Well framed

5 February 2004


A Blue Perspective: Well framed

I'm a thoroughbred Windows user. Not necessarily by choice, but circumstance: work environment, DOS upbringing, Counter Strike. This means that whenever I use OSX I still go "oh, cool!", and when I see web site screenshots in Safari I go "yum!". However, there's times when I think OSX looks too damn good.

(Non-XP) Windows OS widgets look so 1980s. Flat grey background, black and white bevelling, square edges. Just putting a form button on one of your web sites and previewing it in IE makes you want to claw your eyes out. Widgets in OSX look 22nd century. Shininess, transparency, curves, they've got it all, and they manage to make the entire interface of your computer look like a magazine cover (a good one, say Wallpaper, not Chicks 'n Guns). And that's the problem. The interface makes you lust for anything running on the system, irrespective of what that program actually does.

Take xPad for example. I'm not crucifying the product or the web site (which looks great by the way), but in the end it is a text editor. Taking a look at the screenshots [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] you can see it has some nifty features, but I'm just thinking "how cool do those select boxes look?". The frame is so good that it overrides the content.

It's not Apple's fault – they make beautiful stuff – and it's certainly not the software developer's fault – they're just using the tools at their dispoal – but until the visualisation centre of my brain can pick its jaw up from the floor I just won't be able to look objectively at screenshots in OSX.


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  1. 1/5

    Keith commented on 5 February 2004 @ 15:05

    I don't know, I didn't have much of a problem with all that when I made the switch. :0)

  2. 2/5

    John Wise commented on 6 February 2004 @ 03:10

    Grab yourself a copy of Stardock's Object Desktop (http://www.stardock.com/products/odnt/)and you can make Windows (almostl) look & work like OS X without losing access to the environment you have to work in ;)

  3. 3/5

    Michel Fortin commented on 7 February 2004 @ 04:47

    That was how I felt until I begin to work with it. I think you get used to it fast enough if you work with it daily. I don't get distracted by the look now and I bother only when I'm designing an interface for some software or I take a screenshot.

  4. 4/5

    kehaiji commented on 10 February 2004 @ 16:51

    Im another born 'n raised windows user, but i actually prefer the windows UI visually. i think its cleaner, and more crisp. im not a fan of all the little icons that macs like to use, and for example how the select boxes extend out of the side of the window giving it off shapes in the screen shots there.

  5. 5/5

    Martin Miles commented on 10 February 2004 @ 22:23

    Hmm, I thought that too, at first. But now I take it for granted and consider that's what an OS *should* look like. Now, when I have to use NT at work, I gag. Then I pull out the iBook and use it instead!

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