When Interaction models are a creature of habit (was: What's the best Computer for Designers?)

30 Aug 2007 - 4:06pm
6 years ago
3 replies
911 reads
Vishal Subraman...
2005

I made the jump a few months back too and want to address two specific
issues that i hate about the Mac-

Windows management: The Mac offers no way to manage all the windows I
have open. I typically have 3-10 of files open in any given
application and I'm frustrated that they neither appear in the dock
unless I minimize them, nor give me a way to control them other than
scrambling all my open windows.

Closing an application: Why does it keep an application open even when
I've closed all the files. This is a problem especially when I'm
trying to conserve memory with the multitude of apps running on
(aren't we all scared http://tinyurl.com/29yvhz will happen sometime)

Of course long time Mac users would say to the contrary (yes, you
Mark), but I'm sure there are many such instances where the best
experiences are just the one's we're used to.

--
-Vishal
http://www.vishaliyer.com

> I've just recently switched from a PC to a Mac, after 13 years of
> Windows use. I'm smacking myself every day for being so stupid and
> waiting so long. I'm just getting started on a blog series about how
> stupid I've been and about how much better the Mac experience is, here:
> http://tinyurl.com/2am9kf
>
> The idea that using Windows gives you empathy for your users may have
> some merit, but I'd venture to say that the idiosyncrasies in your
> own Windows usage -- and your probably high-level of expertise --
> makes your computer usage so fundamentally different from that of
> your users that it's probably a trivial advantage.
>
> I'll be writing more about it later, but I'll say here that for me
> the Mac offers so much in the way of *inspiration* for good user
> interface design. As one simple example, almost no Preferences dialog
> boxes have "OK" or "Apply" buttons -- all your changes take effect
> instantly. You never see this in any Windows apps, but if you really
> think about it this sort of behavior should be fundamental to almost
> all applications. The only reason Windows apps don't do this is dumb
> inertia.
>
> Also, Mac app designs tend to hide or leave off obscure and useless
> features far more than Windows apps do, something that you don't
> notice until you've had all of that useless crap cleared away. The
> Mac is basically full of behaviors and designs that inspire user
> interface innovation, while Windows (and I've not tried Vista yet)
> tends to be full of conventions that should have been scrapped
> decades ago (the ".." indicator for browsing up a directory tree, for
> example, keeps cropping up in dialog boxes and UIs).
>
> I'll even go out on a limb and posit that most of the most innovative
> Web 2.0 ideas were probably germinated in the minds of people using
> Macs every day.
>
> Using Windows atrophies your brain and stifles interaction design
> creativity. I'm surprised I can design at all after using it for that
> long. Getting a Mac is like jumping 5 years into the future.
> Seriously, I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Comments

30 Aug 2007 - 4:21pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> Windows management: The Mac offers no way to manage all the windows I
> have open.

Try "Witch". http://www.manytricks.com/witch/

It works like Alt-Tab, but cycles through all open documents, rather than
only by app. Should solve this issue for you. It's a plug-in for your System
Prefs, and you configure it there.

Closing an application: Why does it keep an application open even when
> I've closed all the files.

My only guess? To avoid the system work of restarting the app when you may
have intended to open a new doc. I don't really know. Apple has really good
memory mgmt, though - does it really take up system resources to leave an
app running in the bg if it's not being used? I haven't noticed any issues
with this.

-r-

30 Aug 2007 - 4:54pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Aug 30, 2007, at 2:06 PM, Vishal Iyer wrote:

> Closing an application: Why does it keep an application open even when
> I've closed all the files. This is a problem especially when I'm
> trying to conserve memory with the multitude of apps running on
> (aren't we all scared http://tinyurl.com/29yvhz will happen sometime)

While I often has to chastise folks in the studio to remember to
close down their apps since so many don't realize on the Mac that
they have to explicitly quit -- and I do so for the exact reason you
point out -- I have to say, the behavior of auto quitting when you
close the last window of an app on the Mac is downright annoying.

To experience for yourself how annoying it is, just download and use
SmartSVN from Syntevo. (We use SVN for all our client work and
version control.) When you close the last window in SmartSVN, it
quits the app. Absolutely drives me bonkers.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

30 Aug 2007 - 4:56pm
Todd Warfel
2003

What about Exposé?

>> Windows management: The Mac offers no way to manage all the windows I
>> have open.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
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