Apple's bad design?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by karlth, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. karlth macrumors regular

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    #1
    Coming from the Windows environment there are several design decisions that strike me at best as odd. I use a mac daily now so the comments below should be considered constructive criticism.

    The system wide menu bar.

    Having a system wide menu bar means that when working on two or more monitors at once becomes very confusing. For example if you have application A running on display 1 and application B running on display 2 it makes no sense that you have to move the mouse pointer to another display to access its menu bar.

    Cancelling system preference changes

    If you open system preferences and start making changes to settings you cannot cancel them. If you exit the dialog, via the red close button, the changes you made are applied which can hardly be considered a good design choice.

    Disabling the startup sound

    This has been commented on before but there is no official way of turning off the startup sound on the mac. If you want to have a "silent startup" you'll have to either remember to hold down the mute button on the keyboard while starting up or mute the whole computer.

    Comments?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    If you start from the premise that OS X should be the same as Windows you've already ended the conversation.
     
  3. karlth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    No I'm just talking about design decisions in general. For example being unable to cancel changes to system preferences has nothing to do with Windows, it is just bad design.
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #4
    Why? Plenty of people manage this "deficiency" just fine every day. This is your opinion, not an objective fact.
     
  5. karlth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    This thread is created to point out some of these "deficiencies". Deficiencies that if addressed will make OSX a better operating system.

    If you think that Mac OSX cannot be improved and is perfect then you are posting in the wrong thread.
     
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #6
    Fixed that for you. Please learn the difference between your opinion and an actual problem that "needs" to be addressed.
     
  7. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #7
    I am also annoyed by this. I use eclipse on the big monitor and have something else like a browser on the small monitor and the menu bar is all the way on the wrong screen above the wrong program.
    I think it is a general lack of multi monitor support on Apple side. They only do the real basic stuff and offer no decent options for the rest. With Lion and the messed up Mission control it got even worse.

    Sys. prefs. I think that is efficient. With the few things that you can change in OSX I don't think it is a problem. In Windows where you can change so many more settings it is a different story but on OSX it works. Programs with big preference panes usually do still have cancel buttons on OSX.
    I think it is good and efficient design for such minimalistic menus.
    It is bad design on menus with lots of options.

    Startup sound? Never noticed there is such a thing. I cannot remember ever hearing that one. My notebook is often plugged into an external sound system and before I turn the speakers on it might not make a sound. I hardly ever restart but still I cannot remember ever hearing a startup sound.
    There is probably some way to turn it off because I think it must be turned of on my MBP, though I never did anything for it.
     
  8. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

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    #8
    Obviously nobody is claiming that the Mac OS is perfect - it isn't!

    However, in your original post, it would have made more sense if you had made it clear that your examples of "deficiencies" were your personal opinions, considering the fact that they are not so in the case of the 1000's of other Mac users.
     
  9. karlth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Of course this is my personal opinion, I'd hardly be posting the opinion of others would I?

    ----------

    It is a major issue with things like keyboard shortcuts, sharing and network settings. They all have multiple settings and if you start changing things there is no way back.

    Perhaps terminating the System Preferences application would stop it from applying the changes? I haven't tried that though.
     
  10. vitzr macrumors 68030

    vitzr

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    #10
    Let's face the facts. That's what many do here when bashing Android.

    It's the hypocrisy that I find ironic. Why is it that Apple fanboys resist an intelligent conversation?

    They don't seem to be able to have a discussion unemotionally. They've got to get in their snide comments. That starts a flame war, which in turn destroys any chance of an intelligent exchange of information.

    I use both platforms, enjoy it, and would welcome a good discussion. Yet the minute one begins, the haters ruin it with their juvenile attacks.

    It's curious how this scenario is much more prevalent in the iPhone forums than on the Mac forums.
     
  11. teleromeo macrumors 65816

    teleromeo

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    #11
    Get an utility like secondbar to fix the single screen menu bar.
     
  12. karlth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Thanks for posting this possible workaround. :)
     
  13. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #13
    Not really sure what "hypocrisy" you're talking about. Unless you have a technical reason why something should not be the way it is (i.e. a memory leak, security flaw, etc) it is not a "bug", it is an opinion. This is independent of platform or the intelligence of the opinion holder.

