OSX design.


King Cobra

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2002
5,403
0
I think it's a bunch of bull!!!! I think that the Dock is one of Apple's most intelligent moves to organize items. I see al the applications beside each other to be fairly reachable, instead of them being somewhat scattered in a folder. And transparency issues would still apply there.

Besides, have you noticed how old this article is? It's a whole year old! I wonder if this guy has actually achieved financial success instead of badmouthing the Dock.

And, threepod, why are you even posting information badmouthing Apple's products? This is a Mac forums site. In other words, everyone here should bow down and support at least most of Apple's moves. By posting information about some guy badmouthing something I would assume everyone else, at least, appreciates, since there hasn't been any recent wording down among the forums about it, you are belittling one of Apple's innovation.

Try to post something a little more useful in the future. I know I may be a little harsh, but at least find links that support Apple or are Apple news (perferably new news).
__________________

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alex_ant

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
2,473
0
All up in your bidness
I will respond to this article point-by-point, because I have nothing better to do:
10. The Dock is big and clumsy 

The Dock normally sucks up around 70 pixels minimum, more than four times as much vertical space as either the Windows task bar or the Macintosh menu bar. (Yes, you can set it much smaller, but then you have no chance of identifying a document without "scrubbing" the screen with your mouse.)

So what if you have to "scrub"? It's better than the Windows taskbar where when you have 12 windows open you see nothing but tiny icons and highly truncated words. If anyone has a better idea, I'd love to hear it. (No, the OS 9 task manager is not a better idea)
Couple that with Apple's move to 16:9 wide screens (read: short screens) on their laptops, and you have a real problem.

Move the Dock to the side of the screen then.
For good measure, add in the Dock's habit of floating on top of working windows, and you have little choice but to hide it.

This I agree with. There should be an option to put the Dock in the background, or something.
9. Dock objects have no labels 

The objects in the dock, as you can see above, do not have labels. That works fine in the demo, since every object shown is completely unlike every other object. However, put in six or seven folders next to each other and the user becomes clueless.

Then don't put in six or seven folders. Put them on the desktop instead, or put one folder into the Dock that has symlinks to all the folders you want to access, rather than putting all those folders right there at the top level of the Dock.
8. Identical pictures look identical 

Using pictures instead of icons is a bad idea. The fabulous demo shows documents, such as the Apple home page, with title areas featuring 500 point type that scale down nicely into recognizable thumbnails. Real documents are not so obliging. The Macintosh does need greater document-differentiation, but we don't need a picture of the first page. We need information on data types, file sizes (as represented by the thickness of the icon), age, etc. Only when a representation is significantly enlarged should it transform into a thumbnail image.

I agree with this completely.
7. 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.

That's simply not true. Just because the icons "move" doesn't mean you can't get used to the way they move. The icons do have a stable location on the screen, and that location is right where they would be if they were not being magnified. Once you get used to that, the magnification feature is really helpful - it actually makes clicking on Dock items easier. And, of course, it's lovely to look at.
6. The Trash Can belongs in the corner 

This decision was so wrong that myriad hacks have already appeared on the net to address it. Apple's solution has been to enable you to pin the Dock to the right side of the screen, so that the trash can, alone, remains stable. This is great unless you happen to have another monitor to the right, so that the Dock ends up a foot away from your prime real estate.

I'm not sure what they mean by this...
5. 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.

I agree with this. I've always hated both Dock and taskbar hiding. If they would just move the Dock into the background, allowing it to come to the foreground temporarily when it is being used, they wouldn't have to hide it, and it wouldn't interfere with window maximizing.
4. 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.

This is not true. The Dock doesn't hover just above the bottom. It hovers at the bottom. The icons might not appear to, but you don't have to directly click the actual icon - only at its position on the Dock. You can indeed click at the very edge of the screen.

3. Dock objects have holes 
...
Update: This "feature" may have been corrected. Dock users are reporting that they can now click in the background areas. This may be because Apple changed the code or because application programmers have learned to build a separate mask that includes the background areas. If the former, the problem is really solved. If the latter, the problem is usually solved.

