    2. Turn off the transparent menubar and be just like Tiger (except for the Dock) and see what that's like.

    3. Make up my mind on which I like best.



    All in all I think I will get over any of the UI changes in time. All the new features and under the hood improvements will make up for any criticism I may have of what SJ shoved in our faces in terms of UI last Monday. And on that my observations.



    The grass desktop pic actually looked good in terms of the keynote/demos on the Apple site. (Yes it is crap for everyday use/graphics. But, as SJ says himself you canchange that to your prefered choice.) The pic was good on at least two levels.



    1. A change is as good as a rest from blue desktops.

    2. Subtle resemblance to Windows wallpaper to hypnotize new converts over to the Apple camp.



    The Dock.



    1. I see that the divider line between apps and files/folders is gone.

    2. Blue glowing spotty things instead of sharp triangle denoting launched apps.

    3. How the heck will this look pined to the left of my screen where I like it.



    You know what. I probably will become accustomed to it in time. I will probably dump the Drop Drawers launcher tab/drawer, with shortcuts to apps, from my setup and use a stack in the Dock instead. Thumbs up on that then.





    All in all, I think it will all work out on the night
  • Reply 104 of 195
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,268moderator
    I wonder if the whole reflection thing is to stop the clone artists. In all the previous systems, people have managed to copy the theme of the OS X systems on Windows and Linux. Here's a new clone of Leopard:



    http://youtube.com/watch?v=-yPeGKqp8Uc



    But notice they don't have a shiny reflective dock. I think a reflection is one thing that isn't quite so easy to achieve because it's not as easy as turning on a switch like in pre-rendered graphics because you can't feasibly do ray-tracing in hardware acceleration, it's all texture maps.



    Maybe some of these developments are a way to say look what we can do that you can't do (yet) i.e we got there first irrespective of how useful they will actually be.
  • Reply 105 of 195
    s.metcalfs.metcalf Posts: 968member
    I also thought their choice of a green/grass wallpaper was deliberate because:



    1. People like green...it's the most popular shuffle colour apparentl

    2. Perhaps subtle reference to Apple's new "green" ethos

    3. Not boring...shows off the screens better.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGrouch View Post


    A number of things.



    My understanding is that the menu bar transparency can be turned off. This according to somebody that has the developer preview discs, though they said that they actually tried both, transparent, then opaque and actually liked the transparent best. My take on this is: I'm going to wait till it is actually released and see for myself.



    1. I will change to my preferred current Aqua desktop pic and see what that's like with transparent menubar

    2. Turn off the transparent menubar and be just like Tiger (except for the Dock) and see what that's like.

    3. Make up my mind on which I like best.



    All in all I think I will get over any of the UI changes in time. All the new features and under the hood improvements will make up for any criticism I may have of what SJ shoved in our faces in terms of UI last Monday. And on that my observations.



    The grass desktop pic actually looked good in terms of the keynote/demos on the Apple site. (Yes it is crap for everyday use/graphics. But, as SJ says himself you canchange that to your prefered choice.) The pic was good on at least two levels.



    1. A change is as good as a rest from blue desktops.

    2. Subtle resemblance to Windows wallpaper to hypnotize new converts over to the Apple camp.



    The Dock.



    1. I see that the divider line between apps and files/folders is gone.

    2. Blue glowing spotty things instead of sharp triangle denoting launched apps.

    3. How the heck will this look pined to the left of my screen where I like it.



    You know what. I probably will become accustomed to it in time. I will probably dump the Drop Drawers launcher tab/drawer, with shortcuts to apps, from my setup and use a stack in the Dock instead. Thumbs up on that then.





    All in all, I think it will all work out on the night



  • Reply 106 of 195
    s.metcalfs.metcalf Posts: 968member
    That's a clone???? Holy crap! Why don't they just buy a Mac if they're that obsessed with Leopard



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I wonder if the whole reflection thing is to stop the clone artists. In all the previous systems, people have managed to copy the theme of the OS X systems on Windows and Linux. Here's a new clone of Leopard:



    http://youtube.com/watch?v=-yPeGKqp8Uc



    But notice they don't have a shiny reflective dock. I think a reflection is one thing that isn't quite so easy to achieve because it's not as easy as turning on a switch like in pre-rendered graphics because you can't feasibly do ray-tracing in hardware acceleration, it's all texture maps.



