Should Apple have used Cover Flow in iPhoto '08?
TUAW reader o!ivier has posted a mockup to his Flickr account of how he believes the iPhoto '08 Events UI should have been designed. Seeing it as a more natural evolution of what Apple is doing with Mac OS X and their apps (iTunes, Finder in Leopard, etc.), o!ivier believes Apple should have built in Cover Flow for browsing events instead of the new 'skimming' UI, where users run their mouse over resizable thumbnails to see all the photos contained in the event scroll by. Instead, this Cover Flow mockup proposes the idea of scrolling left and right through Events just like you scroll through albums in iTunes. Clicking an event produces thumbnails of all the images laid out in the area below, which can then be resized independently from the Cover Flow area.
I rarely prefer design mockups like this over what Apple produces, but I have to admit: I think Apple dropped the ball here. O!ivier's mockup looks far more useful, as you can browse through Events and view resizable thumbnails of all the photos they contain without leaving the Events UI. Don't get me wrong, skimming is cute, but Cover Flow + iPhoto looks like it would look just as slick but provide a far more useful working environment.
Who knows - Maybe Apple just wants to wait for users to get used to Cover Flow in Leopard's Finder. After all, they need to give us at least a few reasons to upgrade to iLife '09, right?
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