Apple Tweaks Mac OS X Lion UI In Response to Criticism

With Apple having pushed out a new update to the Mac OS X Lion developer preview program, those with access to the new build have been looking for changes in an attempt to see what Apple has been working on over the past few weeks.

One minor point that caught our eye is a change in the user interface elements for selecting subpanes within System Preferences. In this latest build, the active subpane is denoted by a sunken, darker button that appears as if it has been pushed, as shown in the Expos & Spaces preference pane.

162642 lion subpane button new 500
Current "button" style subpane selector with Expos active

Earlier builds of Mac OS X Lion had used a sort of slider animation where the active subpane was represented by a lighter colored button that confused many users when simply glancing at the pane without attempting to move the slider and thus having the animation to key on.

162642 lion subpane slider old 500
Earlier "slider" style subpane selector with Spaces active

In the face of that criticism, Apple appears to have rethought its mechanism for switching between subpanes and reverted back to a button style that appears more intuitive.

A similar change has been made in iCal, where an earlier slider-style navigator was rolled out to select among day/week/month/year views but has now been replaced by more traditional button-style selectors.

163551 lion ical button style selector
iCal selector buttons in latest Mac OS X Lion build

Top Rated Comments

rorschach Avatar
147 months ago
Actually scrollbars look and behave exactly the same as they did before.

Whether they automatically hide or not is a preference, it has been since the first DP:



Same with reverse scrolling. Nothing at all has changed about scrolling or scrollbars.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Burgess07 Avatar
147 months ago
1. Dang, I liked the sliders. Wish Apple would set an option in the system preferences to enable/disable them.
2. Scrollbars still disappear for me.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
strabes Avatar
147 months ago
Bummer, I really liked the iOS-style scrollbars. My favorite thing about Lion is the inverted scrolling. It feels more natural on a touchpad once you get used to it.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
3N16MA Avatar
147 months ago
iCal reminds me of something out of Kirby's Epic Yarn.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dethmaShine Avatar
147 months ago
I liked it how it was before.... :(

+1

It was confusing but they could have sorted that out.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Thinine Avatar
147 months ago

Finally, Apple has made a significant change to one of the first user interface changes observed (https://www.macrumors.com/2010/10/25/mac-os-x-lion-notes-ios-scroll-bars-any-corner-resizing-dock-changes/) way back in October when Apple first demoed Mac OS X Lion: iOS-style scrollbars. Initial builds of Mac OS X Lion had featured scrollbars that overlaid the window's comments, appearing only when necessary and then disappearing after a brief period of time.

Apple has done away with that concept, returning to fixed scrollbars (http://images.macrumors.com/article/2011/04/29/163551-lion_scrollbar_non_overlay.jpg) along the right side of each window, although they do retain the dark iOS-like appearance. The refined scrollbars are present at all times and do not disappear after use.

No they haven't. Fading is now a user preference. You can have them fade automatically, stay all the time, or fade according to your input device.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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