Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,026
17,408


Safari 15's controversial new design on the Mac has led to complaints about the way the browser indicates which tab is active.

safari-15-tabs.jpg

As illustrated by Daring Fireball's John Gruber, there was never any ambiguity about which tab is active in previous versions of Safari, as an active tab is shown with lighter shading that matches the browser's toolbar.

In Safari 15, however, tabs have a new button-like design with a rounder and more defined appearance. Apple has also inverted its shading of tabs, with an active tab now having darker shading and inactive tabs having lighter shading. The change has annoyed Gruber and other users, as evidenced by this Reddit thread with nearly 1,000 upvotes.

"The design is counterintuitive," wrote Gruber. "What sense does it make that no matter your settings, the active tab is rendered with less contrast between the tab title and the background than background tabs? The active tab should be the one that pops."

In a Safari 15 window with two tabs open, especially from the same website, Gruber said determining which tab is active is basically a guessing game. Gruber acknowledged that it is easier to discern the active tab when more than two tabs are open, but he said the confusion with exactly two tabs should have been reason enough to scrap the design change.

"I can't tell you how many times I closed the tab that I needed because of this," one Reddit user expressed in frustration.

Unfortunately for users who do not like the new design, Apple has not made any changes to the shading of tabs in either the Safari 15.1 beta or the latest version of the experimental Safari Technology Preview browser.

Article Link: Safari 15 Users Say New Tab Design is Counterintuitive
 
Last edited:

Bawstun

macrumors 68000
Jun 25, 2009
1,916
1,958
Just yet one more example of the poor designers Apple employs lately. It’s such a small thing but it speaks to a larger problem. Their user interface has sucked on many design angles for years. Just take a look at Apple Music. Nothing is as intuitive as it used to be…
 

Joe_

macrumors member
Oct 16, 2020
66
666
United States
When you got John Gruber (who defends Apple 24/7) agreeing with you, you’ll know Apple has messed up:
I have nothing personal against him but he defends Apple like it’s no tomorrow.
 
Last edited:

Goldfrapp

macrumors 603
Jul 31, 2005
5,370
9,596
US&A
Separate tab layout is horrible and confusing, especially with just two tabs open.

That’s why I only use compact tab layout, which has its own issues.

Safari in iOS 15 on the other hand is a joy to use, especially the new bottom layout.
 

paulypants

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2003
584
212
Buffalo, NY
Just yet one more example of the poor designers Apple employs lately. It’s such a small thing but it speaks to a larger problem. Their user interface has sucked on many design angles for years. Just take a look at Apple Music. Nothing is as intuitive as it used to be…
They need stricter requirements for hiring. They lowered the bar years ago and these types of issues are the direct result of that.
 

axantas

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2015
717
956
Home
It is "natural" scrolling all over again...
Yes, that "natural scrolling" is one of the annoyances as well. Fortunately, there is a toggle to remain at "unnatural scrolling".
Trying to get familiar with these new "design tabs" - closing the wrong one every second time...
The basic problem with the tabs: It is not clear, which one is the active one. Conclusion: The design language is kind of garbage and not "natural" at all...

**Edit: typo...
 
Last edited:
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.