OK, that about says it all. Make this the top 9 reasons the Apple Dock sucks. :)
2. The Dock replaced better objects 

Both Tab Menus and the Applications Menu are being forced into the dock. Tab menus are formed by dragging a Finder folder to the bottom of the screen, where it turns into a multi-level hierarchical menu.  Tab menus have problems, not the least of which is that, every few weeks, the Mac crashes in such a way that they all disappear and must individually be restored, sometimes several times.
...

What? I've never had this happen. I'm not sure what they're getting at with the rest of this point, either.
1. The Dock adds bad behavior 

The Dock adds a whole new behavior: Object annihilation. Drag an object off the dock and it disappears in a virtual puff of smoke.  This is the single scariest idea introduced to the Macintosh since the original bomb icon.  How would you feel if you spent eight hours working on your first Macintosh document, only to have it disappear entirely when you try to move it from the dock to the desktop?  Pretty disorienting, no?  This is a completely unnecessary concept for the user to have to learn, particularly in such a painful way. Makes for a "hot demo" though, doesn't it?

I agree with this. Items shouldn't go away in a puff of smoke - they should just get moved to the desktop. If you want to delete something, trash, trash, trash. That's what it's there for.

The Dock must go. Completely. It is a total failure and will continue to embarrass Apple for as long as it is around.

Wow! Er, I disagree. :) It does have some problems, but there's no reason it can't improve.

4. The Control Strip should be brought back, although I would like to see it simplified and improved so that fewer objects can be more easily accessed.

The Control Strip was a god-awful kludge designed only as a stopgap to overcome OS 9's interface limitations. It's like the Windows "tray," next to the clock. It's where everything that nobody knows what to do with is put. "What the hell is this icon for?" "Click it and see."
5. The trash should return to its traditional location.
 
Apple's rationale for moving the trash to the Dock is to allow the trash to "float" above the working application, so that apps can make better use of trash from within applications.  Fine.  Put the trash can back in the lower right hand corner where it belongs (allowing you to move it, of course).  Put a trigger for the trash just off the screen below the trash can (wherever you've placed it).  If you go to the lower right hand corner of a window, you can size it.  If the mouse continues to travel off the screen, the trash pops up with your mouse pointer hovering over it.  In the usual case, with the trash can in the bottom right corner, slamming your mouse into that corner will produce the trash can, taking maximum advantage of Fitts's Law.

This, I think, would confuse the hell out of people. I think the trash works fine in the Dock, considering it already does abide by Fitt's Law (point 4). The lower right-hand corner "where it belongs?" I think someone is simply unwilling to change their behavior.

Alex
 

alex_ant

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
2,473
0
All up in your bidness
Originally posted by King Cobra
And, threepod, why are you even posting information badmouthing Apple's products? This is a Mac forums site. In other words, everyone here should bow down and support at least most of Apple's moves. By posting information about some guy badmouthing something I would assume everyone else, at least, appreciates, since there hasn't been any recent wording down among the forums about it, you are belittling one of Apple's innovation.
This is either a hilariously stupid comment or utterly brilliant sarcasm. :)

Alex
 

Backtothemac

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2002
4,206
0
San Destin Florida
Well, lets call Guiness for the longest post in history. he, he. ;)

Well, I personally did not like the dock when it first came out. Being a user of OS 9 I did not really care for the dock, nor the fact that I could not kill it if I wanted to. Now, having used X for a while, I have learned to love the dock. It is a living dynamic feature in OS X. In X.2 it has even more features, and will become more loved by use faithful. I can tell you this. It isn't going anywhere, so lets all get used to it.
 

cleo

macrumors 65816
Jan 21, 2002
1,186
0
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
Jeeze, KC, take it down a notch or three. The guy (or girl :)) just asked a question! Yeah, they chose to reference an outdated, critical-of-Apple article, but maybe they're in the market for a Mac and they're wanting to get feedback on whether these are valid points. At any rate, don't bite newbies' heads off, it's just not nice.

Threepod, I'm not sure what kind of experience you have with OS X or the Dock. But most OS X users will admit that, although they were wary of the Dock at first, it definitely grows on you. That's not to say that a lot of improvements couldn't be made. I personally have found that the bouncing and magnification are just too annoying, and I have also scaled my dock down so that it is quite small. This, and custom folder icons, takes care of most of my gripes, although more document differentiation is promised in Jaguire and will be greatly appreciated.
 

