What's the consensus on the appearance of Yosemite vs. El Capitan and earlier?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by ZVH, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    I wasn't a fan of Yosemite, and I don't see El Capitan as an improvement compared to Mavericks or before, but it does seem better than Yosemite to me. Almost tolerable in fact.


    • The fonts, to me are clearer
    • The idiotic, overly aggressive translucency seems toned down
    • The contrast with the "glaring white everywhere" that seemed present in Yosemite is toned down.
    • The controls now at least have slight 3D effects (but unfortunately, so do text input fields…Jonathan Ive just doesn't "get" standards, as far as I can tell!)
    I don't see this as an improvement compared to Mavericks and its predecessors, but I might be able to tolerate it. With Snow Leopard through Mavericks, it was visually like I was eating a fine meal. Yosemite was like eating a meal made of canned Tuna. This, at least looks like it's a hamburger. Not quite what I wanted, but at least tolerable.

    One caveat: Display preferences are now "dummified." You can't really configure anything with your display. Apparently Apple is targeting the IQ less than 70 crowd. If you're a photographer or you need to be able to configure your monitor for exact color profiles, say bye-bye to Mac OS X! I guess the focus of Apple is to make everything as stupid as possible.
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I haven't looked at it in the light that you describe above, but I think it looks nice and is a little bit more polished than Yosemite. But I also didn't mind how Yosemite looked either, with the exception of the massive amount of 'white' used everywhere.
  3. melb00m macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    In my opinion, from a visual standpoint Yosemite is leaps and bounds better than any OS X version before it. I just don't like that it's pretty unreliable -- Mavericks was much better in this regard.

    Therefore, I'm looking very much forward to a visually refined and more stable El Capitan.

    The worst OS X release I ever experienced still is Lion. That one was horrible.
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I don't really think that there can be a consensus in these matters, because its all about taste and personal preferences. People like different things, nothing strange about it. I liked the old Aqua (SL time) a lot, it was a clean and well polished UI. I also like the new Aqua (Yosemite and later) a lot, its a very light, sophisticated, subtle and visually pleasing UI. I wouldn't necessarily say that new or old UI is 'better' in any regard, its mostly different. However, I do believe that the design language has been improved in the new UI, especially the integrated title-bar/toolbar and the visual depth provided by vibrancy and translucency effects. Some aspects of Yosemite lacked polish, which is understandable — its the first iteration of the new design language. El Capitan does bring incremental improvements.

    To comment on some of your observations: I didn't notice any noteworthy difference in appearance of the controls between 10.10 and 10.11. In fact, I am now looking at both side by side and they seem identical. However, I also noticed that the translucency is less pronounced in 10.11. Does seem a bit more classy, but I can't say that I was ever bothered by it on 10.10.

    What do you mean by 'display preferences are dummified'? You still have access to colour profiles etc. The ColorSync Utility is still there.
  5. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    The white toolbar buttons have a subtle glossy finish. The HTML5 player in Safari now also has translucent controls as opposed to the glossy ones that remained from Mavericks. Overall there just is more consistency. Many animations are sped up and some are even slightly different, the OS appears more lively as a result. However, the white point seems to be the same so far.
  6. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003

    The toolbar icons also have a full border around them. Looks very nice.
  7. Takuro macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2009
  8. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    I actually hated the look of Yosemite when it was first released. Now, Mavericks looks super dated to me. I could never go back.

    It was the same thing when iOS 7 came out. Hated it at first, but now iOS 6 looks dated and terrible looking to me now. Seeing an old device still running iOS 6 makes me cringe by how dated it looks.
  9. delta77thegreat macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2014
    It took me a while to get used to Yosemite, but I accepted the change visually and I can't tell any majorly discernable change to the visual appearance of 10.11. There's a few tweaks here and there.
  10. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    The question is, does it look dated per se or is it because you know that it's the old style and that it's undesirable now? I can understand what you're saying, but I can't help but think that Mavericks is actually a very polished iteration of Aqua and that its style is simply a different one.
  11. crjackson2134 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    I loved the look of Mountain Lion and Mavericks. When Yosemite first came out I really hated the look, now I tolerate it. It's not that bad, and I don't hate it anymore, but I still like the look of Mavericks better. By the time Cappy is finished I'll probably be fully warmed up to the new look.
  12. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Good point - I also think Mavericks is very polished. Perhaps 'super dated' was a bit of a hyperbole for Mavericks, but Lion and Snow Leopard definitely look very dated now. Aesthetics is purely subjective, though; There are plenty of people who like Windows XP's UI over Windows 7/8/10 and you could also argue they are just different styles.

    It's kind of pointless sit here and argue. Too me, it looks dated. Others hate it. Doesn't matter to me and it's not like I'm going to change how anyone see's the design of Yosemite or Mavericks.

    FYI - When I first upgraded to Yosemite I had a 3D dock, replaced all my system icons with Mavericks style, and even changed the folder icon to look like Mavericks.
  13. hamis92 macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2007
    I'm still on Mavericks on my Retina MacBook Pro because I really hated some of the changes to the UI in Yosemite, but I'm pleased to see they're improving and polishing things across the board. I'll probably upgrade to El Cap this fall because I don't want to stay too far behind. I will miss the old Aqua though, and also for that sake I hope the new Aqua will keep evolving.
  14. KALLT, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015

    KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    There is definitely a qualitative aspect to the style of Snow Leopard too. When you look at the traffic lights of Snow Leopard, for instance, you will probably find that they actually look bad from a crafting standpoint. They look cheap and lack a finishing quality. Some of Snow Leopard’s buttons and components looked out of place even then. The round buttons and jelly-like scrollbar handles were always based on style, not functionality. Lion and in the end Mavericks did away with lots of these components and left us with a UI that was a good balance with necessary functional elements.

