Are Apple breaking their own HCI Guidelines?
Following last week's launch of Apple's Safari browser for windows, I've noticed the continuation of a pattern that I was hoping would stop with iTunes for Windows. Why on earth do Apple insist on using a non-standard window chrome design, making the buttons much smaller?
Window buttons: Safari/iTunes
Window buttons: IE
Now, I've long been a fan of the various different incarnations of Apple's HCI guidelines - always a great primer on usability for a time-poor developer like myself. But this document clearly states that:
The user's mental model is based primarily on experience. When possible, enhance user interface components to reflect the model's symbology and display labels that use the model's terminology.
I can see that Apple has graciously decided to use windows-style icons for the buttons, but why not just use the standard Windows chrome surround, like 99.9% of all other Windows applications? I use both Windows and OSX, and frankly find it extremely confusing to see something that looks like an OSX app in Windows.Of course, it could be that there are solid, user-centric reasons for this change, but I would love to see the usability test results that proved that making window buttons half the size enhanced the user's experience.