So i was sifting through message board posts looking for information on the attempts to reverse-engineer
the Mac OS X theming architecture
and doing thus free us from Aqua
(the everything-is-a-bubbly,-blurry,-white-wash meme
that pervades the Mac OS X GUI
), and what eventually became a really very interesting train of thought popped into my head:
It is very easy to create something people like, but creating something that people don't hate is one of the least simple tasks you can intellectually take on.
Just in general; if you can find a thing that someone, somewhere really likes, there's going to be someone, somewhere, who hates it just as equally. Human reactions
vary so wildly, and the number of reasons why someone could associate a strong emotion
) with a given thing is so huge, that if something contains within it ANY triggers to cause strong emotion of any kind, then you can be sure that people are going to react to those triggers in every single different way possible.
A lot of thought went into Aqua
, and it is, as everyone i'm sure will agree, masterfully created, and there is, i will say, a certain set of internal standards under which it is "beautiful".. but that does not change the fact that there are people-- for example, ME-- to whom Aqua is ASS UGLY
This is, of course, to be expected; beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there is no single idea with which every person in the world would agree. Which makes it rather a shocking revelation to discover that if you think about it, there really are things in the universe which nobody hates. I've started compiling a list of said things, and the truly amazing thing is that not only do they exist, but most of them actually serve some functional purpose, and most of them are such that it is possible to actively really like them! You have to admit; in a universe with so many different forms of ugliness, there is something truly amazing about a thing which simply does its job and doesn't bother anybody.
(Note: keep in mind i am NOT trying to suggest that it is a good idea to purposefully design things such that nobody will hate them. *Trying* to do this is dangerous, as it will almost definitely devolve into something slightly different, namely trying to design things such that nobody will be offended by them. THIS has truly disastrous results, and will result in a product which is bland, and mangled by the process of design-by-test-group to the point where people will hate it because of its very soullessness.)
And so, the list follows; all the known things in the universe for which there is no conceivable reason why anybody would hate them. Please msg me if you have additions to or comments on it:
Thank you for your time.
People who have contributed to this list thus far: Wuukiee, Illumina.
ADDENDUM -- The following paragraph was omitted above because it's longwinded and not relevant. You really don't want to read this. But, if you're bored:
*(Ask me to say whether i like or hate aqua and ask why, and i will spout off a long list of issues:
I hate aqua because of any number of internal triggers it touches; it's gimmicky and childish in my view, i can't stand the omnipresent striped-line pattern, it's blurry and hard to focus on, i have trouble reading text on top of vertical-line patterns, the visual hints partitioning your screen space into clearly defined areas-- for example, window borders-- that you see in other GUIs are virtually not present, it literally hurts my eyes, i just plain find it unimpressive. Aqua, as a design, just happens to hit a lot of triggers in my mind that cause result in strong dislike. Go to other people and you'll find those same triggers influenced their decision heavily, but never the same way; sometimes the individual triggers are less of a problem, sometimes they're good things, sometimes they're unimportant. But regardless, they're *there*. Apple made a conscious decision (an irresponsible one, if you ask me) to take Aqua on a design path that includes lots of these triggers, meaning some people will love it but some will hate it. Now compare all this to the old, subtle/subdued, non-eye-catching Mac OS 8 interface that Apple held to for so long; the most anyone could say for it is that it is quietly, dignifiedly beautiful, but then again the worst anyone could say for it was that it was uninteresting. Aqua aims to impress you, to take your breath away, and it only succeeds at this with some people; OS 8 strove to inspire indifference, and it succeeded completely.)