It’s only been a month and people are already ringing the death knell for Windows 8.
From pieces like this one claiming Windows 8 is an opportunity for Apple, to reviews panning the Microsoft Surface with RT, the tide has turned, from excitement and enthusiasm for Microsoft taking such a bold step, to opprobrium and ridicule for getting some things wrong with the latest release of their operating system.
As an Apple user and advocate for nearly two decades, I was always comfortable gloating that Apple seemed to get the User Interface right more often than not, even when the underlying operating system was a little flaky at times, to say the least. The interface always improved, even when the OS continued to fail.
Remember System 7.5? ’nuff said.
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Don’t you just love it when signing up for a newsletter and they do something that has large repercussions everywhere and you had no idea they were connected?
To me this fails on two counts:
- Why would I want to have all those different news feeds follow the same format? Do I not get tho choose?
- If you already have all those connected feeds, and publish using the same underlying source, why didn’t you ask me if I already am registered at those other titles to minimise my login requirements?
I am a regular reader of 3 of those other titles mentioned, and if I had known they were sharing data, my experience would have been (and SHOULD have been) very different than it was. The site, in effect, treated me as a stranger even though I have been registered with one sister publication for over 5 years, and two others for 3 years.
Service design rating: 2.5/5, I’m afraid.
I was getting frustrated, as were others, about the Mac OSX default column width in column view.
Yes, you could handily double-click the column handle and it would expand that column to the width of the longest file name (you knew that one right?), but I often have to use long filenames.
So I recently decided to change the default column width, opened Terminal and steeled myself to having to hack some core setting with some command-line arcane incantations. After a search of a few seconds I came across this video from Jason Glaspey
Change default column widths in Finder (Mac OSX) from Jason Glaspey on Vimeo.
What I love about this control of the interface is that I could have discovered it by accident but it was also put there on purpose, by an interface designer who thought about (or paid attention to user testing about) the sorts of thing a user might want to modify globally. In addition, the change is shown in real time, across all windows, communicating very simply and elegantly, the results of the change to the user, immediately, without text or technical explanations.
That is what good design, and good user experience is about.