Mac OS X’s Preview: Why is the ‘Drawer’ button on the left?

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 21st, 2005 • 12:27 am

It seems to me that it’s a pretty obvious question: Since in most cases the “drawer” with the thumbnails or the table of contents for a PDF file opens on the right-hand side of the window by default, why on earth is the “Drawer” button on the left-hand side by default?

It’s neither intuitive nor convenient: If you want to hide the drawer that has just popped up on the right-hand side of the window, you have to drag your mouse all the way to the left-hand side of the window’s toolbar to click on the “Drawer” button.

I realize that this is easily changed by customizing the toolbar. But how many Mac OS X users actually customize their toolbars? And how many know that, in order to make a toolbar button always appear at the right end of the toolbar, you have to add “flexible space” before it, which will automatically expand or contract depending on the width of the window/toolbar?

It seems to me that, intuitively, the user expects this “Drawer” button to be located right next to the actual drawer that it controls. And since, by default, the drawer opens on the right-hand side, that’s where the button should be.

It might be a small detail, but it demonstrates a disappointing lack of common sense on the part of Apple’s UI designers.

Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.