Cocoa Glass Window

3 Attachments

6 Responses

  1. Lee Brimelow Lee Brimelow

    UPDATE: just added a sample app that allows you to control the window blur with a slider.
    Here is a working example of an NSWindow with a blurred glass background similar to Vista and iOS 7. I also attached an image showing the blur cranked up even more.
    It uses a private API so this means it probably can't be used for apps that are destined for the app store. Fun to create and play with though.

    You can get the working Xcode project at It was built using Xcode 5 DP4 so you may need to copy the files into a new project if you're still on Xcode 4.

    9 months ago

  2. Tom Krcha Tom Krcha

    Nom nom nom

    9 months ago

  3. Eli Schiff Eli Schiff

    Though this looks very pretty, and would be great for modal windows etc, I'm not sure blur is a the best idea for desktop apps in general. Pre iOS7 blur, post Windows Vista Aero @Sorin Jurcut had these wise words to say:

    "From graphical point of view its very well executed and looks nice and clean. However, from UX point of view choosing to add transparency to large areas of a window is bad for the user because it attracts his attention away from the working space into the background, which is not something you want when you build an application. Actually the whole reason for opaque windows is because the users attention has to be focused on what he's doing within those windows rather than on the desktop. :)"

    9 months ago

  4. Lee Brimelow Lee Brimelow

    @Eli Schiff yeah totally. More of a fun thing. The performance of window resizing is slow when on large displays as well. Check out the sample app I just attached. It let's you adjust the blur with a slider.

    9 months ago

  5. Eli Schiff Eli Schiff

    I'm glad you agree. I mostly was pointing it out because the industry is experiencing the rise of a design ideology that holds a specific aesthetic preference to be paramount over usability, in relation to the factors of affordance, dimension, hierarchy, legibility, contrast and emotion.

    Though this is a fun experiment in your case, I worry that Apple will carry over the iOS blur to the OSX window UI. As much as it was evident that Windows Vista Aero wasn't beneficial for usability, with many Mac designers disapproving of it's implementation at the time, at least Microsoft had a consistent logic to the effect by rendering a glossy shine. In iOS, and the eventual OSX implementation that you preview here, the skeuomorph doesn't make the metaphorical link obvious, and just appears as a visual flourish (which ironically is what Apple seems to be opposed to in their UI design overhaul.)

    All in all, it's a cool experiment and I think it wouldn't be all bad, if used sparingly. (Very funny icon too!)

    9 months ago

  6. Taras Brizitsky Taras Brizitsky

    Private API? Huh…

    9 months ago

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