Styles

macrumors newbie
May 5, 2002
10
0
San Diego, CA.
10. No its not. I have mine showing all the time, it has NEVER gotten in the way(excpet when i try to resize windows).
9. Understood, but I haven't lost anything so far.
8. Can't have everything.
7. I don't really get WTF he's talking about there. When you add a new item, things move to the side to allow room for the new item. It works fine.
6. The trash is FINE in the dock. You ge used to it.
5. cmd-opt-d is NOT really that hard. Gets rid of the dock perty easy, brings it back perty easy.
4. Pin your dock to the right side and it's all good.
3. At least he updated that one.
2. I never used tabs, never really cared for them. As for the application menu, you gotta love ASM.
1. Everything in the dock is basically a shortcut(applications at least). Once you learn this you'll be better off. The ACTUAL program doesn't reside in the dock.

As for the control strip coming back, I disagree. I like the way Apple has everything up in the menu bars right corner, thats where the volume, brightness, and other small things should stay. The writer of this articel needs to get over the dock, it works great. Thats just what I think. Out.
 

Catfish_Man

macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2001
2,579
1
Portland, OR
The author of the article...

...forgot about something. One standard measure of useability is the number of clicks something takes. Here's how opening escape velocity:nova (when it's on my dock) works on my machine now, and before:

now: click on icon (1 click)
before: double click on hard drive (2 clicks), option double click on games (4 clicks, one keypress), option double click on evn (6 clicks, 2 keypresses).

Which one do you think is more efficient?
 

King Cobra

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2002
5,403
0
All right.

So I overreacted.

To be frank about it, I do not appreciate articles authored by some person, who plainly gives his 10 reasons why he still lives in an apartment and has been kicked out of many opportunities, since people find out about how he feels about certain things (in this case, Apple).

To put it lightly, I still think that the Dock is a great innovation, but could be slightly improved.

I didn't mean to yell at the guy. I meant that whoever wrote this web really only seems to pay attention to the downsides of everything. He should lighten up.
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threepod

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 24, 2002
6
0
Originally posted by King Cobra
Besides, have you noticed how old this article is? It's a whole year old! I wonder if this guy has actually achieved financial success instead of badmouthing the Dock.
If you hunt around further on that site you might actually come across a link to this site which actually praises the Mac OS design. The writer is being consistant to these design principles.

Originally posted by King Cobra
And, threepod, why are you even posting information badmouthing Apple's products? This is a Mac forums site. In other words, everyone here should bow down and support at least most of Apple's moves. By posting information about some guy badmouthing something I would assume everyone else, at least, appreciates, since there hasn't been any recent wording down among the forums about it, you are belittling one of Apple's innovation.

Try to post something a little more useful in the future. I know I may be a little harsh, but at least find links that support Apple or are Apple news (perferably new news).
I will NOT bow down to ANYONES design principles just because they are a certain brand. I posted this to get conjecture, and it seems to have worked. I don't give a cr@p if it's a Mac forum, in fact, that's precisely the point. If all you do is sing praises of a brand, what's the point of a forum?
I love Macs but if that means blindness, I'd prefer something else.

Thanks to alex_ant for taking the time to formulate a decent response.
 

King Cobra

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2002
5,403
0
Guy, relax. I overreacted, plain and simple.

Let's drop it and see what others think, if it's possible.
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threepod

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 24, 2002
6
0
did you read the link? some really ProMac/antiMS stuff there

I know the articles are a bit old. I wish the author would revisit them and revise them.
 

King Cobra

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2002
5,403
0
If that's a Mac site, I wonder how then this Dock article slipped in.

Maybe some PC user put it by M$'s front step.
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G4scott

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2002
2,219
2
Austin, TX
The guy who wrote that article is definitely jealous... My biggest complaint to him are...

The dock doesn't have to take up tons of space... you can make the icons smaller, and so what if you have to 'scrub'. Find a better way to put 20 items in an easily accessible place that doesn't take up less space than the dock.

If you push the dock to the back, it would just make it harder to get to what you need. There is something called hiding...

Sure, you can put the windoze taskbar on the left or right, but it looks really stupid there, since the text is meant to show... The dock looks excellent anywhere on the screen.

