14065 Views Previous 1 2 Next 23 Replies Latest reply: Jan 20, 2009 12:25 PM by Sunshineeangel Go to original post
I don't think this has anything to do with PCs vs. Mac, it has to do with usability, preferences, logic and tradition. In western culture, we read LEFT TO RIGHT! Something ordered alphabetically from right to left (if you sort by name on the desktop) is counterintuitive to the majority of users.
When you open finder, does it ever sort from right to left? No. Are the icons stuck to the right side of the window? No. So why does the desktop behave that way, without giving you the option to change it? Bad usability design. Of all the complaints I have heard about PCs no one has ever said, "I wish the desktop would sort from the right." Maybe it does have to with Macs vs. PCs only in this case Macs are trying to be different just for the sake of it. Sounds like some 15-year-olds I know...
And no, there is absolutely no way to sort the desktop from the left by default. Unless you open your desktop in Finder.
When you open finder, does it ever sort from right to left? No. Are the icons >stuck to the right side of the window? No. So why does the desktop behave that >way, without giving you the option to change it? Bad usability design.
Maybe, maybe not. Since the Apple menu is on the left, as are most program menus, it stands to reason you will be working on the left side of the screen rather frequently.
Ever tried to click a menu item and miss, do try to quickly click again, (but the menu has disappeared), so you end up clicking an icon right underneath the menu, and now that file/program is opening...(please wait while the CPU finishes opening so you can immediately quit the program you have accidentally opened )
so if desktop icons are on the right, the area under the menus is blank...a missed or spurious click in that area doesn't affect anything.
So yea, there is some logic behind trying to keep icons away from frequently used areas of the screen.
But thats just my subjective opinion. I could be wrong
Consistency and familiarity. When Apple introduced the Desktop paradigm (1983 w/Lisa), years before microsloth developed windows, Apple decided on putting disk icons of mounted volumes starting in the upper, right-hand corner with the boot volume and subsequent ones below in echelon order. Apple has consistently followed that human interface selection ever since. To preclude confusion, that's the default. Whether there should be a way to modify that, is open for discussion. Why did they choose that? I don't know, but AJ's explanation is as good as any other. For more details, see http://developer.apple.com/documentation/userexperience/Conceptual/AppleHIGuidel ines/XHIGIntro/chapter1_section_1.html#//appleref/doc/uid/TP30000894-TP6
BTW, the Desktop is a Finder window, complete with the menu bar, and it's not movable. Opening the Desktop folder in icon view doesn't display the mounted volumes nor does it mimic the placement that is displayed on the Desktop. That was a pre-OS X capability.
Here is the info I think you were looking for:
_**Aligning, labeling, and resizing icons**_
You can modify the size, labeling, and alignment of icons in Finder windows or on the desktop.
To modify icons:
1. For the desktop, click the background area of your screen.
2. Choose View > Show View Options and make your choices.
3. Each of the views—icon, list, column, or Cover Flow—has its own view options.
4. Try adjusting the sliders and clicking the options. The icons change as you make choices, so you can immediately see the effect of your changes.
I think you have it on “Arrange by NAME”, if you change it to none, you can place it where ever you want and it will stay there, even when you reboot.
To make your changes apply to every window you open, click “Use as Defaults.”
This option does not appear if you’re adjusting icons for the desktop.
Hope that helps!