usability

Sorry for raising this topic, from the dead... but something came to mind, i wanted to bring up.

Okay, well most of you know, i use my PC more than my iBook (its a desktop machine... so well YEA!)

Anyhow, it was about the Window Widgets really, and the "Start Menu" ...The "Apple Menu" ... and how the user navigates to them.

Ok, well, If you maximize a Window, say IE on XP... you can close the window, without having to Look ... you just grab the mouse, and drag it to the top right! SIMPLE!

If you want the Start Menu, you Drag the mouse to the Bottom left ... and Voila, you are there!

now, by contrast, try closing a Maximized Window on X. Or getting into the Apple Menu ... Why is there that Stupid Gap to the left?! you should be able to get to navigate TOP RIGHT and Click... But "Oh No" ... Why is this is?! I love the Aqua interface, but for me, below the look, in this instance, Windows is ahead of the game! Do u see my point?!

Neyo
 
I guess, as a result of Apple's User Interface, Mac Users as a rule, have better Mouse Skills!

HAHAH! ... Is that Apple's game, underlyingly, they want more skilled user's on their platform?! SNEAKY!!! LOL

Neyo
 

MDA

Registered
Originally posted by ~~NeYo~~
Ok, well, If you maximize a Window, say IE on XP... you can close the window, without having to Look ... you just grab the mouse, and drag it to the top right! SIMPLE!

If you want the Start Menu, you Drag the mouse to the Bottom left ... and Voila, you are there!

now, by contrast, try closing a Maximized Window on X. Or getting into the Apple Menu ... Why is there that Stupid Gap to the left?! you should be able to get to navigate TOP RIGHT and Click... But "Oh No" ... Why is this is?! I love the Aqua interface, but for me, below the look, in this instance, Windows is ahead of the game! Do u see my point?!

Neyo
Here's one for you. Why is Windoze still so damn dumb that it can't manage to resize a window so that it's just large enough to hold the contents when you click on the resize button like the Mac OS does?

MDA
 
Originally posted by MDA
Here's one for you. Why is Windoze still so damn dumb that it can't manage to resize a window so that it's just large enough to hold the contents when you click on the resize button like the Mac OS does?

MDA
i am not looking for an argument, if u don't like Windows... thats FINE... i couldn't care less, i am just inputting valid points to a a relevant thread.

Neyo
 

MDA

Registered
Originally posted by ~~NeYo~~
Ok, well, If you maximize a Window, say IE on XP... you can close the window, without having to Look ... you just grab the mouse, and drag it to the top right! SIMPLE!

If you want the Start Menu, you Drag the mouse to the Bottom left ... and Voila, you are there!

now, by contrast, try closing a Maximized Window on X. Or getting into the Apple Menu ... Why is there that Stupid Gap to the left?! you should be able to get to navigate TOP RIGHT and Click... But "Oh No" ... Why is this is?! I love the Aqua interface, but for me, below the look, in this instance, Windows is ahead of the game! Do u see my point?!

Neyo
Here's one for you. Why is Windoze still so damn dumb that it can't manage to resize a window so that it's just large enough to hold the contents when you click on the resize button like the Mac OS does?

MDA
 

Jason

Eyebrow Moderator
im all for debating but do we need "windoze is dumb, and osx is stuupid" comments?
 

kendall

Registered
I wish the Dock indicated when apps in the Dock are hidden and I wish hiding an app was one of the options when clicking on its Dock icon.

Also, when minimizing windows into the Dock, I wish you could have them minimize into themselves as an option. Its clumsy when I have seven IE windows minimized into the Dock.
 
Originally posted by itanium
I wish the Dock indicated when apps in the Dock are hidden and I wish hiding an app was one of the options when clicking on its Dock icon.

Also, when minimizing windows into the Dock, I wish you could have them minimize into themselves as an option. Its clumsy when I have seven IE windows minimized into the Dock.
Yea, i agree, although the Hide on Context Menu can be found if you use Transparent Dock! When i right click an app, i now have Hide Alongside Quit and Show In Finder.

I thought the dock Greyed out Apps that were hidden?! ... i never liked it anyhow, so i disabled it, but i remember it being in 10.1.X

hmmm...