If the dock was meant to replace anything, it was the application switcher and tabbed folders thing, but I think the tabbed folders came because people wanted it, so Apple put it in. If anyone thinks that the dock is a replacement for something like Launcher, you either need to learn how to put your applications folder on the dock, or you are a twit and you need to get a life. That's what the Finder is for. You can put your applications folder, home folder, or any other special folder on the dock with its special folder icon, and that's pretty easy to see, even if it's super small.

What I love about the dock, is that you don't have to switch to the finder to open a program, document, or anything else. I put my home folder, my applications folder, and some other folders in the dock, and I don't even have to use the finder anymore... If you ask me, it's probably one of the best ways to do what it does without taking up all the screen space and having to switch between apps. What it needs, though, is the ability to show the large contents of a folder very quickly, like my Applications folder, which has more than 70 items. Hopefully, though, Jag-wire :D will solve that problem.
 

Quark

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2002
245
0
We actually need these threads

I think we should all welcome feedback like this and lists like the 10 worst things about <something>.

While this list may be a little pickier than we may be comfortable with, it actually helps programmers get additional ideas on how to make a great product, better.

I think some valid points are made and I would like to see improvements to the Dock -- even though I love it as it is.

Those are my 2 cents.

Quark
 

cleo

macrumors 65816
Jan 21, 2002
1,186
0
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
Originally posted by King Cobra
If that's a Mac site, I wonder how then this Dock article slipped in.

Maybe some PC user put it by M$'s front step.
Or maybe, just maybe, he's not a zealot! ::gasp::

Waiting for Mischief to find this thread. ::evil grin in anticipation of hardcore pie throwing::
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
I believe that the person that created that article suffers from severe rectal-cranial inversion disorder. I didn't see the OS X version he/she/it was commenting on in the article, but I might have missed it. Currently, I have about 30 items in my dock, between applications and minimized windows. As for browser windows, it shows which is for which, along with a mini-view of the page. That allows me to see which one is for my user control panel and what the others go to. I also have mine set to magnify when I pass the mouse over them, since the dock is about 1-1/2 times the size of the top menu bar.

While it is very true we are a Mac site here, we don't always sing praises to Apple. There have been more then a few threads here b*tching about things Apple has either done, or not done when people think the opposite should have happened.

Some of us are strong willed, and opionionated too... so watch out, unless you have fireproof shorts.

As for biting heads off newbies... I thought that was my job.... (checking job description), yup, it's right here.... In the memo I got from eyelikeart. :D
 

MPTV-Ti

macrumors newbie
May 2, 2002
22
0
San Francisco, CA
Originally posted by alex_ant
I agree with this. Items shouldn't go away in a puff of smoke - they should just get moved to the desktop. If you want to delete something, trash, trash, trash. That's what it's there for.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I believe if one has a document minimized in the dock (which would be to the right of the divider) and it is drug onto the desktop it does not disappear into a puff of smoke. It simply goes back into the dock. The only time something "disappears" into a puff of smoke is if it is an icon (link) to a program (which would be to the left of the divider). ??? I find this argument against the dock totally irrelevant.

Jon

PS. This is to the guy who wrote the stuff, not you alex_ant. I couldn't get his to "quote" so I used your reply to let people know what I was referring to. :)
 

alex_ant

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
2,473
0
All up in your bidness
Originally posted by King Cobra
If that's a Mac site, I wonder how then this Dock article slipped in.

Maybe some PC user put it by M$'s front step.

I have a Mac and I think it's great, but when discussing a relevant Macrumors subject, I know I spend about 80% of my time talking about the 20% of the aspects of my Mac that could really use improvement. Would you rather all Macrumors members marched in lockstep, chanting "Hail Jobs" and scorning all dissenters, or would you rather we actually... wait for it... thought objectively and critically?

Your sig is retarded, by the way.
 

