The blog of Rahoul Baruah from 3hv Ltd

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My name is Rahoul Baruah (aka Baz) and I'm a software developer in Leeds (England).

This is a log of things I've discovered while writing software in Ruby on Rails. In other words, geek stuff.

However, I've decided to put this blog on ice - I would ask you to check out my business blog here (or subscribe here).

06 July, 2006


We all knew that Apple's user-interface standards were slipping. But this is shocking. A print preview (using the aptly named "Preview") fails on one of the most important (and psychologically tested) fundamentals of Apple's UI guidelines. It's not even like it is hidden away. And it was correct in Panther.


Tim Morgan said...

I don't understand. Can you explain further?

Baz said...

Hi Tim,

From day one the Mac UI has been "left-to-right, top-to-bottom". The reason being that when reading, that is the movement your eye makes (I remember that one from first year psychology!). I don't know how it is for Hebrew readers, but for us English speakers, the eye pauses at the top left, scans left to right, a line at a time till it reaches bottom right. It pauses again, then returns to top-left to actually read what is shown.

This results in a few things. Firstly, the Apple menu is top left. The close box is top left. The default button is bottom right. Not the Cancel button - why would you want the button that states "I made a mistake" at the most important part of the newly created window?

Since Jobs' return the Next team have been slowly eroding this cardinal rule (the Dock being a prime example - totally violating the "flow" of the Mac). But one of Jobs' first actions was to disband the Human-Interface team - so far they are getting away with it, but the inconsistencies are growing and the reason the Mac "feels" better than Windows are slowly going as well.

Anonymous said...

What application is this from?

Baz said...

In the background it's Appleworks. But the problem is in Preview - I went File/Print/Preview, which opened Preview in "print preview" pseudo-dialogue box mode.

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