Mac OS X interface flaws

Here are a few things I’ve noticed that just don’t make sense in Mac OS X v10.5.

  • Desktop & Screen Saver rolled into a single preference pane. Why? Are we that convinced that one day we’re going to have a screen saver running in the background as our desktop, and the only way to configure it is to have it in the same preference panel?

  • Keyboard & Mouse are a single preference panel (but Trackpad is separate). Again, why? The only conceivable answer is that Apple thought it important that the battery levels for both the keyboard and mouse are in a single preference pane, which also has an option to add a new device. But the “add device” functionality is already duplicated in Bluetooth.

  • Exposé & Spaces are a single preference panel. Are they related? Well, a little, but not that much. And how does Dashboard fit in here, which is also thrown in for fun?

  • Translucent Menu Bar is in Desktop, rather than Appearance.

  • Scroll bar behavior is in Appearance.

  • The number of recent items to show in menus is in Appearance.

  • The option to automatically adjust keyboard back lighting is under Displays. (But typing “Dim” into the preference pane search only hilights the Energy Saver panel.)

Oh, sure, it’s better than Windows. Of that there’s no doubt. And sure, we got here via a series of small, well-intentioned steps. But let’s not get too smug about Mac OS X: It still needs a lot of tuning to be intuitive.