    Maybe some of these developments are a way to say look what we can do that you can't do (yet) i.e we got there first irrespective of how useful they will actually be.



  • Reply 107 of 195
    ak1808ak1808 Posts: 108member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Not unless a stack changes depth depending on how many items are in it.



    It does.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    [...] 3D than the folders I keep in the dock right now, which can hold many items, the contents of which can be displayed with a two fingered tap on my track pad.



    As I said, the stacks give you a preview of the actual content, so they are very differet from the old-school folders. Now maybe it doesn't make so much sense to compose icons like this. Maybe its more confusing/unnessecary/etc. But you asked: Why is the Dock 3D? And this is the answer. Stacks are 3D, and very naturally so.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    And if the Dock is on the side, it provides a metaphor for pushing a window through a wall of water, but only to one side at a time?



    Yes, exactly. It's not perfect. The target is a Dock at the bottom, but it is not worth to sacrifice the dock's freedom for this metaphor.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Or if it is on the bottom, when I move a window off screen left or right I just assume it's, I dunno, headed out across the neighboring fields?



    As you do today. It's not perfect, but it's an improvement.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    UI cues need to be consistent if they are to be of any use beyond amusement value.



    This metaphor is targeted for amusement value. It is simply a small, beautiful detail. It has its reasons for existing. You can say its not perfect. I'll say it's not perfect. But it's not brainless, and it's nice.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Adding elements like a 3D dock on a 2D desktop with a 1/2D menu bar is like writing a sentence that goes something along the lines of "The day was like a banquet, racing down the track on the broken wings yet another open meadow."



    It depends... look at the logo for the Olympic Games in London. If you are an artist in your field, you may break the rules. In your example, a poet is free to write such a sentence - and a greek-drama purist is free to disagree ;-)





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Good writing, like good UI design, isn't the sum of bits and pieces of individually pleasant things. It's entirely about the interaction of everything, throughout.



    You are absolutely right. And at the same time, you will never archieve a true masterpiece without the dissonance, the contrast, the daring, the dangerous. This is what gets peoples emotions up. Look at the iPod shuffle: An mp3 player without a screen? Outrageous. I hate it and love it at the same time. That is the best of works. You need some rough edges so that critics and normal folk alike can scrub themselves against them.

    Of course, if you argue from a "usability above all" standpoint, you are right. But I'll argue from a "create products that inspire passion" standpoint. From this one, Apple has -already- archieved exactly this effect, with exactly the new dock, with exactly this thread.
  • Reply 108 of 195
    ok. i know that you think that this dock is inconsistant but really listen if there was no new visual affects you would say that is so boring. apple doesnt care anymore . right. Right
  • Reply 109 of 195
    I agree with addabox and Kickaha--it's very relevant to interpret these little things to know where Apple is headed in its thinking, and these things add up and become relevant by themselves in the overall intuitiveness of the system, which has implications in everyday use, in how welcoming it is to new users, how they influence third-party (and other first-party) developers, ...



    I would guess the Leopard Dock (and menubar) are a way to at the same time 1. get up to date in flashiness, and 2. try to do it in a way that's seriously benefiting. The 3Dness of the Dock is just a small auxiliary one--Mac OS has for a long time not really been absolutely 2D: the "texture" and shadows you mentioned, but also windows stacking atop each other (with shadows), Dashboard and Exposé, etc. The 3Dness of the Dock could presumably separate it effectively from windows, and make it less distracting if well implemented. Jobs said more than one time during the keynote (refering to other things) "this really is useful," which at least suggests that he is aware of this whole bigger issue even as he gives the presentation.



    Before the 11th, I was a little worried that the "new UI" would be too aggressively flashy, but I am glad to see that the new Desktop and Finder seem to have streamlining and unification as principles. They could easily have leveraged Quartz and Core Animation and gone full flash, but instead what they did is get rid of brushed metal, make the Finder more like iTunes (which is subtracting), reduce borders, not add flashy features to Safari (I don't get my MBP yet, so I'm using it in Windows) but instead keep it simple and pretty much borderless with resizable text boxes and simple but nice Find feature and speed as a selling point, etc.



