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Along For The Ride (marco.org)
56 points by mh_ 1566 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 26 comments

Agree with the problem, disagree with the solution.

Cut the animation times in half, and you're wasting only half the time. It will be too fast for some people, too slow for others.

Instead, avoid _blocking_ animations. Some animations are great as long as they don't prevent you from doing the next action.

Don't treat the user like an idiot. If they tap again before animation finishes, skip to end of animation and perform the action for that tap.

With iOS 6 folders, for example, I often tap a second time just a moment before the animation finishes, and my tap is ignored. It gets very frustrating when you're trying to be fast. Imagine a keyboard that would block your keypresses if you exceed 60 WPM.

The thing to remember is that a lot of times the animation is masking the actual load time of an app. The app is often represented as a screenshot until it completely unarchives itself into memory.

You reminded me of a feature I've been dying for though, semi-related: the ability to control tap-speed, similar to double-click speed on the desktop. I'd love to be able bring up the text selection menu more quickly.

Edit: To your main point about caching taps -- I feel like while in some case that would be straightforward to implement, it could get pretty hairy for most average users.

On an iPhone 5 the lag of an application being resumed is almost non-existent. Under iOS7 I too am constantly having to re-touch just because I hit the end of the animation rather than the app.

Another major thing they have to fix that I hope to God someone at Apple is thinking about are the 4 and 5 finger gestures in the OS on iPad. The 4-finger squeeze to get back to the springboard is a disaster since it just slows down the animation and you can see the horrible aliasing of the icons. The 4-finger swipe up no longer makes any sense either: it perviously slid up the screen to reveal the task tray, which is a logical direct manipulation, and now it jumps to the new task view. There is no longer a sense that your fingers are manipulating anything, it's a meaningless gesture slash macro holdover from iOS 6 that needs to be re-thought.

On my iPad mini there is also a noticable lag when you slide up the control panel and slide down the notification panel, particularly on the first swipe. And swiping down on the springboard to reveal search drops a few frames too so it's a jerky jump at the end of the animation. And god damn, I wish they would just make it so you can swipe the lock screen in either direction to unlock, the number of times I've swiped the wrong way (since there is no longer a button to slide) is crazy and pointless.

I guess I should file some radars or look these up :)

>They’ve fixed most major complaints since the first beta, but there’s a big one still left: The Springboard animations take far too long.

>It’s pretty cool the first time we see all of the icons fly in.

>But do we really need to sit through that every time we unlock the phone or leave an app?

>These animations in iOS 7 feel like its designers are showing off their cool new abilities, and we’re just along for the ride.

>After sitting through all of these, day after day, it’s no longer impressive — it just feels needlessly, artificially slow.

(Summary from http://textteaser.com/)

Wow, that really is the entire meat of the post.

This is a UI/UX pet peeve of mine. For things that people do a lot in your software, I think that extended animations are counter productive, because users quickly get used to and irritated by them, since they get in the way of what they're trying to do.

Personally, I like to only use animations for things that don't happen very often at all, they help make those particular experiences more memorable.

Or, when you can use those animations to cover up a time-consuming but not resource heavy operation (waiting for network response, gathering entropy, loading from disk). But even then, the animation should try to explain why you're waiting, not just make you think "the programmer is just making me wait while they show off their stupid animation - again…" (A trick which Microsoft got _so_ wrong with their flying-folders and barber-pole progress bar animations…)

Since you can't predict how often a user sees something (it could be someone else using your phone), it's better just to avoid blocking animations altogether. Let the animations be non-blocking. If you wanna go slow, things are unchanged. If you wanna go fast, no one is artificially stopping you.

I completely agree, and I'd also like to add my frustration at the "space switching" animations in OS X. Spaces seem like a really great idea/productivity-paradigm, and I'd love to take advantage of them, were it not for the irritating ~1/2 second delay in switching. I'm so used to Cmd-Tab being instantaneous that this grates beyond acceptability.

While I'm here, I might as well call out my primary OS X UX bugbear (in the hopes that some wise soul has found a solution for it). If I hold Cmd, press Tab a couple of times, keep Cmd held down, and mouseover the icon box, the active icon "jumps" to the icon under the pointer. This can lead to the counter-intuitive experience of "Hold Cmd, press Tab, realise you want to stay on the same program, press shift-tab, release Cmd" NOT being a no-op. Equally, I'll sometimes start moving the mouse to the right position on the screen before, or while, pressing Cmd-Tab - if the mouse path intersects the icon box, I end up on the wrong program. Anyone know how to disable this?

> realise you want to stay on the same program

You can hit escape regardless of where you are in the switcher

I have the feeling this won't change. The fullscreen and space switch animation in OS X is still the same slow speed as ever and people have been complaining ever since the feature landed.

