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July 22, 2005


Dave Murdock

I have a different interpretation of why these controls are "unmarked". There is very little benefit of placing descriptive text around these things, because you only need to know it once, the first time you try it. This is the key part, in OS X you don't get punished for trying things, I can't really think of doing something in the OS right now that results in a cascade of changes that aren't undoable.

When I first started using OS X I too wondered what the title bar button did, but then I just tried it and now I now exactly what it does. Here is another one, if you hold down the Command key (the Apple key) and click the button, it changes how the toolbar looks. This is all doable for newbiews through the menus, which I think is the intent, the button is for non-newbs to get a shortcut.

Paul Farnell

Dave, I'd disagree with you there. Sure you can click it to find out what it does, but a tooltip wouldn't go amiss. That wouldn't complicate/clutter the interface either.

Jan - just wanted to say, this is a fantastic blog. I just came across it today and have already read every post. I've subscribed and I think this will become one of my favourite sites to read - please keep up the great work!

Sean M

I have to agree: Great content. Thank you!


I always thought the magnifying glass was a stylized letter Q standing for, say, "Quick search".

Well, not really, but someone could.

Max Howell

I have to agree with the first poster. Click it once and you know what it does. But I agree a tooltip is lacking, and yes it's absent because Apple products place form and factor very close to polish and usability in their priority lists.

And I also agree that, despite their uncluttered interfaces, Apple products have a good deal of widgets and controls that don't have immediately obvious functions.

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