The minimize thing is something i too have a problem with, i guess being a "Windows user" for many years, Mr Gates brought me up, telling 2 minimize stuff, whereas Now, Mr Jobs is saying NO NO, this way! ... minimizing doesn't seem right in X, but i guess thats why we have the hide feature, and Windows Doesn't?! :D

Neyo
 

MDA

Registered
Originally posted by BuddahBobb
im all for debating but do we need "windoze is dumb, and osx is stuupid" comments?
Oh come on. In my opinion it's stupid that Windoze can't do that. Don't take it so personally.

MDA
 

MDA

Registered
Originally posted by ~~NeYo~~
i am not looking for an argument, if u don't like Windows... thats FINE... i couldn't care less, i am just inputting valid points to a a relevant thread.

Neyo
You've been rubbing in our faces all of the wonderful things you think XP can do and you can't take a little back?

MDA
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Hmm... The Apple menu is on the top left, NeYo, because that's where you're used to find the start. Open a book and you know that the text will start in the upper left corner. Look on a document's page and you know that its content starts on the upper left corner. The menubar is the integrating user interface element on the Macintosh's GUI, that's why it's at the top edge so you can't accidentally move beyond it. That's why the close box of a window is on the upper left corner (why all widgets but the new 'show toolbar' widget are).

Having the menu inside an application's window (Windows) is bad UI design. Statistically, a user uses the menu of an application more often than 'maximize', 'minimize' or 'close window'. So it's important to have the _menu bar_ always in an easy to reach position.

You suggest that Apple should mimic 'the standard', which is Windows. But it's still very clear that Apple has the better UI design in these matters. So no, Apple should do what's best, not follow a bad example.

Why would Microsoft make the close box of a window on the top right corner? In order to be able to say 'We did not copy the Macintosh (entirely)'. And they won that case in court (after like 10 years...). Microsoft did a lot of strange things like that only to avoid the lawyers. For example, they chose the \ instead of the / to separate directories in a path for the very same reason. (And now that the internet has come, starting on UNIX and UNIX-like systems, the Windows user has to learn that actually '/' would have been the right choice.) As a web design teacher I've gotten many questions from students like the following: "Why can't the internet just adhere to the standard and replace all the /'s with \'s?" And I answered something like this: "That's a bit like the US thinking the world should use CDMA for mobile phone systems instead of the world standard GSM." And my students got that explanation after a while.

There are many do's and don't's in interface design. And sometimes you _have_ to make compromises. But you have to decide _where_ to make them and _how_. Overall, Apple did more things right than Microsoft. The fact that Windows is on 95% of the world's desktops and Apple has only 5% doesn't make the Windows UI mistakes right. They're still mistakes. Only: It may not matter that much any more, because it's become a standard.

But even the most commonly accepted standards can contain mistakes in user interface design. And it's hard to replace them. Take, for instance, a design of the past. Remember those dial-wheels on phones? Wheels were 'in style' when the first dial-wheels were invented. But it would certainly have been better interface design to rather have a dialpad, wouldn't it? Still it took YEARS and DECADES to correct the mistake. I guess I might even have brought up that example on this board, this forum or this thread already.
 

Jason

Eyebrow Moderator
like i said im all for debate but keep it clean guys, this isnt about you two thinking each other is stupid this is about operating system usability

if you have insults to throw at each other do it somewhere else

also i am pretty intolerable on statements such as "X operating system sucks because i say so" it would be a little nice if you say something like "i dislike X operating system"

random insults thrown at anything or anybody is not something i take lightly, so i'd appreciate if you guys dont insult each other... in public at least ;)

play nice :D
 

kendall

Registered
Rotary phones were necessary because the technology of the time required pulses to be sent to the automated switchboard instead of tones.

Dialpad, touch-tone phones didn't come about until the 60's when the technology changed.

It really wasn't due to style but because turning a wheel was the easiest way to create a pulse in such a small device.
 

cellfish

Depressed as hell
Stop fighting you guys.

I'm posting this as a user of both Windows XP and OS X.2.2

I think both platforms have their strengths. PC is better for the cost-conscious user who wants to share files, have a program for every imaginable task, and needs hardware support that doesn't cost him a pretty penny.

The Mac is better for the people who just need a computer that works, and won't require constant upgrading and maintenance.

I like both platforms and while I'm leaning more toward the Mac side, I have to admit that I would miss a few of the programs I have on the PC, and the speed I have of my Athlon XP 2000+. On the other hand, I enjoy knowing that when I put my Mac to sleep, it wakes up properly. I don't have to deal with spyware or viruses, and everybody just looks at my computer whenever they pass by me at work or on the train because of its elegance.

