I¹d like to get some feedback on menu design for the Mac OS platform.
We have a non-document centric, client application that enables a few
different types of tasks. There are a handful of modeless windows the user
can open up that each has a different context of use. We are currently
struggling with the menu bar design for the application because of the
tension between the Apple Human Interface Guidelines and the different
contexts each window offers.
The two extremes are:
1) Have a single menu bar with all menu items. Disable any items that
aren¹t applicable to active window. This design is consistent with the
Apple HIGs but will most likely create a number of top-level menus that are
specific to individual windows.
2) Have a menu bar that contains menus specific to the active window only.
(This is closer to what you¹d see in an MS Windows application.)
Complicating factors (aka ³real life²):
* Some menu items have a global context and should be available from any
window. For example, the File menu will have global items.
* The ³best² place for some window-specific menu items might be in a menu
like File or Edit. For solution #2, those would mysteriously disappear when
you switched windows.
We¹ve toyed with replacing menu items with buttons in the windows, but the
development team has frowned on that idea.
I¹ve struggled to find other MacOS applications that are similar to this
application, but I haven¹t seen anything yet.
Comments or pointers to examples would be great.
Thanks in advance,
Kodak Graphic Communications Canada Company
Jay Zipursky | Tel: +01.604.451.2720 ext: 2204
Team Leader, Usability | Cel: +01.604.418.2238
Unified Workflow | Fax: +01.604.437.9891
3755 Willingdon Avenue | jay.zipursky at creo.com
Burnaby, BC V5G 3H3