What does the button on the right do?

by Ken Porter

New Button in Leopard

I'll give you a hint. It is new in Mac OS X Leopard and it makes use of your picture files in a new way.


It's Mosaic mon....

Bruce Elgort, 2007-11-08

Mosaic screen saver that is....

Bruce Elgort, 2007-11-08

That didn't take too long!

I saw a demo of it, and couldn't find it on my machine after a brief search. So I assumed it didn't work on my iBook G4. Then I found the magic button above.

Ken Porter, 2007-11-08

Intuitively I would have said, the first button shows the pictures one by one, the second in a slide show and the third in a tabular overview. But that wouldn't have been new, of course. And I'm not a Mac guy either...

Ragnar Schierholz, 2007-11-08

Without reading the comments first and without having used Leopard yet (i.e. completely naïve): I assume it's there to adjust the new feature that allows to adjust the grid of displayed things.

Now I'll check the answers.

Philipp Sury, 2007-11-08

Here's an example on Youtube.

Ken Porter, 2007-11-08

I'm sure if it was an icon in Notes 8 it would have been criticised for being totally non-intuitive. ;)

Ben Rose, 2007-11-08

@Ben, I did so even though it's not a Notes icon... :-)

Ragnar Schierholz, 2007-11-08


You are right. The Mosaic icon is a bit weak and needs some re-work.

Bruce Elgort, 2007-11-08

@ Bruce:

Research on pictograms found in cars has shown that the cigarette lighter is the only pictogram that gets acceptable levels of correct intuitive identification. However, research on worksafety pictograms has also shown that previously naïve workers correctly identified way over 90% of pictograms after one month of work.

In other words, creating an intuitive pictogram/icon/button is very difficult, but people are fast learners. If you create something new, try to stick with the old pictograms. If you need to come up with some new ones, test them with your target audience first. However, results may be discouraging. ;-)

Philipp Sury, 2007-11-08

the interesting situation to come (probably in a few years time) is when people don't recognize the icons anymore, because they don't recognize what they are referring to: these days you often see a disk icon (or a paper file) representing the "save" action .... well, I assume that everyone here remembers all kinds of disks ... but like kids today may have a hard time imagining a world without mobile phones and Internet, there will be a time when people don't know what a disk is/was (or a paper file for that matter) ... and there are many more icons like this (- will we still have pencils in 10 years time?).

My point is: icons depend on (some) common knowledge and live inside of some (common) context. If that's missing or an icon is out of that context ... nice try.

... looks like Volker's example is ... a nice try.

Stefan Heinz, 2007-11-09

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