Instead of fighting, hope that the strengths of both platforms will one day come together to create the platform of dreams. What's the use of fighting when it won't affect anything?

Andre
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
While I'm perfectly with you here, cellfish (I also think PC/Mac flamewars don't lead anywhere, really), I think UID (User Interface Design) is a really important matter. However, the thread isn't 'news' or 'rumours', so I'm moving it to the Opinion forum.

itanium: That surely IS a better reason for doing it that way. Still doesn't make that wheel good user interface design. My reason for using this example is that although people of course DID use the ubiquitous standard and DID learn how to use it, it didn't make it easy to use or natural: It still was a user interface mistake.
 

theed

Registered
the UI of the menu bar ... if you drag down from the corner then the gap isn't an issue. A lot of mac users drag their menus down rather than click them down, and that may be the UI change that starts making Mac OS X making sense to you, Neyo. Or maybe not.

In general I've found that mac users are much worse at mousing than Windows users. At a typical level of proficiency a mac user tends to use more keyboard shortcuts than Windows users. This may be changing though. Macs have taught cut, copy, paste, undo, print, close window, quit application, and get info to almost every mac user. Windows users I've found have a tendency to use an icon or contextual menu for these tasks.

I happen to think that Apple-Q is a lot more memorable than alt-F4. Thus it's more likely to get used. As for hiding an app, if you option click out of an app, the app you're leaving will hide itself. This works option clicking in the dock too.
 

robotguy

Registered
Code:
If people are arguing that Apple seems to 
have some sort of logic in place with the Finder 
menu, why is it that Apple's very own dock 
contradicts Apple's own user-interface guidelines?

I would illustrate these flaws myself, but 
someone has already done it for me.
Top Ten Reasons Why the Apple Dock Sucks
Code:
Although some of the issues Tog makes with the dock have been 
addressed, there are still some very important 
issues present that void Fryke's argument.

Two points Fryke makes that Apple's 
own design contradict are:
from Fryke:
The Apple menu is on the top left, NeYo, because that's where you're used to find the start. Open a book and you know that the text will start in the upper left corner. Look on a document's page and you know that its content starts on the upper left corner.
Code:
Fryke is talking about motor memory. 
However, Apple's design of the dock 
contradicts why they ever came up with the 
menu bar in the first place. From Tog's site:
Users cannot build motor memory

Because everything in the Dock jumps around when you add new items, items do not have a stable location on the screen. Motor memory was always a strong consideration in the original Macintosh. Hence, the Apple, File, and Edit menus always came first, in that order. Now, "demoability" takes precedence.
Code:
Fryke also points out in the same post:
The menubar is the integrating user interface element on the Macintosh's GUI, that's why it's at the top edge so you can't accidentally move beyond it. That's why the close box of a window is on the upper left corner
Code:
Here Fryke is talking about what's known as 
[B][URL=http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~cs5724/g1/]Fitts' Law[/URL][/B], which is a [B]model of human psychomotor behavior 
developed in 1954[/B] based on [B]time[/B] and [B]distance[/B]. 
Although Fitt's law has been used as a 
guideline to create user interfaces, there are 
disadvantages to the system that should be 
considered. As quoted from the source:
One such disadvantage is that Fitts' law predicts movement in only one dimension. Fitts' original experiments tested human performance in making horizontal moves toward a target. Both the amplitude of the move and the width of the terminating region were measured along the same axis. It follows that the method is inherently one-dimensional. So, when dealing with two-dimensional target acquisition tasks, new interpretations of "target width" must be considered. Another major deficiency is the absence of a consistent technique for dealing with errors. Researchers have developed a method to handle errors, but it has been largely ignored because of its complexity. Still another disadvantage is a lack of consensus in the measures found in across-study comparisons.
Code:
If we are to defend the logic of the Apple menu 
bar using Fitts' Law as Fryke has done, we 
would also have to apply the law to other 
conventions of OS X design--namely the dock. 
If this is the case, once again Tog points out 
the following:

The Dock ignores Fitts's Law


The corners and edges of the screen are predicted by Fitts's Law to be the most easily reached targets. The Dock hovers just above the bottom of the screen where it can safely avoid being in any way efficient.
Code:
A futher examination of Tog's reasons may 
suggest that he is not too familiar with Fitts' 
Law in that his 5th reason for the Apple dock 
sucking is as follows:
Hiding the Dock makes things worse

