I love Dashboard (like I had to tell you that), but for a while now it has been a bit ignored. Especially recently—there's no place for widgets in the Mac App Store, and because of that it looks like there will be no iCloud support for widgets. So I decided it was time to at least start learning how to make a full Mac app, so I have more options.
It's shocking how completely different similar frameworks are in Cocoa compared to Cocoa Touch. Lion's view-based tables helped a lot here, but even if you go Lion-only there are major differences.
Right now I'm trying to come up with some custom window buttons that communicate clearly but aren't too obtrusive. I think I'm fairly happy with these.
I considered getting rid of the non-essential buttons (minimize and zoom), or even moving them, but I think keeping them in this configuration is important in making it clear what they do. Especially since I'll also have a larger plus icon (without a circle) in the bottom corner, for adding a new note.
about 2 years ago
Maybe the glyph could be the same color as the timestamps? Right now they kind of pop more than I feel they should.
I can't wait for this to hit the AppStore!
by Dan Deming-Henes
I really liked Mike's window design, but the gray in the titlebar buttons felt out of place to me. This is what I came up with as an alternative styling.
about 2 years ago
Blurring Stuff - Not cool.
If it's being updated as an actual app, I'd redesign it to fit more standard conventions. I'd add a window title, change the corner radius, make the content bleed to the window edge, and use Dan's widgets.
Daniel and Dan: Yeah, the colors here are definitely not final—at the very least the glyphs will match the brown "November 19" color. I tried lighter glyphs like the rebound… I like it, but I'm not sure if I prefer it. Keep in mind that the appearance may change depending on where the mouse is… My tentative plan is to have empty dots when the mouse isn't over them, just like the standard buttons, but I haven't tried it yet.
Ruslan: They're my personal notes—it didn't seem worth the effort at this stage to mock up fake content. Though I am realizing now that the glyphs look more out of place with the content pixelated. Whoops.
Wil: I experimented with giving it a more standard appearance, but it would have looked like a very different app in the end, and I didn't think it made sense to have one version look completely different from the other three. This has also been a learning experience—I wanted to see how far I could go with it. Now that I have a fully customized window I can easily adjust the appearance if I change my mind. At this point nothing is definite until I've polished it up more and spent a while using it regularly.
by Mike Piontek
I'm not sure if this is final yet, but I decided to tweak the window design for the Notefile Mac app I've been working on. The more I polished the design, the more apparent it became that the previous design wasn't quite working. There were two main problems:
• If you scrolled down, the text at the top just kind of looked cut off. Because of the buttons at the top, I couldn't set it up the same way I set up the iOS app and widget. I needed something for the text to scroll up underneath.
• I set up the window so you can drag it from any "empty" area. This doesn't work as well as it does with a widget though, and it was hard even for me to tell where you could actually drag from. With a visual bar along the top, it's much nicer—you have an area to aim for.
So I tried to come up with something that's a little more like a standard Mac app, but still looks like Notefile.
This screenshot shows the app at its tiniest size possible. At smaller sizes it'll work like the iPhone app or widget. If you expand it to a large enough size, it'll split into a two pane view, more like the iPad version.
Anyway. I'm digging this now, but we'll see how much I hate it on Monday.
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