Panther’s Address Book: The “Company” check box

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
January 8th, 2004 • 3:55 am

Maybe I’m just too fast for my Mac… But it happens to me all the time. I go to my Address Book, add a new entry that is a company and not a person, and click on the “Company” check box:

Company Checkbox

The problem is that, even on my dual 1.25 GHz G4 (MDD), there is always a delay of at least half a second between the moment I click and the moment the check box appears on screen. And during that interval, more often than not, the brain in my index finger believes that the click was misplaced and causes my finger to click again, which of course triggers another delay of half a second and then I end up with an unchecked check box.

It is intensely frustrating. And it’s caused by several factors. First of all, Address Book is too slow. It’s simply unacceptable that such a simple application should be so slow on a dual 1.25 GHz machine. It’s just a bloody check box! OK, it means that Address Book has to refresh its display by swapping the First Name and Last Name fields with the Company field, and by changing the icon for the entry in the middle column. But still!

The second problem is that this check box is a non-standard control. Normally, in Mac OS X, as soon as you click on a check box, the visual aspect of the check box changes, using a darker shade of grey:

Check box with mouse down in Aqua

In other words, as soon as the mouse button is down, your index finger’s brain knows that its click on the check box is on target, even if there is a short delay before the check symbol actually appears and the check box turns blue.

With the “Company” check box, there is no such visual effect. If you click on the check box and hold the mouse button down, nothing happens to the visual appearance of the check box. And even when it’s checked, the check box doesn’t turn blue.

Why this non-standard control? Only Apple knows… But the end result is a frustrating end user experience, even on reasonably fast machines.

2 Responses to “Panther’s Address Book: The “Company” check box”

  1. vaag says:

    On my 15″ 1.25 GHz AlBook I don’t see any delay at all.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    I suppose it depends how many entries you have in your AB. (I have several hundreds, divided into many groups.)

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.