Creativity is just connecting things.
— Steve Jobs

Category Archives: Experience Design

Less Transparent Changes

Despite Steve Jobs’ sell job at Macworld on Leopard’s “cool” transparent menu bar, the people’s voices have been heard. Today’s update to OS X includes the following two changes:


Addresses legibility issues with the menu bar with an option to turn off transparency in Desktop & Screen Saver preferences.

Adjusts menus to be slightly-less translucent overall.

It’s interesting how little design aesthetic changes like this get reversed post-launch.

Another minor change to Mail:


Mail now automatically disables the (unsupported) third-party plugin GrowlMail version 1.1.2 or earlier to avoid issues.

So are there “supported” third-party plugins that I don’t know about?

There are more interesting Dock fixes too:


Updates Stacks with a List view option, a Folder view option, and an updated background for Grid view.

Thankfully this once pre-release feature has been reinstated for the Dock. I kinda felt the stacks functionality was a little half-baked without those options.

Weird Help Viewer Navigation

According to the Help Viewer application’s documentation, “To see a previous help topic, click the Back button. To return, click the Forward button.” There’s no mention of using what I’ve found. The delete key takes you backward one page at a time while Shift-Delete goes forward. HUH??

Extra Extra!

Leopard’s Safari RSS functionality is a little on the obsessive side. Or should I say, nagging side.

Even though I’ve selected this one RSS feed several times in a row, the menu bar doesn’t show the unread count, but that menu sure does!!


Leopard is coming and Apple has done a nice job adding the new QuickLook functionality in the Finder.

Now you can drag any item that is showing in the CoverFlow view to a folder or disk or whatever. That’s not new because iTunes lets you do the same thing (not that I ever tried it until I began writing this post). Here’s what it looks like in iTunes:

Let’s compare that to the new Finder’s implementation as shown in the new Leopard tour video:


I find it very hard to read the text in the window’s sidebar, don’t you? I mean, obviously the code is simply following its own rules, but wouldn’t you agree that the Finder UI team should reconsider this one and replace the dragged object with a representation of the object at a smaller scale? Forget about a generic icon. Just make the thing animate to a smaller size when you start the drag so the application window behind the object isn’t blown out in the process.