A rant about leopard's UI.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by NoSmokingBandit, Nov 6, 2008.

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  1. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2008
    I've used windows and linux for a long time and recently went mac. I took a while to get used to the OS and now i am going to rant about everything i dont like. Let me be clear though, i love Leopard, but some things are so dmb in the UI that i would like to point them out in hopes that someone knows how to make it work better or maybe enough people will agree that Jobs will make some changes in Snow Leopard or 10.7.
    Anyway, here we go:

    1. The Traffic Lights
    Ah, the traffic light buttons. We've heard this one before, havent we? It took me a while to get used to the Zoom button, but now i dont even notice it. In fact, i find in windows and linux that the maximized windows are a pain now. What i want to talk about is the X (or 'hide') button. On every other OS the X closes the program. On OSX it closes the window. From what i gather, the theory behind this is the OSX window management is document-based and it would be a pain to hit the X and kill the app. This would make sense, but with more and more apps using tabs this 'hide' feature is a giant pain.
    Lets say i am in firefox/safari/photoshop cs4 (loing the tabs in that, btw), or any other tabbed app and i have my last single tab open. Logic says that to close the program i would hit the X and to close the current tab/document yet keep the app running i would hit the close button on the tab.

    2. UI Consistency
    Leo was supposed to have a more unified UI but it still seems as though most apps do what they please. Yes, its much better than tiger, but the Apple programs are the culprits still. Finder looks like most other windows, iTunes has its own scrollbars, most of the iLife suite has black scrollbars except garageband (idk what other ones are different, but i spend alot of time in GB so i know it well) which follows Finder but with a semi-wood frame. In windows or linux 99% of apps use the same UI parts. I've only seen a few programs that insist on using a non-standard UI on linux or windows.

    3. I dont know how to describe this one so just read it
    This isnt a problem per say, but i find myself doing this quite often. Lets say i have finder open. Now i want to open up another window. Instinct tells me to just click on the finder icon and a new window will pop up. This, of course, is not the case. I have to right click->new finder window to make it happen. It would be nice if when finder was the active window a new window would open when the dock icon is clicked. It would be logical and efficient.

    Thats all for now. If you are going to be an apple fanboy and tell me i am wrong dont bother posting, but if you have something constructive to say dont hold back!
    Thanks for reading.
  2. Str8edgepunker macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2001
    Philadelphia, PA
  3. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    As for the "x" closing thing, the only reason it "makes sense" to use it to close the app is because of your familiarity with windows.
  4. ddeadserious macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2008
    Plymouth, MI
    I can understand your frustration with the finder button stuff. Command + N opens a new finder window, in case you were unaware.

    I'd imagine there's a way to make clicking the finder button open a new window every time.
  5. NoSmokingBandit thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2008
    Its because of my familiarity with every OS but Apple's. They are the only OS to do it differently and its really not productive at all. In fact its rather counter-productive when i have to chase down apps i thought i had closed in the dock.

    Yeah, i am getting familiar with the keyboard shortcuts and i usually keep a finger on cmd so i can actually close apps when i am done with them via cmd-Q.
  6. firstapple macrumors 6502a


    Sep 25, 2007
    Your problem here is again you are to use to Windows. In windows it would do this. However, in OS X when you click on something in the dock (that is already running) it automatically brings the application to the front of all your other applications. I am not sure how often you have two finder windows open, but in most cases I find it much better for it to just bring the finder window to the front.

    Try this same thing with Safari. If Safari is already running you can't just click on the icon for a new browser window.
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    It is productive when you get used to it. I find I get more work done on Mac OS X than I do when running Windows simply because everything is so logically laid out. Sure there are some insistences but I'm prepared to ignore them for the good of the bigger picture.
  8. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    I'm far from a fanboi, in fact I'm a recent switcher from last year. I make my living in Windows. I've watched Apple for a very long time but was intimidated by the OS. Until......... Vista, then I got fed up with it and told the wife I was ordering one of the new iMacs and diving in.

    I gotta say, when I switched and started using the UI, I didn't whine a small FRACTION as much as some of these people (you included) about the UI in Tiger and then in Leopard.

