Designing Installer for the Mac

22 Oct 2008 - 5:02am
5 years ago
5 replies
799 reads
tiagomarques
2008

Hi,

I'm currently designing a Visio flow regarding a MPKG installer for Macs, and am wondering how I can make the experience more visually compelling and clearer for the user.

When I look at how to install Firefox on a Mac (http://tinyurl.com/4lt6cy), particularly the third image (http://tinyurl.com/5vp6ll), it looks really cool, simple and straightforward: drag icon 1 onto icon 2, following the instructions on the background graphics.

My installer works differently: you insert the disc, double-icon the disc icon on the desktop and open a Finder window where you find an MPKG icon (see image attached to this mail). Double-click the MPKG to start a standard Mac software installer (http://tinyurl.com/49evgv).

My question is: can I make the Finder window containing the MPKG as compelling as that Firefox drag-icon-onto-icon? I haven't found any technical info on this at the Apple.com or other sites. Does anybody accustomed to designing for the Mac have any ideas on this issue?

Cheers, thanks in advance,

Tiago Marques
London Uk
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Comments

22 Oct 2008 - 4:40pm
ceciliacase
2007

My understanding is that there is a fundamental structural difference
between the installation methods. Firefox uses the DMG method, which
means that everything that is installed is all installed into one
folder. This is the preferred method, because that means you aren't
spraying files all over the users computer. The MPKG method you are
using is necessary if you are modifying files outside your one little
folder. I found a thread talking about this here:
http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?design.4.299374.16 It
sounds the concensus on that thread is that it is really worth trying
to confine all of the installation into one folder, for two reasons.
One is the part that you like, which is the slick installation
procedure from the perspective of the user. The second is that it
seems that programmers consider that it makes your program more
"polite", staying in it's own folder, reducing the risk of
stomping on other things that other programs might be relying on.

My perception as a Mac user has always been that I am very happy when
an installation is a DMG. I know that it will be easy, and usually
really fast to install.

Further information on DMG: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.dmg

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=34672

23 Oct 2008 - 5:05am
tiagomarques
2008

Hi Cecilia,

And thanks for your reply. I've been a Mac user at home for a year now and I couldn't agree more: I actually thought all installations on a Mac occurred in the DMG drag-and-drop procedure, and only when I installed MS Office for Mac did I first saw that *lovely* step-by-step installation I didn't miss from the PC world. But our developers have only recently been introduced to Mac programming, and I am already impressed with how much they've learned and managed to do in so tight a deadline - for now the MPKG will have to do.

My question is not about the drag-and-drop of the icons for installation purposes (which I would favour), it's actually about the customization of the window itself, and the extra eye-candy and instructional possibilities in it. In the Firefox 3 installer window we have the icons of the Firefox app and the Applications folder PLUS an backdrop arrow and "Drag Here" message which pretty much tells the user exactly what he should do. Now, checking the Flickr page I know that I can also customize the window containing a MPKG:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pioupioum/2064574906/in/pool-dmg/

Question is: how is this window customization achieved?

Cheers,

Tiago

> To: discuss at ixda.org> From: cecilia.case at gmail.com> Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2008 14:40:24 +0000> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Designing Installer for the Mac> > My understanding is that there is a fundamental structural difference> between the installation methods. Firefox uses the DMG method, which> means that everything that is installed is all installed into one> folder. This is the preferred method, because that means you aren't> spraying files all over the users computer. The MPKG method you are> using is necessary if you are modifying files outside your one little> folder. I found a thread talking about this here:> http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?design.4.299374.16 It> sounds the concensus on that thread is that it is really worth trying> to confine all of the installation into one folder, for two reasons.> One is the part that you like, which is the slick installation> procedure from the perspective of the user. The second is that it> seems that programmers consider that it makes your program more> "polite", staying in it's own folder, reducing the risk of> stomping on other things that other programs might be relying on.> > My perception as a Mac user has always been that I am very happy when> an installation is a DMG. I know that it will be easy, and usually> really fast to install.> > Further information on DMG: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.dmg> > > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .> Posted from the new ixda.org> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=34672> > > ________________________________________________________________> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
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23 Oct 2008 - 8:49am
Andy Polaine
2008

I always assumed that people did it either with a DMG making tool, or
just went to View Options (Apple J) on a folder and chose a picture
for the folder background before they made the disk image.

23 Oct 2008 - 10:54am
tiagomarques
2008

Hi Andy,

I've found this screenshot in Flickr in the .DMG group, and as you can see it is possible to customize a window containing a PKMG:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pioupioum/2064574906/in/pool-dmg/

How do we do this? Simple. The PKMG - or whatever other files we want to share - must be inside a DMG container... so yes - you are correct on the subject.

Fortunatelly, that seems easy enough. I googled for "mac customization dmg window" and here are some of the gems I found:

http://www.kingdom-era.com/products/dmgdesigns/ (a shareware utility for creating DMG - little coding involved)

http://www.astoundingcookie.com/2008/07/creating-a-custom-dmg-replace-the-icon-background-and-more/http://murphymac.com/custom-dmg-background-image-new-version/http://el-tramo.be/guides/fancy-dmghttp://www.ploem.be/blog/?page_id=26http://www.decaffeinated.org/archives/2004/04/20/dmghttp://c-command.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25 http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20070216063522395 (these are texts and guidelines on creating DMGs)

Cheers,

Tiago

PS. Thanks again for all your replies, mates. Brilliant stuff.

> CC: cecilia.case at gmail.com; discuss at ixda.org> From: apolaine at gmail.com> To: hotmaildotiago at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Designing Installer for the Mac> Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2008 15:49:12 +0200> > I always assumed that people did it either with a DMG making tool, or > just went to View Options (Apple J) on a folder and chose a picture > for the folder background before they made the disk image.> >
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23 Oct 2008 - 11:11am
Andy Polaine
2008

We used to do a similar thing in the "old days" with CD-ROMs. You'd
burn the image laid out exactly how you wanted it to mount. There used
to be an app that made a background image by taking an image, tiling
it and making hundreds of icons out of it and laying them out as a grid.

A
On 23 Oct 2008, at 17:54, Tiago Marques wrote:

> Hi Andy,
>
> I've found this screenshot in Flickr in the .DMG group, and as you
> can see it is possible to customize a window containing a PKMG:
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/pioupioum/2064574906/in/pool-dmg/
>
> How do we do this? Simple. The PKMG - or whatever other files we
> want to share - must be inside a DMG container... so yes - you are
> correct on the subject.

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