Monday, July 02, 2007

What Are the 'Usability Experts' Doing?

Inconsistancies with Apple interface ...

"Sometimes, Apple's (or any other software maker's) complete lack of respect for usability never ceases to amaze me. Take today for example. Apart from the close, minimise, and "maximise" widgets Apple places on window decors, there is also a fourth widget programmers on the Apple platform can use. This widget resembles a sort of dash, and is placed on the top right corner of the window decor. This widget is used in many applications, both from Apple as well as from various third parties. It has one function: toggle the visibility of the window's toolbar.

Take Colloquy for example, my favourite irc client on Mac OS X. This is a shot with the toolbar visibility toggled to "off":

OSX Toolbar Off - Usability, User Interface Design

OSX Toolbar Off


And this is a shot with the toolbar visibility toggled to "on":

OSX Toolbar On - Usability, User Interface Design

OSX Toolbar On


Now, this is the default, and thus expected, behaviour of this dash-like widget. A lot of applications, including those written by Apple itself, use this widget this way. However, I rarely saw this widget on brushed-metal applications. One exception to this rule was the Finder. The Finder is a brushed metal application, but it does sport this widget. Since Finder by default comes with a toolbar I rarely (if ever) use, I wondered what the Finder toolbar would look like without the toolbar. Unsuspecting, I clicked the dash widget."    (Continued via OSNews.com)    [Usability Resources]

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