Apple Usability Flaw

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Wardrop, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Wardrop macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2007
    I recently accidentally clicked the "minus" button on the "Login Items" screen under preferences, and even though I realized the mistake instantly, I had no way of getting the deleted line back. What make it worse, is that I have no idea what the line was that I deleted. "Undo" obviously didn't work, and because OS X applies changes as you make them, I couldn't simply hit "Cancel" like you can in Windows. This made me realize that Apple design approach to such dialogs, and the decision to apply changes as you go without providing OK or Cancel buttons is a fairly significant usability flaw. It's ironic that they go to extreme safety measures when it comes to file deletions in Finder (requiring a key combination; plus it goes to trash anyway after that), yes it many other areas of the operating system, they've made it way too easy to accidentally delete something.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has had the same thought? I pretty much bought my Mac solely for the supposed better use experience, but Apple have me doubting that the user interface is really that much better than Windows (specially now that Windows 7's taken advantage of a lot of OS X features).
  2. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Its not a flaw, all it is is a login item. They're not important on any operating system (windows included).

    All it does is start some program running whenever you boot up the computer. If its crucial, then it will start itself up anyway.

    And I mean no offense by this, but if anyone in general goes around accidentally deleting stuff its hardly a blame of the OS. That is what the recycle bin is for, everything goes into there and you can say yes or no once you delete it from the recycle bin. (Except login items, they don't go to the recycle bin).
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  4. smartalic34 macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    Login items aren't important. You can easily "restore" them, unlike a file deletion. You empty the trash, you can kiss the file goodbye. You delete a login item, you can just add it again. This may sound mean, but don't blame Apple for your own lack of attention. The (-) is a pretty small button to hit, surely you knew you were in the Login Items section of System Preferences?

    Also, do you really want a dialog for every single action you take? How about one for every time you want to minimize a window? Windows 7 has gotten better but XP, for example, shows how this extreme can really hamper the user experience. Those stupid balloons that pop up can make a sane person go crazy. Apple is assuming that a person futzing around in System Preferences isn't blindly clicking stuff.

    Again, no offense meant, but the logic just doesn't work in this case...

    Edit: also, those login items are user-added items. They aren't necessary for proper performance. If you don't remember adding it, you probably won't miss it.
  5. Hal Itosis macrumors 6502a

    Hal Itosis

    Feb 20, 2010
    Also —when that panel is first opened —nothing is selected, and the [-] widget is disabled. So it takes two deliberate clicks in two distinctly different places to accomplish the feat: one click to select some item and then a second click on [-].

    Not a precarious situation by any means.
  6. Wardrop thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2007
    Perhaps the login items dialog was a bad example, but the point was that the apply-as-you-go nature of most OS X preference panes and windows is potentially dangerous. I wasn't suggesting a prompt be introduced, but by not applying changes until the window is ok'd, you give the user the opportunity to revert the changes they've made through use of a cancel button.

    By the way, you can't say login items are not important and therefore my complaint is irrelevant. Anything time investment by the user that can be easily lost is bad user experience design. The fact that web browser still don't save textarea contents into history is a prime example (how many times have you lost a forum post for example because the server bombed during submit or your browser or machine died before you could even get that far).

    A key aspect of user experience design is to be forgiving of the user. In my original example involving the login items dialog, where you have to add/plus button directly beside the remove/minus button - which by the way are rather small (read about Fitt's Law) - the interface should definitely be more forgiving. I don't even think this is debatable to be honest.

    Sorry for bumping an old post, but I felt I had to clarify that :)

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