    This thread is no different. There is no "bad design" - merely features of OS X that are different from Windows. Unless one has a technical argument why this should not be the case, stop portraying it as a bug (because it's not).

    Also, not sure where you got the idea that I'm an Apple fanboy. Then again you've only been around since July 2011, so your ignorance is somewhat more understandable.

    See things for what they are, not what you want them to be.
     
  14. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

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    #14
    There is an Apply changes button for Network Preferences, but I really don't want one for every change I make. Keyboard shortcuts are easy enough to delete/edit. I really can't think of a single System preference that I might want to undo; they're not that complicated.

    The system wide menu bar has been there since day one on the Mac and works well. In my honest opinion it makes more sense than the Windows method.

    The start-up sound bothers a lot of people, and Apple should provide a solution. I rarely turn my Macs off so don't often here it, but it doesn't bother me when I do.

    OSX is far from perfect, but the examples you've given are the least of my worries, but that's just my opinion ;)
     
  15. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #15

    A) Personally, I generally prefer the system wide menu bar to individual menu bars on windows, but do agree that it's a bit of a pain when you have multiple screens. The Secondbar application looks interesting and I'll have to try it out. Having said that, if the choice was between the way OS X is now and Windows I'd choose the OS X way. I guess it's what you're used to

    B) Again, I think it's what you're used to: I find having to press "OK" on windows to be counter-intuitive and prefer that changes are applied as I make them

    C) The startup sound can be a bit jarring but it doesn't really bother me much as I don't shut my machine down very often - my iMac is on all the time and my MBP just gets put to sleep when I'm not using it


    In general, I think you find these counter-intuitive mainly because you're used to the way Windows works. I've been using macs pretty much exclusively since OS X first launched and I find the OS X way intuitive and the Windows way counter-intuitive. Basically, I don't think either way is right or wrong per se - they are just different
     
  16. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    #16
    I like the system wide menu bar. I like not having to confirm, reconfirm and rereconfirm every little thing I do. Are you sure? Are you really sure? Are you really really really sure you are really really sure? I get that every day on Windows at the office and it makes me tired.

    I do appreciate your constructive criticism. You see, as much as I dislike Windows, it is possible to apply themes and workarounds to make it "look" almost exactly like Ubuntu or even OS X. However as much as I like OS X, I must admit there are a lot fewer workarounds to make it "look" like anything else.

    I had a utility called menu everywhere to make my menu show up on my second monitor. That same utility made the menu show up on every window. I got tired of the clutter and the occasional bug and disabled it. I once used Pathfinder which was a bit more like Windows explorer. I got used to finder and stopped using it. I now use Totalfinder which allows a single tabbed finder window but that's about the extent of my OS X "hacks". Oh and there's one more. I re-enabled ftpd so I could use my rather old network scanner that doesn't know what email or sftp is. I wrote an app for others that need to enable ftpd.

    Overall I'm satisfied with the decisions Apple made for OS X. I like curated computing. I don't mind that the "tacky art" is relegated to the basement. When I want to feel like I'm in the computing equivalent of a flea market, I can always run Windows.
     
  17. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #17
    About a year ago I switched to a Mac after using Microsoft OS's since DOS. It took some getting used to but is more intuitive and complete than Windows despite minor niggles. I miss cut & paste, copying folders overwrites (not merge) and simple photo viewer like windows has I've never found a Mac version.

    That said OSX (I'm using Lion) seems light years ahead of Windows 7.
     
  18. RTWG, Nov 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2011

    RTWG macrumors regular

    RTWG

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    #18
    Your arguments are embarrassing to everyone who came to this thread in order to engage in substantive discussion.

    Whether you call them bugs, features, or something else, the original poster of this thread wanted to discuss some nuances of OS X with other people who may also have the same views.

    Your first post in this thread was arrogant, and you certainly continued flying at the same altitude. If you don't want to contribute to the discussion, please just leave the thread.
     
  19. teleromeo macrumors 65816

    teleromeo

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    #19
    In finder select the photo's you want to view and hit the space bar... voila !
    Or is this too simple ?
     
