The Vista UI GuidelinesI just browsed through the Vista UI Guidelines. As far as I know, the Windows Vista release is all about making Windows fun to use, and the UI guidelines provide the rules of the game. But I think they missed this critical opportunity to fix some things...
Label buttons like Save, not YesI really like buttons with actions as their captions. It reduces the amount of time necessary to decipher what the dialog is asking me. With 'yes/no' dialogs, I need to read the question, consult my intention, come up with a yes/no answer, then click that button. With 'save/don't save' dialogs, I just match my intention to a button. Vista only pays lip service to action buttons. For example, their highly recommended standard system dialogs don't even do it:
Modal dialogs vs. PalettesPicking a color or font on Vista is done via a modal color chooser dialog. On the Mac, I can open a non-modal palette for colors, which means I don't have to constantly be opening and closing the chooser. Suppose I want to use a different colors for each speaker in a conversation:
Expando buttonThis is an awesome name for the little
Advanced >>button on some dialogs. From the guidelines:
"Consider cleaning up your dialog by using a More Options "expando" button, so advanced or rarely used options remain hidden by default."
Vista may be damn sexy but I still think OS X gets both the look and the feel right.