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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
I have an existing windows application,for which i have decided to create a Mac Version.The problem is that the current UI involves a lot of buttons,tabbed panels,multiple windows etc.
This UI had been rated as intuitive and easy to use and straightforward by many customers and editors .But a beginner( very less experience) may find in confusing a little,but it has been complimented with tutorial.
My question is that when creating the Macintosh variant should i focus on creating a simplified and minimalistic UI or should i try to copy the exact same thing.
By reducing the UI some of the features may be missing.
But i can be added later.Should i focus on a fresh approach(this is easier rather than copying the complex UI pattern) or should i go with the old recognized setup
It's well known that Mac users don't like "foreign" user interfaces; your application should have Mac style.
You should read through the HIG and copy that style, even if you simplify your application a little.
Actually, when you say your application has a special UI that needs to be learnt, that doesn't sound right. IMHO applications should have a UI that is clear and open even if you have never used it before; more complex features might be accessed via a longer path but nonetheless it should be intuitive to find them.
"It's well known that Mac users don't like "foreign" user interfaces; your application should have Mac style."
I'm not sure any more, This used to be the case when the only people using Macs where designers, now everybody and their dog has one.
Not only that but the whole UI thing has become very mixed, Apple isn't that consistent, then you have people using a Mac at home and PC at work or even just working in gmail or using facebook or some other web app, and then there are phone UIs.
Unless you are selling to the Mac zealots I don't think it's so important.
IMO, Apple's Human Interface Guidelines documents are not useful, and Apple themselves don't follow them any more. And some of it is bad advice. Apple is very bad at creating and organizing documentation and their documentation often can not be relied upon.
To create a look and feel that is right, one has to be familiar with well designed Mac software.
When Mac users complain, it is stuff like there's a Windows style menu bar in each window, and the close button is on the right. Or the close button is on the left, but is not native, and is some Apple style artwork copied by a cross-platform framework which matched an OS several years ago.
Widgets should be the native widgets and not fake stuff like one finds in Java, TK and other widely used toolkits.
Check out GIMP on Macs to see an example of a disaster scenario.
Or try doing file browsing in any Java app, where it doesn't use the Mac file browser. You HAVE to use the system file browser since that is often integrated with add-ons people have, and it has lots of behavior that casual users (Windows devs) don't know about and never manage to clone.
I pretty much agree what what Scott says above. One minor clarification: most of the widgets used in Java* on the Mac actually are the heavyweight native ones. This means Java apps gain the latest widgets when OSX is updated. This has been happening to me for a while now, widgets updating with OSX with me making no changes. Although it's far from a perfect Mac integration I've avoided the traps above and for the most part DeepTrawl looks reasonably native.
* I still use Apple's own JVM, I don't know what's happened in Oracle's 1.7 JVM, though I believe Apple gave them a load of UI code so maybe it's the same.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Just copy your Windows UI. So users who use both platforms won't get lost.
Also from what we learned over the years the "mac users hate ugly ui" is not really true. As long as the software solves the problems it was made for Mac users really don't care what shade of blue you use for the button focus, etc.
So just port your app 1:1 to the Mac and if users on Windows love it the Mac users will love it too.
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