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Attention to Detail

As much as I admire Apple’s proverbial attention to detail, I can’t help pointing my finger at this ugly example of twisted logic in the System Preferences.

This is a fine example of one of my favorite pet peeves when it comes to software. Half joking, I can’t help assuming Apple hired a bunch of former Microsoft developers for this job1.

Security control panel

And just look at how arbitrary the whole thing is. In particular, why doesn’t the label of the second checkbox below “For all accounts …” read “Don’t require a password …”. At least this would be consistently ugly.

Sometimes I’d wish people would pay some more attention to the design of checkboxes such that the status of the checkbox corresponds with the functionality, i.e. checked means enabled and unchecked means disabled.

For example, I’d personally like the label of the first checkbox below “For all accounts …” to read “Enable automatic login”. That way, the underlying functionality would be much clearer.

If checked, automatic login was enabled. If unchecked, automatic login was disabled. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d much prefer this style of designing the meaning of checkboxes. It just seems so much more intuitive.

  1. In Windows and MS Office, this kind of GUI “design” can be found all over the place.

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