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Apple UI “Experimentation”

A brief retort to the ramblings of Vinay, Matt, and myself was published yesterday (TrackBacks rock). The author seems to feel that "experimentation" is good. I agree! However, the "experimentation" umbrella really can't logically cover the following cases:

  • The start/end Ken Burns radio buttons in iMovie
  • The metal buttons in iChat
  • The use of TIFFs for checkboxes and other standard controls (like Matt discusses re: Keynote
  • The "dimmed" or "inactive" appearance of the "Burn" thingy.

In each of those cases, Apple is misappropriating existing controls. That's not experimentation - that's just dangerous. You want a new control, design one that doesn't toy with the expectations of users - old and new - and one that doesn't completely fuck with the HIGs.

4 Responses to "Apple UI “Experimentation”"

  1. Ah--that was mine (I just realized that my name doesn't appear anywhere on my site! :-). I just want to stress that I agree with you guys on almost all of the specific details--you're absolutely right that consistency must be applied to the way controls themselves are used. I just wanted to make what I think is an interesting counterargument: that consistency is, perhaps, not quite as key as it once was.

    Also, Re: Trackbacks: they do indeed rock! I just got mine working, so if anyone notices any problems, let me know...

  2. Incidentally, you probably didn't get that far (I apologize for the length), but I said I agreed with you about the burn thingy :-).

  3. ui rebuttal

    posted a short rebuttal regarding the rants that matt, erik and i wrote. the author of said article feels

  4. Consistency Revisited

    Well, there's nothing like a gentle, well-reasoned rebuttal to make one reconsider his bold public statements.


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