Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Alrighty Then

Jeff Johnson:

The venerable System Preferences app has been completely redesigned in macOS 13 “The Body” Ventura. Indeed it’s even been renamed to System Settings. The new design of Mac System Settings appears to be based on iPad Settings, and quite frankly, it’s bad. You can say “Ventura is only a beta”, but the problem isn’t some bugs that can be fixed, the problem is the fundamental design that can’t be fixed. I assume if I filed a Feedback asking for the old System Preferences design back, Apple would close my request with the reason “works as designed”. Yet it works badly as designed. To explain why, I’m going to compare Monterey System Preferences with Ventura System Settings.

Some of the changes in this update — like the back button faux hierarchy that I have previously written about — are bumming me out. The mess of layered translucency effects create a muddy visual presence and the number of controls that only reveal themselves on hover are a growing trend. I am not a fan.

I am not as much of a detractor of Apple’s current visual design themes as some, but I worry about stuff like this. They lack the visual clarity and integrity of great Mac software.

So begins another summer of filing dozens of bug reports with the words “insufficient contrast” in each of their titles.