"The trouble begins with a design philosophy that equates “more options” with “greater freedom.” Designers struggle endlessly with a problem that is almost nonexistent for users: “How do we pack the maximum number of options into the minimum space and price?” In my experience, the instruments and tools that endure (because they are loved by their users) have limited options."
One of the things about closely following software UI changes is that, over time, they can give you hints about the thinking and planning that goes behind-the-scenes. As a UI enthusiast, I’ve been doing this for a long time and when I saw the latest Mac OS X Lion screenshots, it got me thinking and here is my theory…
The graphic says it all - as OS X gains market share and continues to want to gain market share, its target is now set squarely on the mainstream audience and as you can see from the graphic, OS X progress is now tracking the same paths Windows is - “great for none but good enough for everyone”.
For someone who first started up Photoshop 8 years ago, to complete that tutorial on “How to make Mac OS X style Aqua-esque pill buttons”, OS X Lion is a huge letdown.
The buttons have told us their story, a story about great fame and fortune. But when the story ends, only sadness lingers in its wake.