Apple OSX Calculator

Well, for my first blog, I decided I wanted to praise one of the most used tools on a computer, yet it has a super simple design interface. What I’m talking about is of course….THE CALCULATOR!.

To begin, let’s take a look at it’s interface.

OSX Calculator

OSX Calculator

On the top of the screen, we have a small output display, where whatever number the user selects is displayed on. This output box is also colored differently than the rest of the calculator, a design choice which makes this calculator my first choice when I need to do any kind of equation. By having the output box in a light yellow, the users eyes can easily see the calculations that they are currently working with. This is easily the best feature of this calculator, and like we discussed in class, this is a simple little design choice, that drastically improves the design of the calculator. If it had simply been white, or the same color as the rest of the calculator, the user wouldn’t be able to see it easily and would be constantly looking back at the calculator and spending a few seconds trying to find out what they just typed.

[This is similar to the Elevator example we talked about in class. With the elevator however, the non-button images of the door opening and door closing were colored, but the buttons were not, so peoples eyes naturally instructed them to press the colors, even though that was not the button.] The calculator however, is this color-design example, done right.

The calculator design is also very basic and simplified. It’s all gray design makes it easier to look at, but enough about colors, lets talk about design features. While one person may think that it lacks a lot of formulas and calculations, this is in fact in my opinion a terrific design feature. I recently for a math class last semester had to buy a TI89+ Calculator, and it was literally FULL of a billion different buttons on the calculator, and every time I’d use it, I’d have to spend quite a while looking for the exact button I needed. Versus with the OSX calculator, it has only the most common numbers and mathematical functions. The numbers 0-9 are all easily accessable, with 0 being the largest button because its the most commonly used number. And the Equals/Solution button is larger than every other button, making it much easier to press and use.

Overall, unless there’s a super rare event when I need some more complicated scientific mathematical function, I will always use this calculator before any other one, be it a digital one, or a handheld one, because of its very simplistic design and ease of use.   Yayyy Apple :p

-Josh Cohen


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