inessential by Brent Simmons

Smart things

Smart lists of various kinds are not new to Tiger, but they’re ever more important.

Say you’re a developer and you’re adding a smart something to your app. So you take a look at what other apps do.

iTunes smart playlist creator

Mail smart mailbox creator

iTunes smart playlist creator

The Rules

Here’s what you the developer can conclude...

1. Smart list creators must appear in a separate modal window. Or in a sheet. Or not in a separate window at all.

2. They must have + and - minus buttons that are, well, consistently round.

3. They must use large popup menus. Or small ones (even if the other controls are large). Or they could use a custom popup menu control that looks really, really cool.

4. The background of the rules should be a dark gray. Or, no, they should be alternating colors: blue, then white. Or, no, they should be lighter blue then darker blue.

5. The box containing the rules should have rounded corners. Or not.

6. A smart list creator should have an OK button that saves it. Or it should have a Save button.

7. A smart list creator must give you a place to set its name. Or not.

8. A smart list creator should give you the option to choose between matching all or any of the criteria. Or not.

P.S. A really cool innovation would be a consistent user interface for smart thing creators.