I was worried about this in the first seed, but they've gotten much faster -- no longer bothers me and I quite like the transitions. I've been living with iOS 7 on my phone for a while now, and have less critical feelings than Marco. Granted it's subjective, but overall it's been solid for me and whenever I interact with an iOS 6 device, the older OS feels ancient.

There's a package that can accelerate all the iOS animations if you've jailbroken your phone. It's quite a nicer experience and for me another reminder of why it's important to have a libre phone in the future.

I run a jailbroken iOS 6 phone, and have all my animations set to 2x speed. It's easy to forget how much faster that is until I use someone else's device (it's everything--home button, unlock, etc).

Hopefully there's an iOS7 Jailbreak to fix the icons and animations.

Reports claim it's buggy as anything, so I'm sure they'll have an easy time of finding an exploit.

iPhone 4 user here. I am repeatedly finding that the lag to view the multitasking leads to me double tapping the home button for a second time resulting in the assistive touch button appearing on the screen. Annoying.

Here it is if people are looking for it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlNmq3vrGwY

I think the Animation timing has to do with the Apps being Ready. I.e While it is taking 0.5Sec of Animation switching, in that 0.5Sec it is trying to get the Apps Ready as if it was fully loaded. So user assume it really is Multi Task, When as a matter of fact it is resumed from a Pause State.

While this may not have worked, ( iPhone 5 still has a lag after the animation ), may be iPhone 5S could manage to do without the lag.

I'd cut it by 30% at the very least. The animation time has been my largest complaint since beta 1

This is the same thing that bugged me when using Windows instead of MacOS.

On MacOS menus appeared instantly and faded out when you've made a selection.

On Windows the menus faded in and disappeared instantly.

Didn't take me long to find the option to turn it off, but it was quite annoying.

I think some people find the issue exists on both OSes. In fact The Verge did a report on this and found that going to classic mode on Windows removes all the unnecessary animations the best (paraphrased).

Also works on Win8 and Metro apps. Disabling animations removes the fly-in and makes the system feel snappier. I doubt it makes much difference, but it's nice to have the option.

Personally my biggest peeve with iOS 7 is its status bar overlapping the main screen/view instead of pushing it down 20px.

It has created a lot of work for me to put things back where they belong.

Animations are hardly the worst thing about iOS7. After playing with betas for several weeks on an iPad 2, I, for one, have developed a cordial dislike for our iOS7 overlord. I've been trying to figure out why it feels so bad, and this is my pet theory:

In "Thinking, Fast and Slow", Daniel Kahneman talks of the two modes of thinking as System 1 (automatic, fast, involuntary cognitive processes like face/pattern recognition) and System 2 (conscious, attention-requiring processes like multiplication).

"System 1 runs automatically and System 2 is normally in a comfortable low-effort mode, in which only a fraction of its capacity is engaged. System 1 continuously generates suggestions for System 2: impressions, intuitions, intentions and feelings. If endorsed by System 2, impressions and intuitions turn into beliefs, and impulses turn into voluntary actions. When all goes smoothly, which is most of the time, System 2 adopts the suggestions of System 1 with little or no modification...

When System 1 runs into difficulty, it calls on System 2 to support more detailed and specific processing..."

A good principle of usability is to keep both systems humming in the manner described above, reducing "page faults" into System 2 to the minimum.

The realism and skeuomorphism of old Apple design (reaching godawfully kitschy heights in leather-stitching and reel-to-reel tape) with the 3-D buttons and shadows had this in their favour: they made it very easy for System 1 to parse the landscape. Navigating an Apple UI felt smooth and intuitive; never effortful.

But now, struggling through the anorexic fog of iOS7, I guess they've thrown the baby of usability out with the bathwater of realism. System 1 is often forced to fault into System 2 to make sense of patches of stark, undifferentiated space, a mess of thin fonts, single-pixel-wide, poor-contrast UI elements. The more attention you have to divert into basic navigation, the less you have to focus on the content. Most system apps (Notes, Mail, Calendar...) suffer from these issues. Plus the eye-wateringly terrible icons and saturated colors (seriously, who came up with the Safari and Game Center icons?) and poor readability of app names. Change the background image from the default of Dark Nebula to one with sand and the readability gets much worse. I waited to see if it was one of those things which you get used to, but no luck.

Not everything's bad: the layering effects, blur, control and notification panels sliding in from top and bottom are all great improvements from iOS6. But surely it's possible to create a UI which is navigable by System 1, which ruffles the minimum of aesthetic feathers with re kitschy realism? IMHO, Mountain Lion has done exactly that: Gradients, shadows and colors have acquired a quiet, subtle elegance which are a far cry from the days of lickable buttons.

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