The largest tech company in the world just launched new software.
There are problems with Apple's Big Sur, but let's look at a few UX decisions they (mostly) got right.
Emphasis on the UI was reduced in order to keep the focus on the user’s content. Buttons and controls appear when needed and recede when they’re not. Border and bezels have been softened or removed.
The interface is there to serve the user—it shouldn’t draw attention to itself. Remove visual complexity & increase the signal to noise ratio.
Privacy & transparency
Tracking prevention and transparency has been added to Safari. Inspired by food nutrition labels, new privacy information on the App Store lets you see a summary of the privacy practices of each app before you download it.
Put privacy and transparency first. It’s in the best interest of your user.
Drill down on key workflows
Apple clearly had a goal to improve the Messages app. There are now pinned conversations, better search, inline replies, mentions, and the ability to find GIFs. They know Messages are an important part of their platform.
Invest time and effort in improving key tasks & flows in your product. It’ll pay off in the end.
Uniformity across services
The Control Center and Notification Center changes are meant to create consistency through the ecosystem. There’s also new unified line of symbols. Some of the visual changes, though, like the new app icons, don’t match up with iOS 14; hopefully they’ll fix that.
Maintain consistency and adhere to your own standards. It reduces cognitive load, makes the UI learnable, and gives a feeling of familiarity and confidence.
System status visibility
Multiple updates and standardizations were made to top-level UI’s, including the Control Center, widgets, Spotlight, and the Notification Center. These changes make system status clear, easy to find, and customizable.
Quick access to general system controls and information makes an interface feel reliable and predictable, and builds trust.
Stick with what's familiar
When redesigning dock icons, Apple consciously tried to retain the personality from the original. There are lots of new UI sounds as well, which were literally built on top of snippets of the originals so that they sounded familiar.
When doing a redesign, remember Familiarity Bias: people prefer familiar experiences. It’s best to build off what you have rather than make an entirely new experience.
Clear visual feedback
The Dock and Menu Bar have a new interface that allows you to customize where controls show up. The method they use of visually showing the user exactly what will happen is not only satisfying, it’s a very effective form of communication.
Clearly communicate the consequences of decisions, preferably visually.
What do you think of Big Sur so far? What could they have done better?
If you’re feeling generous, perhaps share the thread on Twitter:
Learn UXD@learn_uxd🍎 There are problems with Apple's Big Sur update, but let's look at a few UX decisions they (mostly) got right. #⃝design
[thread 👇]12:13 PM - 17 Nov 2020
Originally posted on learnuxd.io.
Images from apple.com and my computer.
Top comments (9)
Sounds like a joke after discovering that they transfer information about each application you open to their server via plaintext and without your consent and without a way to opt-out and by pass OS level firewalls (though firewall in router would work obviously)
I feel a more nuanced understanding of what's actually going on is helpful:
To have more full picture also read original reporter article sneak.berlin/20201112/your-compute...
Loooooooool. I need to Google this. Thanks for the hint
I welcome UI and UX changes, and this one is alright. I'm not a big fan of the bigger spacing between the menu bar icons, and also not a fan of those constant black & white color change glitches when the background image changes.
My menu bar looks like this most of the time:
Other problems I noticed after the upgrade:
So overall it's aesthetically pleasing to me. But Apple really missed the mark when it comes to performance and ironing out those visual glitches
A couple amendments:
I found a workaround for the typing and performance lag though:
I unchecked automatic graphics switching so my Mac keeps using the Radeon GPU. Everything feels much snappier now.
v well analyzed
Buttons and controls appear when needed and recede when they’re not. Border and bezels have been softened or removed.