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The examples do look nice. But I'm not convinced they're significanty better than OmniFocus.

I've done my fair share of UI/UX design work over the years too, and, like uxable, prefer a "simplistic view." But that's exactly why I like the OmniFocus UI. It's clean, with simple lines, shapes, and textures. It feels lightweight and, well, plain.

That may seem boring to some, but it helps you to focus on the content rather than the chrome. And there are many ways to control the density of information, from row spacing and style to filtering and focusing.

That's not to say OmniFocus is perfect -- there's certainly room for improvement (e.g. RobTrew's comments on the darker view bar). But other than that, I've not seen many concrete suggestions. What exactly should be changed and why?

Of the three example screen shots, my favorite is THL, perhaps because it looks the most like OmniFocus. :-)

Originally Posted by uxable View Post
I like the colored tabs in The HitList.
I like the tabs too, but OmniFocus doesn't have a tabbed interface. So what exactly is your suggestion? Add colored tabs or use similar colors for something else?

As good as THL looks, I think it's use of color for navigational elements (i.e. the tabs) is ill-conceived. Color can be a powerful source of information. Why waste it on static navigation? It is better used to highlight important data, like OmniFocus does to indicates state (accessibility issues aside). Using color for both state and navigation would likely lead to over-stimulation.

One thing I especially like in THL is the more conventional Mac OS X sidebar selection highlighting (i.e. darker gradient with the selected title displayed in bold, white text). I also prefer the conventional count indicators. These elements look consistent with those used in Apple's apps.

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Originally Posted by uxable View Post
I like the clean look of AM, and the layout of tasks as a grid option.
I've never used AM, but to my eyes this interface looks cluttered and visually confusing. Maybe it's all the high contrast elements.

However, the craftsmanship looks good from what I can see. And the grid view is an interesting idea. But beyond that, I have to say I vastly prefer the look of OmniFocus.

Originally Posted by uxable View Post
Note the use of shading, color, and texture in Things.
Funny, it's the excessive use of shading, color, and texture in the Things UI that turns me off. The overall experience is dark, heavy, and cumbersome, like something you'd expect to see in a Cold War-era Soviet submarine or a Klingon starship.

I really hope the Omni Group doesn't emulate the Things aesthetic, despite the app's popularity with a certain crowd.

While I'm ranting about Things, I also hate the Logbook and Trash pinned to the bottom of the sidebar. That just feels wrong to me and is particualt annoying when you have a long list of items scrolling in the sidebar.

The iPhoto-esque placement of the search input and toolbar at the bottom of the window also feels awkward. The design works in a image-oriented app, like iPhoto, but unneccessarily breaks convention for a textual data app. Why are those controls at the bottom when every other textual data app puts them at the top? I can't help but think the Things designers were just trying to be different for the sake of being different. When the novelty wears off, you're left with nothing but a nuisance.


Last edited by Toadling; 2009-09-22 at 05:35 PM.. Reason: Added screenshot