AmbitiousLemon

Moderator emeritus
Nov 28, 2001
3,338
0
down in Fraggle Rock
wow. talk about zealots here. you guys always bend over for apple so quickly?

i think this guy is right on regarding most of his points (MOST).

his points clearly reflect the feedback apple has recieved from developers since thd DP4 days and i bleive that the article is a regurgitation of an earlier article that was written well before the public beta so a lot fo what he says doesnt apply anymore.

i find it quite amusing you people are so quick to condemn him when apple clearly agrees. take a look at jaguar and you will see quite a few revisions that address points brought up in this article.

the dock has beena sticking point for people since its inception and has been the most widely discussed aspect of the os in beta rings. apple has heard the message loud and clear and is addressing the issues.

but the most interesting thing about the problems in the dock is that most of them are a result of apple not following its own human interface guidelines. seems like the whole thing was initially created as a great presentation piece for a keynote.

but this is chnaging and the dock is really becoming something very useful, and i suspect it will have a few more incarnations in the future.

as far as the points the author made that i dont agree with, they are clearly a result of someone not being familiar with osx yet. the dock has a pretty steep learning curve for something so simple. take a look at the screenshots threads to get an idea of how many people use very inefficient docks. i have been using osx since dp3 and im still finding new ways to use the dock. so i think the other made some points that just are a reflection of points made by a lot of newbies. i think we were all there at one time or another.


and dont call him a peecee user for his comments, it is comments like that that made 10.1 and jaguar the great updates that they are. lets try to be more open minded shall we?
 

Choppaface

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2002
1,187
0
SFBA
10-disagree
9-agree
8-disagree
7-disagree...see 8
6-agree
5-disagree
4-agree w/ point, disagree with relevance
3-careful mr. writer....get facts straight before you criticize....
2-agree...I loved tabbed folders in 9 :(
1-disagree...the dock is not designed to actually dock files...he he


overall its a very shallow analysis.....good points, but its not developed enough to make conclusions off of

B+ mwhahahahahha
 

AmbitiousLemon

Moderator emeritus
Nov 28, 2001
3,338
0
down in Fraggle Rock
i like your style choppa. lets see if i can do the same.

10) agree. in order to be useful it need to be big, and it can get in the way.

9) agree. for app icons, who cares, but folders are a problem. documents and windows have been fixed to a degree.

8) disagree. fixed since article was written

7) AGREE (big time). any user of the classic system knows you could access any item without using your eyes or much thought.

6) disagree (to a point) if your dock is full the trash ends up in a corner. most people have full docks.

5) agree. hiding is a bad idea most of the time, but certain apps need it. a auto hide in [blank] app feature could make good use of the hiding function though so hiding is not all bad.

4) agree (but didnt he already cover this in 7 and 6? this is like the third time)

3) disagree. this has been fixed, but again it was true back in the day.

2) DISAGREE. he hasnt gotten to know osx. the dock is very powerful.

1) DISAGREE. strangely apple has played with other setups with the dock and found the current behavior to be most intuitive so they stuck with it.

so lets see if i was right when i said i agreed with most of his statements earlier... 50/50 hm. but a few of the things i disagreed on were true when this was written, so in its time it was mostly true. but #1 and #2 are quite disgusting statements and numbers 6, 7, and 4 are repeats rephrased.

the original article was much better though and included many mockups of ways to fix the dock. apple has used a lot of the ideas from the original article.
 

macfreek57

macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2002
378
0
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Originally posted by King Cobra
If that's a Mac site, I wonder how then this Dock article slipped in.

every mac user has something up their @ss about apple/their products that they always bitch about.
as for the dock, i personally could not live with it if i hadn't downloaded tinkertool to pin it on the bottom left hand side of the screen.
 

Backtothemac

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2002
4,206
0
San Destin Florida
Originally posted by macfreek57



every mac user has something up their @ss about apple/their products that they always bitch about.
as for the dock, i personally could not live with it if i hadn't downloaded tinkertool to pin it on the bottom left hand side of the screen.
Macfreak. Dude, don't be so general in your statements. Not every Mac user has something to bitch about. Some, are very happy with their unsupported systems ;)

Tounge firmly in cheek.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Some of use even love our Mac's and have nothing to b*tch about them. I am very happy with my new TiBook. The problems (minor ones) that I saw with the design of my rev. a are completely gone with this one. The worst of which was a 'spongy' keyboard when you went to the arrow keys. The new keyboard is firm all over the place, just as good women are... (where the hell did that come from????). :D