Tuesday, October 22, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Perfectly Cropped

Tyler Hall:

Why didn’t she know there were options further down the share sheet? Because she’s using an iPhone 8, which happens to be just the right height to perfectly crop the share sheet.

With invisible scroll bars, this sort of thing can happen with web pages and Mac apps, as well.

Update (2019-10-25): See also: Hacker News:

Ask Adam:

This is a perfect examination of a huge issue in Apple’s UI design direction. Almost every day I need to reassure novice users that it’s not their fault they don’t know how to work their devices. So many critical features have become completely undiscoverable.

John Gruber (tweet):

In the early era of GUI design, we celebrated affordances. Any view that was scrollable was very clearly scrollable. We, as an industry, got away from that as the basic concepts of using a GUI became part of daily life for everyone. In the post-iOS 7 era, though, Apple seems outright opposed to affordances. […] Just by looking at it, there’s no reason to think there’s more. But “just by looking at it” is the way user interfaces should be designed.

Edward Morbius (Hacker News):

But no, take a tablet, add keyboard, give it a 9-10 inch (~20 cm) screen, and take away every last flipping goddamned means developed over 45 years of graphical user interface design for flipping telling where you are in a document and efficiently going elsewhere.

This. Is. Not. Progress.

Update (2019-11-01): See also: Evolution of the Scrollbar (via Timo Perfitt).

Update (2019-11-06): See also: Hacker News.


The iOS 13 share sheet is atrocious on an iPhone SE. The Copy button is barely visible, and there’s no visual indication that you tapped it correctly.

Also, I used to require scrolling only rarely, whereas now I have to scroll in two axes for every action aside from the first 3 apps. I hardly use the contacts sharing feature, so it’s just a huge swath of wasted space.

I guess a degree of increased complexity in iOS was inevitable but married to an overly stark interface it's losing a lot of the intuitiveness that made people like it in the first place.

Similar to how MacOS is getting more like Windows with all the WARNINGS it now confronts users with.

Apple should be concerned about these developments...

This exact situation happened to me with my iPhone 8 plus. I had to Google "ios 13 how to save photos from messages." Truly one of the most baffling, frustrating experiences I've had with any phone.

Why do we hate scroll bars again?

At least on mac, I kept scrollbars ‘always visible’ for as long as I could... eventually too many apps’ layouts broke. Deliberately removing important UI context for aesthetic/marketing reasons is something I find difficult to accept, but with Apple it keeps happening.

Hell, I miss the little clickable scrollbar arrows.

Yeah, I remember clicking that setting, was the change made in 10.7 Lion perhaps?

Yes!!!! Wait…yes!!!! I missed the Platinum appearance of Mac OS 9 honestly. I feel like Aqua started off kind of neat, if garish, and kind of went downhill from there. Do not get me wrong, while inconsistent, Aqua had it's moments up to Snow Leopard. I have not been happy since. Snow Leopard may have been when the scroll arrows were eliminated and the scroll bar was often hidden.

Snow Leopard was the last version with the aqua scrollbars and arrows... still have the original Intel iMac that maxed out at 10.6 and boot it up occasionally.

Perhaps it’s a bias of when I started using Mac OS X, but I still like 10.3 Panther’s look the best overall. Most of the pinstriping was muted by then, and most toolbar buttons still had distinct shapes and outlines. I remember the Apple HIG emphasizing that, even as they switched to ‘lozenge’ buttons for toolbars.

I didn’t even mind brushed metal for iTunes and the occasional utility app (though I agree it was pretty easy to use it in ways where it didn’t look good).

Not a bad choice. Perhaps I like Tiger a little more than Panther, but it is all similar. I started with Jaguar, for OS X and System 7.0.1, if memory serves, for the classic Mac OS. Honestly, I like Snow Leopard a lot too as I can turn off the stupid reflective dock and everything is pretty simple and a little more coherent than Jaguar/Panther/Tiger.

Sören Nils Kuklau

Back in iOS 11-ish when screen recording was introduced, I ran into something similar. In the 3D Touch submenu of screen recording, you can choose an app (typically, this is Photos, but you may want something like TeamViewer to actually share your screen live with someone else for, say, support purposes). Except, I only saw two apps (neither of which was TeamViewer in my case). They set the control size such that it literally looked exactly as though there weren't more choices. So for days, I assumed that TeamViewer was just broken. I think I only accidentally discovered you could scroll on that.

They've fixed that — you now see slightly more than two items, providing a hint that there's more to scroll through.

Guess they didn't learn that lesson for the share sheet.

But regardless, yeah, there's a much bigger discussion to be had on simplicity vs. discoverability, with classic Mac OS (and Mac OS X pre-Lion) providing all kinds of affordances. Very obvious that you could grab a title bar to move a window around, a scrollbar handle to scroll, the handle in the bottom right to resize the window, etc. And most keyboard shortcuts are still easy to discover — just browse through the menu bar! iOS never really had any of that, and despite that, is still growing in UI complexity and near-impossible-to-guess gestures.

And even for experienced users, dragging a window around keeps getting harder. That's a screenshot from Windows, but the same design trend exists on macOS.

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