Fixing the Mac OS X Zoom Button

I love Mac OS X, but there’s been something that has always annoyed me about mac resizing behavior, even back to the days when I started using Macs with System 6.x, and that’s the Zoom button behavior. I get what it’s supposed to do, but I never agreed with it and never used it for that purpose… one of the only things Windows got kinda right was Maximize, so here’s a tip for making the Zoom button behave like a maximize button. The nice thing is that the Right Zoom application can be configured selectively. 

Make the OS X maximize button work like Windows
One very, very common question/complaint from folks who have recently switched from Windows to Mac is “Why does the green button only resize windows and apps?”. It’s a totally valid question – the resizing behavior has always annoyed me too, and I made the switch years ago. Fortunately, there’s a very small and perfectly customizable program called Right Zoom that will change the default behavior and truly maximize programs when you click the green “Zoom” button” (). This tutorial will show you how to use it and set it up to best suit your needs.

Hope it helps.

 

What is the Future of iOS Notification?

One of the more annoying things about iOS is its notification system. Modal alerts are so arcane, intrusive and annoying, I am actually shocked that they are still the standard method of notification in iOS as of version 4…

Looks like there are some underground movements (requiring jailbreaking, of course) to change that. Here’s a little commentary by Sebastiaan de With (@cocoia) that I found interesting:

Cocoia Blog » Getting Notified:

There’s some discussion on Apple-centric and tech news websites about a video that’s doing the rounds with a new approach to notifications for iOS. While the system in the video is really nothing new (there’s been at least one alternative notification system in the App-Store-for-jailbroken-phones “Cydia” since 2010) it is getting a lot of attention, presumably because iOS users are quite satisfied with almost all the interactions of the OS except those dang stacking modal dialogs that interrupt your game of Angry Birds every time you get a text message.

So while I am not a jailbreaker (and never will be), my hope is that Apple and its designers and developers on the iOS team will take notice of this and do something about it in a future version of iOS.

We shall see…

Peet’s Coffee Packaging UX

As a nice perk, the company at which I am currently employed provides complimentary Peet’s coffee. While this a very nice daily benefit, and is entirely welcome, there seems to have arisen a fundamental usability problem.

This morning I just made the observation that, as far as I can tell, every coffee station here at the office seems to have a pair of scissors — since the coffee packets are so difficult to open!

Somebody better tell Peet’s that coffee packets have users too! I’m sure if it was a financially viable option, and if they made a commercial-grade machine, companies might just switch to Keurig over it.

Make XP-Style Alt-Tab the Default in Windows 7

OK, so I’m not sure if this works in Vista but it definitely works in Windows 7.

I have grown very tired of the Aero-style Alt-Tab behavior in Windows 7 (only took 4 weeks to get sick of it!), and I really wanted to revert back to the “classic Alt-Tab” behavior and make it my default. The former is easy. The latter requires a little regedit hack:

  • Create a DWORD called “AltTabSettings” in \HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  • Set its value to 1.
  • Test Alt-Tab combination. The Windows XP-style AltTab behavior should have returned.

Thanks to a comment from “barbudo” on this page for the answer to this mildly-perplexing problem (scroll down to the comments).

Giving Users Some Credit [Design Informer]

Really liked this article, which is a little reality check for web usability. Especially neat was the UX version of “The Golden Rule” at the end of the post.

enjoy.

Giving Users Some Credit | Design Informer:

Creating designs that are intuitive and easy to use is something we should continually strive for if we want our sites and applications to be visited and used by as many people as possible. Ultimately, making those sites easy, as well as enjoyable, to use is a critical part of helping them be successful and it starts by abandoning outdated opinions on what users can, and cannot, understand. It starts by giving our users some credit and realizing that they are not ‘idiots.’

Finally we can manage our tabs with Tab Candy for Firefox.

This has been making its rounds on the Twitterverse and thought I’d just capture it here for posterity.

Finally, it appears that we will be able to manage our tabs more intuitively and easily with Firefox 4, using a feature called Tab Candy which is a very similar concept to Exposé on Mac OS X but brought to the browser.

As I was just having some issues this morning with tab organization in Firefox, this comes as a welcome change for the future. Can’t wait to try it out…

Tab Candy: Making Firefox Tabs Sweet « Aza on Design:

Tab Candy: Making Firefox Tabs Sweet Sponsored by Say goodbye to pre-fab email templates. Meet Emma, the Web’s most stylish email marketing service. Say goodbye to pre-fab email templates. Meet Emma, the Web’s most stylish email marketing service. The power of the browser has grown substantially in the last ten years. We now use the Web to multi-task the activities we juggle every day, like vacation plans, purchases, sharing pictures, listening to music, reading email, and writing a blog post. It’s hard to keep everything straight with dozens of tabs all crammed into a little strip along the top of your browser. Your tab with a search to find a pizza parlor gets mixed up with your tabs on your favorite band. Often, it’s easier to open a new tab than to try to find the open tab you already have. Worse, how many of us keep tabs open as reminders of something we want to do or read later? We’re all suffering from infoguilt. We need a way to organize browsing, to see all of our tabs at once, and focus on the task at hand. In short, we need a way to get back control of our online lives. Enter: Tab Candy.

Free iPhone Design Templates for Keynote and PowerPoint

Free iPhone Keynote and PowerPoint templates help get you from thought to finish:

Mockapp.com has created both Keynote and PowerPoint templates of iPhone UI elements, and has made them available as free downloads. Say you had a dream in the middle of the night about the most awesome iPhone app that, to your surprise, no one has thought of yet. Instead of waking up in a deep sweat and scribbling said ideas on paper, you could dream them up on Keynote.

After mapping out your concept on Keynote, you could then pitch it to others in a Keynote presentation. The Keynote and PowerPoint templates include alerts, the iPhone keyboard, arrow icons, buttons, as well as a host of other UI elements.

Preparing Your Web Content for iPad (Apple Technical Note TN2262)

Apple ~Technical Note TN2262: Preparing Your Web Content for iPad:

Safari on iPad is capable of delivering a “desktop” web experience. iPad has a large, 9.7″ screen and fast network connectivity, and Safari on iPad uses the same WebKit layout engine as Safari on Mac OS X and Windows. You can ensure that your website looks and works great on iPad, and even create new touch-enabled web experiences for your customers, by considering a few specific differences between iPad and other platforms.

If you have access to an iPad, test your website using the iPad. If not, you can test your website in Safari on iPad using the iPhone Simulator (Hardware -> Device -> iPad). iPad is available in the iPhone Simulator in iPhone OS 3.2 SDK beta 2 and later, which is available to iPhone Developer Program members. In cases where it is possible to simulate iPad-like behavior in Safari on a desktop computer, instructions are given below.

Smashing Magazine – Maps in Modern Web Design

Smashing Magazine – Maps in Modern Web Design

Geo-location was a hot topic in 2009. With so many applications on GPS-enabled smartphones, more maps than ever were accessible to the average person. But how can Web designers and developers take advantage of an increasingly location-aware user base? This article explores existing trends, conventions and the possible future of interactive maps online…

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