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Aliza Ben-Arie

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Mac vs Windows OS: One Size Fits All?

With regard to the Mac and Windows Operating Systems, it is clear that designers make assumptions about your values, choices, and the ways in which we relate to our interfaces.
What assumptions about you are embedded within the program? As a user, how are you affected by these designs?
How do the designs (aesthetics as well as usability) of the Apple and Microsoft Operating Systems affect the way you relate to the OS?
How do the designs of these Operating Systems affect the way you interact and communicate with others in the physical world?

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  • May 12 2013: The assumption behind both the Mac and PC interfaces is that UIs should be intuitive - when you click or double click on something, the resulting functionality should intuitively be what you expect. Both interfaces are very consistent - for example, click and double click mean the same thing, no matter where you click. The goal is to minimize the learning curve; while the Mac has a reputation for being easier to use, in fact the interfaces are similar.

    The interfaces attempt to hide the complexity of the operating system, allowing you to accomplish desired tasks without having to understand what actually is happening "under the covers."
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      May 12 2013: Arnie - thanks for responding! Can you expound more on what you mean by intuitiveness in User Interfaces? Why should there naturally/intrinsically be a response that we expect from clicking or double-clicking? I understand that now we expect those actions to bring certain responses, but certainly that was not the case before modern interfaces were introduced, right? What other examples of actions do you think have expected responses?
      On your second point, I am of the belief that the Windows OS interface actually allows the user to see and change or modify what is happening "under the covers" much more so than the Mac OS, and I think this speaks volumes to the nature of each of these companies, as well. What do you think?

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