    I LEARNED IT! I had to keep telling myself "that's windows, this isn't windows I have to do it this way" and I dealt with it and now it's second nature and it slowly started to make sense. Most of it does, some doesn't, then again, there are QUITE a few things in windows that don't make sense as well.

    The biggest thing for Windows users to get over is the differences in the UI and how the UI works. Patience, deep breaths and you'll get used to it.

    So as I was saying, I'm not a fanboi but I'm going to post something nonconstructive anyway. :D

    Oh yah, and you can't group Linux in your analysis. Linux is terminal based. The GUI's are what you need to enter in your analysis.

    In other words if your going to say "I've used windows and linux for a long time..." that means NOTHING. But if you said "I've used windows and IN linux I've used GNOME, KDE, XWindows, etc" then I would give your argument credit. But linux by itself HAS NO UI unless you count the blinking cursor.
  9. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    If you want to be really super ultra productive in Mac OS X though, nothing beats learning to use the Terminal. You'll wonder how you lived without it.
  10. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    I wish I had enough time to find a Windows board to complain how much I hate how closing the last window of Word shuts down the program. I'm in Word for Windows all day long, I'm opening and closing files all day long. If I wanted to quit Word (excuse me, Exit Word), I'd hit the Exit command. Shutting down because the last window is closed doesn't make any sense to me. Just because I'm through with one file, doesn't mean I'm through with Word. Strangely, Win Excel stays open after the last window is closed but Word doesn't. What's up with that?

    What you're suggesting is a major departure from the Mac UI standards dating back to multifinder (1987?). That isn't to say Windows and Linux can't do things differently, but it's doubtful Mac is going to change. If you want a new Finder window, hit command N.

  11. esXXI macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2005
    Preston, England
    First it means close, not hide. Second: no, it is not consistent even in Windows. Any system-tray running application (Steam, IM apps, etc) will not close when you close their window. Leaving the confusion of "did that program just close or not?" if the tray icon has hidden from inactivity.

    Also; Having to reopen productivity apps that don't use MDI (i.e. the good ones), isn't a good idea.

    You listed two browsers and one productivity app (of which the adding of tabs was a stupid idea). If there was more than a minute handful of applications that actually used tabs, this might help your argument but it doesn't.

    You literally pointed out the only big apps that break consistency for no usability reason. 99% of applications adhere to the HIG and use system resources.

    If you don't have a window open, it creates one, if you do it'll bring that window to the front. This is the same for every app, I can't think of a single one that has clicking the dock icon to spawn a new window regardless, even if you have one.

    Not only that it would ruin using multiple Finder windows. Open four Finder windows and then bury them beneath other ones. Now click Finder; you have all those Finder windows in front. Under your suggestion I'd need to either dig them out by hand.
  12. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Quit whining. Windows is windows and Mac is mac. Saying that one UI is "wrong" and "doesn't make sense" is pure opinion. You are used to one OS so much that everything else is compared to it. Just get used to it and quit whining.
  13. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Untrue. UI design can actually be objectively measured*, it's just somewhat expensive to do. Apple used to do a ton of it.

    *in terms of error rate, productivity, user satisfaction, task completion time, or any of a whole host of useful metrics.
  14. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007

    That is all I can say.

    Learn to use shortcuts, apple is known for their shortcuts. the shortcuts are amazingly simple to learn and work like a treat.

    I have no complaints about the UI at all, it is perfect for me.

    If you hate the traffic lights as green, yellow, red then change it in the Appearance tab in System Preferences.

    Attached Files:

  15. NATO macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2005
    Northern Ireland
    I use the keyboard shortcuts so much now that I rarely have to use the mouse. You'd be amazed how much faster and more efficient it makes things - such as Cmd+Q to exit an app, Cmd+H to hide an app, Cmd+W to close a window... sooo much easier than doing it with the mouse.
  16. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    1. Traffic Lights - I use keyboard shortcuts and rarely, if never, use the cursor to click this. CMD+Q quits the application, CMD+W closes that window, and CMD+H hides it. I never zoom anyway, so don't need a shortcut for that. Shortcuts increase the productivity hugely, get using them. CMD+TAB is useful, as is CMD+` to switch between windows within an application.

