More from John Gruber on brushed metal

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
October 24th, 2004 • 7:47 am

Following the many responses he received to his first posts on brushed-metal windows in the Mac OS X interface, John Gruber finally makes the connection between brushed metal and usability.

I am sorry I have to say finally, but it’s because it took a long time for him to raise one of the issues that I mentioned a long time ago and mentioned again in my recent comments on his first post.

The issue is the fact that brushed-metal windows in the background look too much like brushed-metal windows in the foreground. It’s a major issue in my opinion, and I am glad John has finally mentioned it.

There is another issue, however, which is that, because of the ability to drag brushed-metal windows from many places, it’s sometimes too easy to drag (and move) them accidentally, as I have already explained here.

So yes, brushed-metal and other so-called “themes” do affect usability in a negative way. On the other hand, they have benefits, such as the ability to drag and move them from more places than regular windows.

Effectively, we need a “theme” that merges the benefits of regular Aqua windows (better contrast between foreground and background windows) and brushed-metal (better ability to drag). I hate to say it, but it looks like Apple’s new “theme” in Tiger might just fit the bill.

One Response to “More from John Gruber on brushed metal”

  1. Steel Buildings Diary says:

    I’ve experienced the problem of accidentally moving the window and it always frustrated me. It’s a shame that I can’t have the best of all worlds.

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