It seems you are comparing the consistency of the Apple menu system in
order to compliment the confusing complexity of Windows
(developer-driven) 'add ons' .
In order to solve the problem, you should address the the situation you
are dealing with, which is 'variable pathways' for 'different sets of
users', instead of resorting to comparing only what already exists.
IMHO, use icons on the modeless windows and send me a check for it.
> Message: 7 > Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 11:57:10 -0700 > From: Jay Zipursky <Jay.Zipursky at Creo.com> > Subject: [ID Discuss] Mac Menu Bar Design > To: <discuss at ixdg.org> > Message-ID: <BF754D96.18C87%Jay.Zipursky at creo.com> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="ISO-8859-1" > > Hi folks, > > I?d like to get some feedback on menu design for the Mac OS platform. > > We have a non-document centric, client application that enables a few > different types of tasks. There are a handful of modeless windows the > user > can open up that each has a different context of use. We are currently > struggling with the menu bar design for the application because of the > tension between the Apple Human Interface Guidelines and the different > contexts each window offers. > > The two extremes are: > > 1) Have a single menu bar with all menu items. Disable any items that > aren?t applicable to active window. This design is consistent with the > Apple HIGs but will most likely create a number of top-level menus > that are > specific to individual windows. > > 2) Have a menu bar that contains menus specific to the active window > only. > (This is closer to what you?d see in an MS Windows application.) > > Complicating factors (aka ?real life?): > > * Some menu items have a global context and should be available from > any > window. For example, the File menu will have global items. > * The ?best? place for some window-specific menu items might be in a > menu > like File or Edit. For solution #2, those would mysteriously > disappear when > you switched windows. > > We?ve toyed with replacing menu items with buttons in the windows, but > the > development team has frowned on that idea. > > I?ve struggled to find other MacOS applications that are similar to > this > application, but I haven?t seen anything yet. > > Comments or pointers to examples would be great. > > Thanks in advance, > Jay > -- > Kodak Graphic Communications Canada Company > Jay Zipursky | Tel: +01.604.451.2720 ext: 2204 > Team Leader, Usability | Cel: +01.604.418.2238 > Unified Workflow | Fax: +01.604.437.9891 > 3755 Willingdon Avenue | jay.zipursky at creo.com > Burnaby, BC V5G 3H3 > Canada