Passing off Windows software as Mac software

It amazes me that companies recompile their code to work on the Mac (either using cross platform GUI libraries or trying to make a Mac interface without basically ever using a Mac) and expect Mac users to not be offended when no real effort is put into making the app look like it belongs on a Mac. In one app I ran today they even used a screenshot of a Windows dialog in the dialog! As a die hard Mac user, I avoid software that is done this way as much as possible as it doesn’t instill confidence in me if they can’t provide a Mac user experience which really wouldn’t take all that much time. This is similar to my complaint about Palm applications in an article I wrote called “Common User Interface Mistakes. Some Real World Examples” published for the PalmSource Developer Conference, May 2003. In that article, I used screenshots to point out errors in user interface according to the Palm OS guidelines. One line that I really like from the article is:

If a developer didn’t care enough to spend an extra hour fixing the user interface and making it adhere to guidelines, did he or she cut corners when developing the application? This isn’t to say that an application with a good user interface operates better than one with a poor user interface or that a good application can’t have a poor user interface, but it may be indicative of the quality of the application.

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