OSX Yosemite


The new version of OSX, Yosemite, is out now and frankly I’m not overly impressed, at least as far as the design is concerned.

Everything has been simplified and I just think it looks… simple. Less sophisticated.

mavericks-dock2 yosemite-dock2

The dock now has the solid background that came in with iOS8 and the new icons feature solid blocks of colour and none of the shading of the older versions.

Frankly they look like the kind of simple icons you’d design if you weren’t very good at designing things but knew your limitations – keep it simple, don’t try to get clever and it’ll be OK. Apple can – and did – do better.

Oddly, at least one of the other changes is in the opposite direction to this simplified design. Menus and title bars are now semi-transparent, allowing the background colours to show through, as you can see here from the system menu:

menu-mavericks menu-yosemite

It’s a minor thing, but it just seems inconsistent with the general theme of a cleaner, simpler design.

Those last screenshots also show the new system font. I think I preferred the old one, but I’m being picky now. The worst, however is yet to come:

finder-mavericks finder-yosemite

The finder folder icons are now… well, I’m not sure what to say about them. That shade of blue is certainly not subtle, I can say that much. My initial gut reaction was “urgh, what were they thinking”.

Finally the system dialog shows a few of the new user interface elements – the checkbox, radio buttons and drop down list – all of which are simpler and again, more garish (click on these ones for the full size versions). Note that even the icons to minimise and maximise the window have been simplified to plain coloured circles rather than textured spheres.


What is clear is that Apple have made a conscious decision to unify the look of iOS and OSX, and that ties in with the closer integration between the two systems with their cloud offerings and the handoff features that allow you to continue working seamlessly between mobile device and desktop. I’m sure there a lots of great features under the hood, and more so if you buy into the entire Apple ecosystem.

Obviously this is a very subjective review, and only of the design elements. Maybe there’ll be users who like the new look, who think it’s cleaner and brighter.

Surely it’s got to be hard to love those folder icons though?

in Random Musings

One Comment

  1. David Worton 25th October 2014

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