Opacity chaos

Flat design is all the rage now, and since that by itself is boring, it has been decided that it goes hand-in-hand with (blurred) translucence and gradients.

But all this blurriness needs to be done consistently, which sadly is not the case in OS X. For example, when icons are displayed in menus, opacity is all over the place.

Service menu: translucent icons Dark menu: Weird-looking translucent icons Dark menu: Icons with differing translucence

The dark menu style is not helping here; icons that are too dark in the light menu style are lighting up otherwise. Here’s the weird part: As soon as you hover a menu item, the icon looks normal. Why mess with the color levels of icons in the first place?
Menus aside from the standard Services submenu show a similar dissonance that looks more like a bug: As you can see in the screenshot of the Bookmarks menu, I’ve hovered over the Comics and Entertainment items, so now these icons have their normal colors, while all others look as if they’ve been over-exposed. However, this change in color is not permanent; sometimes, I open the menu and the colors of all icons are messed up again. That just takes all the fun out of blurred menus.

Dark menu: Jagged textNext, take a look at the text in dark-style menus. Doesn’t it look like some miscalibrated ClearType? Even worse, after opening/closing a submenu a couple of times, the text becomes more jagged-looking somehow.

Ironically, Apple was the first company to figure out how to properly display typography on a computer screen.

Translucence where it doesn’t belong

The selection in the profiles list in the Preferences window of Terminal is weird-looking as hell and that is because of superfluous translucence. It is questionable in general to make sidebars transparent (as seen in iTunes).

List: Unnecessary translucence

Inconsistent dark UI style

Notification center in dark style Notification center in light style

Is there a good reason that the Notification Center is dark no matter what UI style the user has chosen?
Why do only drop-down menus and the Dock obey the dark style setting but not pop-up menus (a.k.a. selection boxes) and contextual menus?
I just think the whole thing seems half-baked.