Sliders and Buttons, Oh My

Nice Little ArrowHerewith, a few of the user interface widgets that I’ve been tinkering with lately for a Behavior project; only sliders/scroll bars and buttons here, but I’ve recently turned out four or five entire interface comps that wouldn’t look particularly conspicuous alongside most any Aqua-friendly Mac OS X application. Well, that’s my humble opinion, anyway, because I’m still getting comfortable with working in this aesthetic.

Right: Click me! No, slide me! Widgets, Aqua style.
Aquafied Widgets

One thing I’m realizing is that, contrary to the normal progression of comps in which an interface might be drafted first in a vector program like Adobe Illustrator and then fleshed out in Adobe Photoshop, the ideal for production purposes is to complete the artwork in Illustrator. It’s so much easier to create sophisticated, gradient-intensive designs in Photoshop, of course, but when the interface is ultimately destined to be expressed in a Macromedia Flash movie, it makes sense to work with vectors. For one thing, it makes scaling the widgets so much easier, and for another, it significantly improves the speed of the Flash movie. This is kind of like a no-brainer that I should’ve have realized before, but it was so much less painful to do this work in pixels that I too conveniently ignored it. So, while I’ve more or less started to get the hang of working like this in Photoshop, I’m going to have to learn how to do it all over again with Illustrator.



  1. I particularly like the top slider in that pic – it’s leaping right off the page at me. I’d try sliding it with my fingers before I even thought to use the mouse.

  2. Very nice indeed! I agree with Virginia that the Top one is really great. One suggestion… I wonder how it would look if the “trough” in which the slider moved in would look more realistic if it were thinner? Like a fader on a mixing board? Just a thought… nice work! I too am curious about this project. Did the client ask for an aqua look?

  3. I’m surprised that the top slider has been received so well, because it seems, in some ways, to be rather goofy to me. But, looking at what I posted, it’s certainly not as standard-looking as the second, and not as cheesey as the third. Anyway, I can’t talk too much about the project right now, but with luck, it will go live early this spring. Thanks for the kind comments, everyone!

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