Mac OS-style menubar as default

Merton Campbell Crockett mcc at CATO.GD-AIS.COM
Fri Jul 8 14:44:02 BST 2005

On Fri, 8 Jul 2005, Janne Ojaniemi wrote:

> On Friday 08 July 2005 03:15, Merton Campbell Crockett wrote:
> > You still haven't explained how moving the cursor 12 inches instead of 2
> > inches makes the Mac OS X-style menubar more efficient.
> I explained it in the very first message I made.... Because it uses 
> screen-borders and because they are always in the exact same location. You 
> don't have to be as careful in placing the cursor as you would have to with 
> several menubars. Since the menu is in the border of the screen, you can just 
> swing the pointer towards it, and you will propably be able to access the 
> menu. With several menubars, you simply can't do that. You have to be more 
> careful in placing the cursor since you can overshoot the menu. Also, the 
> location of the menubar would change and they would not be in a consistent 
> location. Sometimes they will be in the left, other time in the right. 
> Sometimes near the top of the screen, other time in the middle of the screen.
> To sound more scientific: universal menubar takes advantage of Fitt's Law, 
> per-window menubars do not. And since the user can only access one app's 
> menubar at a time, showing all those menubars all the time is simply a waste 
> of space. Why not only show the one menubar that the user could actually use?

Fitts' Law predicts that there will be fewer errors when the target is 
close to the origin.  As the distance increases, the error increases when 
the target remains constant.

If the user only uses an application in a maximized window, Fitts' Law 
would predict that there is marginal difference between a universal and a 
per window menubar.

If you have several applications windows open in your display window, 
Fitts' Law would predict fewer positioning errors if you had a menubar for 
each application window.

Merton Campbell Crockett

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