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Originally Posted by dtj View Post
I assume that lots of "fit and finish" issues are deferred at this point, instead focusing on the infrastructure and flow.
Doubtless there will be some "finish" issues, but more interestingly, I think, there are also some deeper 'architectural' issues in this early draft of the UI design best caught and dealt with as early as possible, and I think they're planning to do that now.

My guess is that the central problem has been a tension between:
  1. An understandable desire to somehow converge the design of the OS X version with that of the generally well-received iPad version, and
  2. an absence of any clearly formulated framework for thinking through the visual implications of ergonomic differences between tablets and larger non-touch displays with keyboards and mice.

That initial unpreparedness can, in part, be attributed to the date. Still relatively early days for thinking about coherence across touch and non-touch media, and Microsoft, with all the professional resources and experience at their disposal, have still been shocked to find that they have pulled a "New Coke" out of the hat

Tim Cook was fortunately clearer about the fundamentals:

Anything can be forced to converge. But products are about trade-offs.
The key problems for this first draft were, I think, regressions (relative to OF1) in:
  1. Visual effort required to see field structure (iPad typographic segmentation rather than OF1 spatial segmentation), and
  2. visual effort required to spot the status of projects (state indicator moved to right of text - an analogy with rightward move of iPad checkboxes, which placed them, quite sensibly, in reach of the thumb ?)

I'm sure the next re-draft will focus more on trade-offs that work, (rather than on trade-offs which simply resemble those made in another app).

I also think that a coherent company-wide approach to the fundamentals of visual ergonomics is more likely to yield a coherent (and good) user experience.