Interface Mafia Goes After Bad Interfaces -- Macintosh users are unusually informed and opinionated about interface design, and even though Macintosh developers are usually equally as sensitive to the interfaces of their programs, creating good interfaces is difficult work. A non-profit group calling itself the Interface Mafia has opened a Web site devoted to articles, links, and other information related to information design. What sets the Interface Mafia Web site apart, though, is its free interface review service for Macintosh software developers (they may support other operating systems in the future). Reviews are limited to interface design (though documentation, a topic near and dear to those of us at TidBITS, is also examined) and are posted for anyone to read and comment on. Kudos to the Interface Mafia both for emphasizing the importance of good interface design and for offering practical advice to developers. [ACE]
Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.
Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.
In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.
- The Death of Documentation (04 May 98)
Published in TidBITS 598.
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Interface Mafia Goes After Bad Interfaces
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