  20. vitzr macrumors 68030

    vitzr

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    #20
    1a) I believe you've simply misunderstood my post, Let me clarify

    The OP critized "Apples Bad Design" because it has a system wide menu bar.

    To which you responded:

    "If you start from the premise that OS X should be the same as Windows you've already ended the conversation."

    My commment to your position was:

    "That's what many do here when bashing Android"

    Meaning... that just like you suggested his premise was that OS X should be the same as Windows...
    Likewise using the same analogy, I'm suggesting that's what fanboys do, they start from the premise that Android should be the same as iOS.
    Thus the hypocrisy.


    2a) I didn't say there was a bad design

    3a) I _never_ said you were an Apple fanboy. Why are you insulting me by calling me Ignorant?

    I have treated you with nothing but respect.

    I did not personalize my comments.. YOU did.

    4) I do see things for what they are.

    Please take note, that even in This Post, I have continued to treat you respectfully.
     
  21. karlth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    The menu bar position in a single display configuration comes down to preference. When you on the other hand are running 6 screens with 6 different applications in them - searching for the menubar becomes frankly ridiculous! :D

    When has pressing the red close button meant "Confirm changes"?

    Take a look at this dialog:

    [​IMG]

    Does pressing the red close button mean Cancel or Continue? :confused: Well of course it means Cancel.

    Why does it mean Confirm in the System preferences dialog then?

    Inconsistent design is probably the biggest UI mistake you can make. (And not even talking about not being able to cancel changes to system settings, you can only confirm even after changing multiple options in a single dialog).
     
  22. r0k, Nov 7, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011

    r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    #22
    I am "used to" the idea that in system preferences, once I see a change on the screen it has "taken effect". To me, the close button on the window doesn't mean confirm or cancel, it means close the window. The confirmation part happened when I finished making my selection. I would think this is the sort of thing that could be addressed with a third party preference pane that includes an ok button but I don't expect Apple to start putting "ok" buttons on system preference dialogs because I believe they think it makes it more like an are you sure dialog. Asking the user over and over again if they are sure of things wastes their time (in most situations). OS X does ask if you are sure you want to run some software you just downloaded and a few other very isolated cases. I like this balance but for me its a personal preference. I won't go so far to say Apple is "right" or "wrong" but I say "it works for me".

    You mention inconsistency. There are a number of areas of inconsistency in OS X. Consider the rearrangement of the window "stop light" buttons in iTunes. We are dealing with human beings here. I'm just saying Apple gets it right more often than not and I'm happy enough that I ignore the handful of times Apple guesses wrong.
     
  23. teleromeo macrumors 65816

    teleromeo

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    #23
    The red button means 'close window' When you close a document with changes that need confirmation to be saved there will be a black dot in it. When there are changes like in system preferences that are already applied they will not be cancelled. Some panels will ask to apply the changes you made.
     
  24. karlth thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    Of course because you've already encountered the "flaws/inconsistencies" and dealt with them so they don't bother you anymore.

    The problem is that almost every new Mac user will bang into the same wall.

    ----------

    I understand that there is a difference between a pure dialog and the System preferences application. The problem is that to the new user there isn't a difference.

    Hence in my opinion the design is flawed. If you have to include the words "some" or "sometimes" into the general UI instructions then something is wrong.
     
  25. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    #25
    Another area that bugs me is the lack of "cut" in Finder. I use Totalfinder, which I mentioned earlier in this thread, to get around this minor limitation. So I'm not exactly disagreeing with you, it's just that I don't elect to use the word flaw to describe any of the behavior of OS X. This isn't simply because I'm "used to it" but rather because I think OS X struck a better balance between things done right and things done wrong.

    There are probably some people on this forum that will get all bent out of shape if you merely imply Apple made an itsy bitsy mistake, after all it is Macrumors. I'm not one of those people but I choose my words differently to describe things about OS X that aren't optimal for me. I suppose I could get all bothered about your use of the word flaw but it's not a big deal really. Let's see how you feel a year from now. There is something to be said for a long run of no computer problems and excellent customer support to "smooth over" ruffled feathers and make fans out of skeptics. Apple does this better than any other company I know.
     

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