In the meantime, though, I find Yosemite lacking in polish, full of awkward decisions and unresolved tensions. Safari, in particular, seems to have trouble balancing theory—the idea that the same software on iOS and OS X should share a structurally similar user interface—with execution—its symmetrical arrangement of interface elements is not all that symmetrical in practice, and its buttons seem improvised and lacking in care. Yosemite’s icons are also surprisingly haphazard; Apple has established new paradigms for some icons, but aesthetically, there seem to be few stylistic threads connecting the rendering of these icons together. Take a look at those populating Yosemite’s Systems Preferences, where some of the renderings are reductive and others are highly detailed, and the only apparent commonality is randomness. If anything, a revised look and feel for the operating system was an opportunity to rethink the presentation of its preferences as a unified visual system, but this falls far short of that.

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