Mac OS X: More visual inconsistency

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
May 9th, 2003 • 10:24 pm

In the same vein as the “click-through” inconsistencies discussed yesterday, Mac OS X’s Aqua interface still suffers from another case of major and annoying inconsistency when it comes to buttons and the visual feedback (or lack thereof) that the user gets when clicking on them.

Here’s what happens right after you click on the pulsating blue “Connect” button in the Internet Connect application:

A picture named IConnectButton.gif

As you can see, the button has become greyed out, as a way to indicate that, yes, it has been clicked on, Mac OS X has registered the click and Internet Connect is currently doing what clicking on the button requested it to do, i.e. establishing a connection to the net — or at least starting to do so: the “Status” line will be updated in a couple of seconds and read “Dialing…”.

On the other hand, here’s what happens right after you click on the pulsating blue Search button in the Finder’s Find window:

A picture named FinderSearch.gif

As you can see, there is absolutely no visual indication that the button has indeed been clicked on, that Mac OS X has registered the click and is currently processing the search request. As a matter of fact, the only visual clue that you’ll get that your click has been registered will be when the search results window opens and the Finder starts listing the result.

The trouble is, even on my dual-1.25 GHz G4, there is always a delay or a second or two before that search results window opens. And, during that delay, you have absolutely no visual clue that your click on the Search button has been registered. The only way to tell is to listen to your computer to determine whether there is any significant amount of hard disk activity, which would indicate that the search has been initiated!

This is clearly inappropriate, and the behavior in Internet Connect demonstrates that Apple does realize that visual feedback is needed.

Why they have not implemented the Internet Connect button behavior system-wide is beyond me.

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