Aaron Brethorst

Round peg in a square hole, rabid generalist.

Windows Developers vs. Mac Users

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Drunkenbatman wrote a scathing review of the Meetro for OS X Alpha preview last December. I read his complaints about it last year when it was first published, and it caused me to go give their Windows version a shot. I found that the Windows version was perfectly serviceable, although rather divergent from the Windows User Experience Guidelines.

Ultimately, db’s review of Meetro reminded me of one very important point: Mac users hate applications that don’t act or look like good Mac applications should. Here’s a case in point:

I want to flat-out strangle a few of the dialog boxes, as o.m.g. does Meetro love showing you dialog boxes.

Windows, for better or worse, is all about dialog boxes. Dialogs, dialogs everywhere! A well-designed Mac application, on the other hand, eschews dialogs whenever possible, instead allowing the user to perform inline data modification. Office 2007 is doing a fantastic job of moving away from this model through the Ribbon, and hopefully we’ll see this model move into more and more of Microsoft’s applications over the next few years. Of course, there are a few caveats in applying the Ribbon to other applications, which I will explore soon.