Safari 15 is “UI mess,” says Mac enthusiast

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Writer, iOS / Mac app translator, and Mac enthusiast Riccardo Mori recently expressed his thoughts on the next version of Apple’s proprietary web browser, Safari 15.

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Mori called Safari’s next iteration a “user interface mess,” explaining that the design team’s insistence on making a native macOS app like Safari look more like iOS and iPadOS has resulted in a design language that favors form over functionality.

In Safari 15, crucial UI elements like the “Refresh” button were hidden behind a context menu – a serious breach in Mori’s eyes.

“We’ve reduced visual complexity to stay focused on user content. Buttons and controls appear when you need them, and they disappear when you don’t need them, ”Alan Dye, Apple’s vice president of human interface, told WWDC 2020.

While it seems like this is what Apple was looking for with Safari 15, it didn’t work out so well. Instead of crucial buttons and controls appearing on their own when you need them, you should look for them in Safari 15 context menus.

Safari 15 also offers a facelift for the tab area, with the address bar and tab bar condensed into a single entity. The more tabs you open, the smaller the address bar, which prevents you from even seeing the full address of the webpage you’re on.

As the address bar shrinks, so do the tabs, soon reduced to their favicons. The new design essentially tries to give users more vertical space to view web pages by deducting the horizontal space used to display tabs and the address bar, which Mori said wasn’t even a ” problem of finding a solution “.

New tab groups make little or no sense to the average user, as the dozens of tabs they’ve opened can rarely be contextually organized into neat little sets beyond generic groupings like “Social” or “Work”.

Also, changing the color of the tab bar to match the accent color of the web page you are currently viewing is a completely unnecessary feature. Fortunately, this feature can be turned off manually.

“I sincerely hope that Safari’s new user interface can be neutralized by toggles in browser preferences,” Mori concluded. Safari 15 was announced alongside macOS 12 Monterey and is expected to launch in July.

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