Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

User Interface Inconsistencies in MacOS 12 Monterey

Corbin Dunn:

At Apple I worked on the main User Interface (UI) framework called AppKit for about 13 years. I would help enforce UI consistency in applications by logging bugs and helping the application developers fix any issues. Back then a lot of people really cared about consistency and the small details really mattered. I just installed macOS 12.0.1 Monterey and I have found that the system is moving away from being homogeneous. Application-to-application consistency is getting lost, and it is becoming more like the web where every website is different. Part of the problem is the lazy-port of iOS applications over to macOS via Catalyst.

It is easy for me to complain about issues, but I also take time to log bugs in Feedback Assistant for Apple and hope they fix the problems, but in the past three years since I left not much has been addressed.

As little details like these crumble, it makes me worried about the underlying architecture of the system. You know how electricians “clock” the screws on a light switch or wall socket as a subtle indicator of fastidious quality? If the screws are not aligned, it does not mean the wiring was done poorly, but it sure makes you wonder. Same thing here.