    I don't want a "new way to interact with your computer," and I think the probable costs outweigh the benefits, at least for now. As long as they use things like 3D sparingly and auxiliarly while keeping in mind what's really important, I think it's fine. The new menu bar could be a good thing in this regard (and apparently can already be easily turned off), and the Dock actually bothers me in Tiger, so I think I might like the new one (even in terms of all this).
  • Reply 110 of 195
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DoctorRobert View Post


    I agree with addabox and Kickaha--it's very relevant to interpret these little things to know where Apple is headed in its thinking, and these things add up and become relevant by themselves in the overall intuitiveness of the system, which has implications in everyday use, in how welcoming it is to new users, how they influence third-party (and other first-party) developers, ...



    I would guess the Leopard Dock (and menubar) are a way to at the same time 1. get up to date in flashiness, and 2. try to do it in a way that's seriously benefiting. The 3Dness of the Dock is just a small auxiliary one--Mac OS has for a long time not really been absolutely 2D: the "texture" and shadows you mentioned, but also windows stacking atop each other (with shadows), Dashboard and Exposé, etc. The 3Dness of the Dock could presumably separate it effectively from windows, and make it less distracting if well implemented. Jobs said more than one time during the keynote (refering to other things) "this really is useful," which at least suggests that he is aware of this whole bigger issue even as he gives the presentation.



    Before the 11th, I was a little worried that the "new UI" would be too aggressively flashy, but I am glad to see that the new Desktop and Finder seem to have streamlining and unification as principles. They could easily have leveraged Quartz and Core Animation and gone full flash, but instead what they did is get rid of brushed metal, make the Finder more like iTunes (which is subtracting), reduce borders, not add flashy features to Safari (I don't get my MBP yet, so I'm using it in Windows) but instead keep it simple and pretty much borderless with resizable text boxes and simple but nice Find feature and speed as a selling point, etc.



    I don't want a "new way to interact with your computer," and I think the probable costs outweigh the benefits, at least for now. As long as they use things like 3D sparingly and auxiliarly while keeping in mind what's really important, I think it's fine. The new menu bar could be a good thing in this regard (and apparently can already be easily turned off), and the Dock actually bothers me in Tiger, so I think I might like the new one (even in terms of all this).



    Agree that Apple hasn't gone down the "let's go crazy with Core Animation" road that some of us feared. For the most part I like the Leopard UI changes-- unified windows, the Stacks animation , finder improvements (have to wait and see how Cover Flow works for disparate files), how they've handled the logistics of Space, Quick Look-- all very nice, IMO. The Time Machine UI is just inexplicably ugly and abuses the "3Dness" of that lower Dock area even more alarmingly by making actual text have to lie down like it was receding, which makes it harder to read. That's just insane, I can only hope cooler heads prevail before it ships.



    If "shallow 3D" is to be part of the desktop metaphor, I wish we had more clues as to how Apple intends to use that, if they do. The emphasized drop shadow of the active window kind of suggest a shallow "working space" beyond the "bare minimum to indicate window layering" that we've had until now, but there doesn't seem to be anything happening in that space. There isn't any depth reordering possible beyond the usual window behavior-- if the Dashboard "ripple" is meant to suggest a layer "over" the desktop of a different order, I would think there could be a use, with attendant visual cues, for space "under" the top layer, possibly for use in Exposé or Spaces.



    Of course, any of that would mean that Apple was thinking about 3D space in all over terms, which obviously I fear they are not.
  • Reply 111 of 195
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by polarissucks View Post


    ok. i know that you think that this dock is inconsistant but really listen if there was no new visual affects you would say that is so boring. apple doesnt care anymore . right. Right



    Yeah, that's me. Constantly looking for some little flaw to bitch about. I do that all the time.
  • Reply 112 of 195
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Null.
  • Reply 113 of 195
    Just a thought. Perhaps everyone is reading too much into the dock. Maybe its going to be made so that it can have skins, so you can actually make it look however you want.



