Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Inconsistent Interfaces

Apple, which is usually the master of great interfaces, pulled some weird things in the recent upgrade to OSX. The Calendar app lost its metallic look and feel (and I don't like it and it's not consistent with everything else). The Contacts app lost the great letter-tabs that let you jump to a letter (this feature is still present in the iPhone version).

But in Mail they did something I don't understand and have only noticed recently (so I assume it was not like this previously). If you make a new message, some of the buttons (like for attachments) are on the left, whereas if you reply some of those same buttons are on the right. I do a fair amount of attaching, and this is highly annoying since I cannot make a work habit, I have to actively think about it each time.

Here is a reply. Only the Send button is on the left, Attach is on the right.

Here is, as you can see, a new message. Attach is now on the left.

Given there is little difference between a new message and a reply, I cannot see that there is any reason to move the buttons around. (Everything is about design.)

Edit: I remade the images so they fit better. The image/textwrap is killing me, though.