Redesigning the Desktop Experience (macOS) — a UX case study

This story is part of a serie that focuses on improving the user experience on existing platforms. The last one was about Youtube and can be found here. This one is about macOS.

I love the Mac. When I first experienced it when I was in high school, I instantly fell in love with it. I loved going to my aunt’s house because they had a huge iMac (the 27-inch) in the living room and I could spend the whole afternoon on it (of course, I love my aunt too). Just surfing on the web with it was a totally different experience from what I was used to. It was all about the astonishing graphics and sleek user experience. After that, I convinced my family to switch to the Mac, and we have stuck to it ever since then. Looking back on it, I think this is where my sensitivity as UI-UX designer truly started to reveal itself.

My first love, back in 2010. This is not an ad for Apple.

When Apple introduced the multi-touch gestures on the trackpad, I thought it was pure genius. The gestures were complementary to the fullscreen mode, inspired by iOS: we could instantly go from one desktop/fullscreen app to another with a 4-finger-swipe on the trackpad and it felt so damn good.

Having spent 5 years or more with this feature (I actually can’t remember of a time where it wasn’t there…), I have grown to think that maybe we could build on it to make the overall macOS experience even better. This is my attempt at doing so, and it’s called macOS Newton.

Apple Newton, a device Steve Jobs supposedly hated. This concept has nothing to do with it.

Note: this concept focuses solely on the overall user experience, and not on the look and feel of macOS apps. This is another subject I would gladly come back to in a near future, but for the moment, I thought it would distract people to introduce a new visual style on top of the new experience. Also, for maximum clarity, I decided to use empty backgrounds on the images.

Author: Kévin Eugène

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