    Someone early in the thread said being obliged to disable a feature was a windows thing. Isn't customization however, the flexibility of the OS generally regarded as a Mac trait?
  • Reply 114 of 195
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,268moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hal_Emmerich View Post


    Just a thought. Perhaps everyone is reading too much into the dock. Maybe its going to be made so that it can have skins, so you can actually make it look however you want.



    Someone early in the thread said being obliged to disable a feature was a windows thing. Isn't customization however, the flexibility of the OS generally regarded as a Mac trait?



    We haven't had official theme support for over 7 years. I don't have my hopes up for Leopard. Apple likes to think that they have the best designers in the world and if any of the better designers in the world actually made something nicer, they'd probably feel a little embarrassed. At least if they disable that feature, they can hide away in their RDF.



    This is a really sore point for me with Apple because Macs are big among artists and yet they don't allow these great artists to design their own interface styles. It doesn't even have to be much customization but all we get is blue or grey. What a choice.
  • Reply 115 of 195
    who cares about the dock? I rarely use the dock anyway.. at least they sorted out finder etc.. and thats about all that I care about wrt UI.
  • Reply 116 of 195
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Null.
  • Reply 117 of 195
    IDK what they're thinking. I don't like all the transparency crap at all. Why make the menu bar transparent? Why change the Dock? Stacks on the other hand, I do like. I think I will use that a lot. Time Machine, great idea I think. Those are the two features I will use for sure. I just hope you can turn all the other crap off, I think all the transparent stuff makes the OS look real cheap, and shows that they really ran dry of ideas, I'm disappointed in Steve and his geek squad.
  • Reply 118 of 195
    tomikktomikk Posts: 3member
    I disagree--I think that in fact the current 2D dock is far less consistent at the moment than the new 1-inch thick desktop. I'll tell you why:



    At the moment we have a totally flat dock with no depth backward to it, until (optionally i admit) it suddenly protrudes outward when it magnifies. As a piece of UI philosophy surely we have a similar probem with this.



    Furthermore all windows that you open lie on top of what is behind them. Surely this is 3D? The current nifty shadow effect around all open windows exaggerates this. With over 5 windows open on top certainly the desktop space cannot be considered a 2D space. This new 3D dock brings harmony to this gradually. It is not perfect but it is a step in the right direction. Instead of understanding the desktop as a 2D place separate from the windows on top of it, I think it is clearer to understand the desktop space as including all the windows that you place in it. All that is happening is that we are treating the desktop as though it were a tray that you might place pieces of paper in as opposed to a 2D surface that we are placing 3D objects on top of.

    It is not an inconsistency in the metaphor--rather it is a slight modification to the metaphor. It is certainly an important step to make.



    As for people objecting to the useless eye candy of the floor reflecting, I find this to be moaning for the sake of it. I hear nobody moaning about the current dock which is see-through, as though it were made of tracing paper. There can be no function in that.



    As for the menu bar at the top, the reason behind it is obvious. Steve mentioned that as nobody uses the standard blue swirly desktop picture but in fact uses a customised picture, it made sense to reflect this in the UI of the desktop. They will have thought about using just the picture unchanged as the background for the menu bar like was done in the "improved" (sorry for the speech marks!! ) version, but the problem with this will have proved too obvious in development stages. The problem concerns having enough contrast to make the text readable. By making the background of the menu bar whiter (nice technical term!!) than the desktop picture it will make the text legible with any desktop picture even ones with varying colours at the top across the picture (which is of course the obvious practical reason against making the computer choose a text colour for the bar that is opposite to the colour of the picture). Also to be quite honest this is a really minor issue as the colour of the menu bar can be changed back to how it is in Tiger in the system preferences (certainly in the developers build), I am lead to believe.
  • Reply 119 of 195
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tomikk View Post


    I disagree--I think that in fact the current 2D dock is far less consistent at the moment than the new 1-inch thick desktop. I'll tell you why:



    At the moment we have a totally flat dock with no depth backward to it, until (optionally i admit) it suddenly protrudes outward when it magnifies. As a piece of UI philosophy surely we have a similar probem with this.



