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Comment on "Excellence in Preference Windows"
by Scott Stevenson — Jun 08
@Matt: The inconsistency there is an obvious mistake that really weakens this argument of a 'perfect work of art' that reveals that a designer truly 'cares' about this product.

I think it's a tough sell that this somehow ruins the experience. Fixing it would be an improvement, but we're splitting the finest of hairs here. So I'm willing to retract the "flawless" and replace it with "nearly flawless".

Take that original screenshot, eliminate the CD cases, and ask yourself what exactly is special about this preference pane?

It's sounds like you're already made up your mind about it, and that's fine. I might have a different perspective on this because I've looked tons of Preferences windows and scrutinized them over and over. This one gets so many things right that the others miss, and the fantastic artwork is just the icing on the cake.

It's easy to overlook the subtle touches like the slightly alternating group colors in the shortcuts area, as well as the incredibly detailed work on the Registration icon. Granted, not everyone cares about stuff like that, but I think it only endears the app more to those that do care. That's the art of the thing.
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