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Beginning Mac OS® X Programming by Drew McCormack, Michael Trent

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1.5. Apple Human Interface Guidelines

All Mac OS X programs share a specific look and feel that makes them instantly recognizable as Mac OS X programs. This creates the illusion that all the applications on your system were designed to work together—even though your applications may have been designed by different people, all with different interests. Once you learn how to use one application, you have a pretty good idea of how to use all applications.

Apple provides a document, called the Apple Human Interface Guidelines, that spells out how Mac OS X applications should look and behave. Applications written against one of Mac OS X's application frameworks start with a bit of an advantage: all the user interface elements provided by these frameworks meet the specifications in the Apple Human Interface Guidelines. All the controls in Figure 1-7 are drawn using the Cocoa application framework; notice that they all look like Mac OS X controls.

Figure 1.7. Figure 1-7

Unfortunately, simply using the right controls isn't enough to make an Aqua-compliant interface. A large part of user interface design is in collecting and organizing controls so they make sense. The Apple Human Interface Guidelines provide metrics for how far apart related controls and groups of controls should be and where certain kinds of controls should go. The Aqua guidelines specify specific fonts and font sizes ...

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