Apple's latest solution to the firestorm of protest over the Dock is to allow the user to hide it. That way, it doesn't float over all your applications. Slide below the screen with your mouse and the Dock appears. This further Windows copy job, unfortunately, suffers from the same defect as the Windows Task Bar: You can't predict where a given object is until you reach the bottom of the screen and cause the Dock to reappear. Worse than with Windows, your job is not now over. Now, you begin the task of scrubbing back and forth vertically, trying to force the labels to appear, hoping you won't go far enough out of range in the process to cause the bar to disappear on you.
Code:
Clearly as this relates to motor behavior, this 
falls under Fitts' Law as well--yet Tog doesn't 
seem to think so. 

So which way do we go from here? 
If we adopt Fitts' Law to justify the Apple 
menu bar logic then we must disregard the 
dock as it clearly contradicts everything Fitts' 
law resolves. Also, since Apple is contradicting 
it's own human-interface guidelines, it 
becomes apparent Apple has recognized the 
evolution of  user behavior in an event-driven environment. 

The internet is mostly to blame: unless the 
user is using the computer as a tool [B]there 
are no rules for navigation.[/B] Users are often 
presented with any number of navigation 
devices that can appear anywhere. The 
question is no longer [B]what[/B] the 
procedure is, which is what Apple's menu 
interface hoped to clarify within an application, 
but rather [B]where[/B] the procedure is. In 
other words we all know that there must be an 
exit someplace, all we have to do is find it. This 
is the [B]extra dimension[/B] that Fitts' Law 
does not recognize--that we are indeed more 
than just machines with motor skills. Logical 
behavior patterns must be accounted for at some point.

Although Fryke advocates Apple's design guidelines as a 
more logical alternative to Windows, Apple has obviously broken 
it's own GUI regiment. This indicates that there really are no set 
rules for GUI design. As Windows has become the standard, users'
motor behavior is adapting to Windows GUI. 
It is in our best interests to adopt any features 
that make our computing experience more enjoyable. 
If these features happen to be on 
the Windows platform, does it really matter?
 
Hey, i don't mean to "flame" ... and i don't know if i am considered to be doing so?! Outside of this thread, i eventually won't own a PC, so well, its not the case i am "hating" on Apple, or OS X, just pointing out things that i feel should or could be discussed ... not argued about.

Moving back on topic. Fryke, maybe i didn't express my self too clearly. What i was referring to, was the fact you cannot move the mouse to the top left of the screen and click... the cursor needs to be moved Right about 10 pixels for you to hit the Apple Menu. That to me seems kinda of silly, why have that extra space, which does little?! Why not make, from point (0,0) a hotspot, and allow the user to be able to navigate to the VERY TOP LEFT, and click (without having to even look). Do you see my point?! I agree, and see the logic behind why it is positioned where it is, and i never questioned that. My points were, on my Windows Machine, i can hit the start Menu, and close a Maximized window without having to even look at the screen, now to me, that is Good UI. Do you agree?!
I am not saying Apple should change their ways at all, but i am merely pointing out what makes sense to me (yes me, maybe no-one else! LOL). Like i said, what is the point of that void area next to the Apple Menu?!

Anyhow, i know, having the apple menu there, means you could never maximize the window, and close it like you could in windows (without looking) due to the Finder bar.

Counter-Balacing my so called "X hatred", i have to say, i much prefer the Vertical scroll arrows next to one another, rather than one at the top of the scroller, and one beneath it, that is nice :D

Theed: thanks mate, i never realised the Click and Hold thing worked like that?! That is kinda cool, so you can click hold, and then move the mouse across the menu, that is kinda neat (still bugs me why there's the gap tho) but i'll take what you said, and put into action from now on! That makes me wonder, can i do that on Windows, i wonder what happens?! i'll have to try that later!

MDA, "rubbing your face in it"? Like i said, i am no Apple Hater here, just a guy who is far more familar with the "dark side", and to some people what i was demonstrating to them brought some good points to air, so no, i wasn't "showing off" or anything like that, just bring valid points to the topic. If you too have things to bring up, thats cool, but like many already said, we don't need "why is windows so dumb", we are all mature, and can use Diplomacy, amidst conversation! :D

NeYo
 
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