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Comment on "Satisfying UI Design is Often Illogical"
by Scott Stevenson — Oct 31
@Matt James: If that wasn't enough, the glowing dots underneath running applications have had to be pointed out by me to people seeing Leopard for the first time

I agree that the active app should be more bold somehow.

The reflection that the Dock affords of surrounding windows only adds noise to what should be a simple process

I think it might make sense for just the icons to reflect, rather than other windows. But not having the ability to actually test this in practice, I'm left to guess how it would come off.

Rory Prior's fantastic post about it

Rory has some good points, though I don't agree with everything he says on the topic.

@Nicko: At the very top, the translucent menu bar is quite simply much harder to read

I'm really trying to understand this viewpoint, and yes the contrast is lower by definition in a semi-transparent canvas, but reduction of contrast is not a problem in itself. Title bars, for example, are black on dark gray.

It's different, yes. I'm just not entirely convinced it actually has a material impact on ability to perform tasks, and I prefer a new take on it instead of having the single white menu bar until the end of time. This may have a lot to do with wallpaper, or differences in the way individuals process visual information.

Reducing the image contrast on one of the most important UI features does the user no favours at all

I actually disagree with this. I don't want a UI element to be fully-opaque 100% of the time if I only use it 12% of the time. Perhaps it could fade in on hover, similar to what the red/yellow/green window controls do?

This UI is supposed to be intuitive but users will have a much harder time if both form and function keep changing on them

Form and function will continue to change, and users will continue to adapt as they ever have. It's not a bad thing.

Completely anecdotally, my mom was thrilled with the fan and didn't express any concern about using it. This was, in fact, the case for the entire Leopard UI. I specifically asked her about the menu bar and she didn't say anything. She's typically the first one to get flustered at UI changes.

I just don't think these things are as big of a challenge in reality as some have said they would be in abstract theory. In fact, I don't think a lot of people even put folders on the Dock before because there wasn't a big advantage over putting them on the Desktop.

The entire message of this post is not that changes are complication-free or perfect, it's that they're better than the alternative of doing nothing while the UI stagnates and people lose interest. We had a lot of these same discussions when Aqua first came out.
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