    2. UI Consistency - I don't see this as a problem, although consistency is key to a sleek UI. However, I like aqua and I like the matte scroll bars in iTunes. Although I'd imagine Snow Leopard might go all matte, aqua has been with us since OS X's birth.

    3. Finder Windows - Again you need to learn shortcuts. I'm not sticking up for Apple, but for productivity, you need to get using them. CMD+TAB to the Finder, then press CMD+N and you have a new window. You can open as many as you want with that shortcut!

    To sum up - your issues arise with the cursor. I'd really urge you to leave using it and just use keyboard shortcuts. The big major thing I miss when I use Windows is the shortcuts. Hiding an application, switching windows in application etc. Switching tabs in Safari (CMD+[ ]), to opening a new tab (CMD+T) and general OS X commands, you should use them!
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    and if your a windows fan-boy the command

    "Windows+E" combination works really well, sometimes you need to hold it down for a bit to respond, i never found out why though...:(
  18. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    (Menubar) Finder - Preferences - Check off "Always open folders in a new window"
  19. reclusivemonkey macrumors 6502


    Jun 2, 2008
    Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
    You ARE wrong.

    Windows XP, IE 7, Office 2007, Windows Explorer, Windows Media Player, Windows Messenger. Show me the UI consistency. Hell, its not even consistent in Office 2007, Outlook doesn't have the ribbon but the messages do? Picture Manager?

    You can install Ubuntu which uses Gnome and very easily download a program which uses KDE. 99% UI inconsistency.

    You don't have to be a fanboy to point out the flaws in your argument.
  20. koobcamuk macrumors 68040


    Oct 23, 2006
    1. Don't agree. I would hate the X to close apps now.
    2. Maybe a point here, but I don't care about looks so much.
    3. No way. clicking on an App in the doc should not open a new window unless no windows are open. You idea contradicts your 2nd point in terms of UI consistency.
  21. NoSmokingBandit thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2008
    Wow. i wasnt expecting so many sarcastic remarks...

    I think some of you are missing my point about the dock icon thing. If the app is in front the dock icon could have new functionality because all it is doing at that point is letting you know the program is open, which you should already know seeing as its in front.

    To those who keep saying im comparing osx to windows you must realize that i am not. I am comparing it to every single other os on the market. Apple is the odd one out here, not windows.

    Im not whining or complaining or being a bitchy windows fanboy, im just pointing out simple things that i find obtrusive. If you cant handle someone seeing a flaw in osx then just go back to your Jobs worshiping circle-jerk.

    esXXI, sorry i didnt list every single app with tabs... jebus... Out of curiosity though, why dont you like the cs4 tabs? I love them because i often have over 5 documents open and i can switch around alot faster with tabs.

    reclusivemonkey, i wasnt aware of MS office's interface as i use OpenOffice for everything. I'll have to find someone who has ms office and look at it (i've converted all my friends to OOo so this may be difficult).
  22. koobcamuk macrumors 68040


    Oct 23, 2006
    Think Different.
  23. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    LOL @ "it doesnt work like every other OS out there" as a "flaw"

    Guess what, ITS NOT THOSE OS's ITS OSX!
  24. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Even that's not necessarily the case - there are plenty of Windows apps which allow you to click on an X in the document window (not the program window) and close the last document, while leaving the app running.

    I've only been using Macs for about two years and I got used to the different setup in OS X (where application != window) rather quickly, and it makes sense to me. I often open a document by directly double-clicking in a Finder window, which then launches the app and then opens the document. It's nice to be able to close the document, double-click a different doc in the Finder window, but - aha! - since the app is already open, I can view and edit the document much more quickly since I don't have to wait for the app to open again.
  25. benlangdon macrumors 65832


    Jan 13, 2008
    didn't read all the post but on the op's first point.

    i absolutely love that it doesn't close the app.
    minimizing is a ridiculous pain that is easily avoidable.

    try running itunes, photoshop, aperature, pages, mail, transmission, firefox, safari, quicktime, and final cut.
    and tell me from switching to each one how easy it is to press the x button on accident and shut the program down.

    minimizing is a joke.
    that isn't funny.
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