Today was the Apple Word Wide Developers Conference in which Apple announced some new updates, as well as their new version of OS X, Yosemite.

The new interface is absolutely beautiful, but it raises concerns with regards to Fitts’ law, which in simple terms, demonstrates that it is easier to hit large targets closer to you than small targets further from you. As obvious as the previous idea may sound, the practice is not universally used in design.

An example of Fitt’s law in non-computer design can be seen in brake pedals being much larger than accelerator pedals, as they are more crucial during times of emergency. The unit of measurement I used was pixels from the original image.

image source: mcmobilitysystems.com
image source: mcmobilitysystems.com

Many Linux desktop environments, such as Openbox, have a default option in which one can hold Alt and drag the window, regardless of the location clicked within the window.  This makes for a large target to hit, and provides a more comfortable user experience. Unfortunately, OS X and Windows require third-party applications to do so.

image source: apple.com
image source: apple.com

I look forward to seeing Apple’s design notes on this design.

Fitts’ Law and OS X Yosemite

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