    The same with Windows XP, the quality of its components and icons is really bad for today’s standards. But that is not to say that the overall design couldn’t work anymore. Microsoft always focussed much more on style than raw functionality and that becomes plain obvious with Windows 10. It is infuriating how often I experienced annoyance just by using the beta. The lack of demarcations and clear iconography is really ruining the experience and I can proudly say that I am happy to have abandoned Windows a long time ago. I knew back then that Apple had the better approach.

    I perceive Yosemite as a departure from pure functionality for the sake of style and that becomes particularly obvious when you look at the unnecessary use of gaussian blurs, white surfaces and poor contrast. Apple couldn’t abandon the metal-like toolbars, buttons with shadows and window frames with shadows for the simple reason that these are necessary to keep the system workable. A flat interface like I saw in many mockups would never work for most people and they couldn’t sell it. Mavericks was really a pinnacle of the Aqua design without the stylistic baggage of the ‘lick-able’ interface.
  15. ZVH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    Well, it looks like the "flat" look is here to stay whether we like it or not. At least IMHO it looks batter than Yosemite did:

    Yosemite: Looks like it was designed by a 5 year old
    El Capitan: Looks like it was designed by a 15 year old
  16. jbachandouris macrumors 601


    Aug 18, 2009
    Upstate NY
    I guess my eyes aren't as good as yours, as I see no noticeable difference from Yosemite to El Capitan PB1.

    And this is on a 2015 rMBP 13".
  17. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    But that's my point: Yosemite isn't flat at all. The gradients are simply more subtle and the shadows less thick. The only instance where the interface has become flat are the traffic lights. The metal polish has been toned down and partly been replaced with a gaussian blur. The rest of Aqua is pretty much intact. But where Apple focussed on functionality since Lion they now returned to a more stylistic approach like they previously did. It's still significantly better than what Microsoft is doing to Windows 10.
  18. OldGuyTom macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2013
    I'd say that's being rather gentlemanly about it. I see little difference. Slight gradients around the buttons so they actually look like buttons, but that's all I see. That and the fact that it's a memory pig (I'll give 'em that one…it's a beta).

    At this point in time it's clear this is the design trend. If you don't like it or have difficulty seeing it you should probably stop thinking inside the Apple product line.
  19. kmj2318 macrumors 68000


    Aug 22, 2007
    Naples, FL
    I didn't notice the change in translucency, or the reduction of the "glaring white everywhere". Does any body have side by sides?
  20. bbfc macrumors 68040

    Oct 22, 2011
    Newcastle, England.
    I like the subtle effects on buttons and text input boxes etc. It's makes the UI feel more polished to me. I haven't noticed a tone down in the translucency though.
  21. colourfastt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2009
    Much as I like my Apple products, if this is the direction in which Apple is going to continue then I'm going to have to get off the "merry-go-'round". The UI seems designed not for those of us who are 50-plus but for those who are 15-minus.
  22. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    Well, what else is there? Windows 10 is much, much flatter than Yosemite. Linux desktop environments all have their own problems. There really is no alternative unless you decide to spend a lot of time on tweaking your system.
  23. B-Eugen macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2014
    The design trend of Yosemite and El Capitan is based on the fact that Jony Ive sees some people as clearly insignificant, of little or no value, or just inferior. My vision isn't 20/20 but I have no problem seeing ANYTHING with Mavericks or earlier. I find myself straining to see what now appear to be fuzzy text and icons. I've written web sites and another observation I've noticed on iPhones running iOS 7 (or greater) as well as the dynamic duo (Yosemite and El Capitan) is that the text is often washed out on a glaring white background with gray text that should really be black or near black.

    Putting a box designer who's primary concentration is on superficial style trends in charge of UI design for an operating system was an incredibly stupid idea. Our website data implies there's firm 40% that aren't willing/haven't made the switch. That seems like a lot to me. The "Yosemite Looks Terrible" thread, if that's the right name, had over 300,000 views. That's an awful lot, IMHO. That's a lot of dissatisfied users.
  24. hamis92 macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2007
    I pretty much agree with the most of your post but this sentence doesn't even begin to accurately describe what an industrial designer is and does. Styling of a physical object is one of the aspects considered during the design process but there's so much more to it than that.

    People put too much hate on Jony Ive. It's not like he single-handedly made all the styling decisions regarding the current, flatter Apple operating systems.
  25. leman, Jul 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015

    leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    You are over-dramatising. I am sorry you have legibility issues with the new UI style, but I can ensure you that this is far from being a conspiracy agains you or people like you. Neither does Ive or his team see people like you as 'insignificant'. There will always be people who have problems with changes, whatever these changes might be. Can't please everybody nor should one aim to do that. I also do not believe that the supposed legibility issues of the new design are even 'real'. Its most likely a psychological phenomenon where people who don't like the new appearance claim that its hard to read/see or whatever. I have migrated my entire department to 10.10 and no-one ever complained about any kind of legibility problems.

    Yes, the Yosemite UI refresh has generated some discussion. As does any 'big' change. People complaining about 'lost ideals', how 'everything was better earlier', and threatening to quit. Sorry, but I don't take these things to seriously anymore, I have observed this pattern with ANY change, not matter if we are talking about software, hardware, politics, literature, music, anything. Some people are just reactionary in their nature. Also, much has been said about statistics in regards to the thread you talk about, and the fact that the majority of content there was written by a dozen of very active (and aggressive) users. And despite your claim that people dislike Yosemite, it is the fastest-ever adopted OS X, surpassing Mavericks by almost 3 times less then 9 month the release. It is now running on around 2/3 of all Macs.

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