    Furthermore all windows that you open lie on top of what is behind them. Surely this is 3D? The current nifty shadow effect around all open windows exaggerates this. With over 5 windows open on top certainly the desktop space cannot be considered a 2D space. This new 3D dock brings harmony to this gradually. It is not perfect but it is a step in the right direction. Instead of understanding the desktop as a 2D place separate from the windows on top of it, I think it is clearer to understand the desktop space as including all the windows that you place in it. All that is happening is that we are treating the desktop as though it were a tray that you might place pieces of paper in as opposed to a 2D surface that we are placing 3D objects on top of.

    It is not an inconsistency in the metaphor--rather it is a slight modification to the metaphor. It is certainly an important step to make.



    As for people objecting to the useless eye candy of the floor reflecting, I find this to be moaning for the sake of it. I hear nobody moaning about the current dock which is see-through, as though it were made of tracing paper. There can be no function in that.



    As for the menu bar at the top, the reason behind it is obvious. Steve mentioned that as nobody uses the standard blue swirly desktop picture but in fact uses a customised picture, it made sense to reflect this in the UI of the desktop. They will have thought about using just the picture unchanged as the background for the menu bar like was done in the "improved" (sorry for the speech marks!! ) version, but the problem with this will have proved too obvious in development stages. The problem concerns having enough contrast to make the text readable. By making the background of the menu bar whiter (nice technical term!!) than the desktop picture it will make the text legible with any desktop picture even ones with varying colours at the top across the picture (which is of course the obvious practical reason against making the computer choose a text colour for the bar that is opposite to the colour of the picture). Also to be quite honest this is a really minor issue as the colour of the menu bar can be changed back to how it is in Tiger in the system preferences (certainly in the developers build), I am lead to believe.



    I understand what you're saying about windows on top of one another at least implying 3D space, and as I've said the new heavier active window drop shadow seems to take that a little deeper. But:



    We've had the "implied" 3D of windows on top of one another for a long time now, and it's never been anything but "the least we can get away with and still indicate 'on top". Certainly it's never called for other desktop 3D cues to help us out with the concept.



    Deepening the shadow of the active window changes that a little, but if all Apple is doing is declaring the desktop 2" deep instead of 1/16" deep and then continuing to deploy elements in exactly the same manner, than that's completely pointless.



    As I keep saying, if they plan to do something with that, something that is actually useful, then I'm eager to see the plan.



    But just "Oh, hey, you know those windows you've been layering one over another for the last 20 odd years? They actually go back into space a little more! K, bai" doesn't do anything for me at all.
  • Reply 120 of 195
    tomikktomikk Posts: 3member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    I understand what you're saying about windows on top of one another at least implying 3D space, and as I've said the new heavier active window drop shadow seems to take that a little deeper. But:



    We've had the "implied" 3D of windows on top of one another for a long time now, and it's never been anything but "the least we can get away with and still indicate 'on top". Certainly it's never called for other desktop 3D cues to help us out with the concept.



    Deepening the shadow of the active window changes that a little, but if all Apple is doing is declaring the desktop 2" deep instead of 1/16" deep and then continuing to deploy elements in exactly the same manner, than that's completely pointless.



    As I keep saying, if they plan to do something with that, something that is actually useful, then I'm eager to see the plan.



    But just "Oh, hey, you know those windows you've been layering one over another for the last 20 odd years? They actually go back into space a little more! K, bai" doesn't do anything for me at all.



    What apple is doing by making the desktop space 3D is rectifying a current inconsistency, further action by apple isn't really what is required. (Please correct me if I've completely misunderstood)



    What I'm talking about is the, if you like, philosophy of the current UI (sounds very grand doesn't it ) The desktop should be 3D, it makes sense considering the current 3D nature of windows being on top of one another. Even with tabs in a tabbed browser. The tab protrudes out in front. All of the buttons protrude out, or try to give that illusion, and all the shading and effects point to the desktop being a 3D space. Why then is it illogical and inconsistent to have a 3D dock, to fit in with that.
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