Windows switcher or Mac virgin?

One of the effects of my being a consultant with Bob LeVitus Consulting is that I get a window into the habits of Mac users that most writers never see.

Today brought an interesting email from one of our clients:

Pat, I have made this mistake over and over. When visually looking at your iCal in monthly view, the appointments hug the left side of the date box and (it) is confusing as the date next to the text is the previous day. I can't begin to count the mistakes I had made by looking at appointment and seeing the date next to it (date is right justified). Is there some setting that can either move date to right or appointments to the left. It is visually wrong and quite unlike Apple.


When I take a look at my calendar, it is difficult to see the problem:
One of the effects of my being a consultant with Bob LeVitus Consulting is that I get a window into the habits of Mac users that most writers never see.

Today brought an interesting email from one of our clients:

Pat, I have made this mistake over and over. When visually looking at your iCal in monthly view, the appointments hug the left side of the date box and (it) is confusing as the date next to the text is the previous day. I can't begin to count the mistakes I had made by looking at appointment and seeing the date next to it (date is right justified). Is there some setting that can either move date to right or appointments to the left. It is visually wrong and quite unlike Apple.


When I take a look at my calendar, it is difficult to see the problem:



However, I just worked with James and I know how his iCal window looks:



In his view, it would be much easier to associate the list of events with the previous day. In mine, the date is right over the events for the day and the number is in its traditional place on a desk calendar.

While it might be possible for a programmer to tweak the iCal code, I do not see an easy solution.

Perhaps a look at the differences between the screen habits of Windows users and Mac users might be more helpful.

Let’s take a look at how James’ desktop probably appears…



Contrast that with my “normal” view:



Mine is certainly “busier,” but is it better? In my desktop, I can keep track of lots of different things. I can get to lots of information with one mouse click. I used my desktop as a fast application switcher.
It can be distracting. When I need to focus, I close a few windows. However, I seldom have only one window open.

Let’s look at the difference wide or narrow windows have in specific applications.

Safari filling the screen:



Safari at “regular” width:



In Safari a wide window adds white space. I think the wide columns are more difficult to read.

Mail message filling the screen:



Mail message at “normal” width:



That’s a lot of white space!

Mailbox wide:



Mail box at “normal” width:



Once again there is more white space, but is the window any easier to read?

There is no right or wrong way to view windows on your computer. Widening the windows gives you lots of white space.

You can view your screen however you want. But ask yourself, is making my window this wide – or narrow giving me the optimal view?

Habits like making a window fill the screen are hard to change. Windows users often want the active window to fill the screen. Mac users often want to be able to move quickly between tasks.

--Pat

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