There was some exciting Pro App news from Apple this week: after almost 3 years, Logic Pro has been updated to version 8. Among the feature updates in this version is what Apple calls a “Next Generation Interface”. This is a welcome update, as ever since Logic was acquired by Apple back in 2002, its interface was never updated to match the slick polish of the rest of Apple’s Pro Apps. The biggest change in the new interface is that its formerly jumbled series of floating windows have now been combined into a single window separated into panels. Each panel allows you to interact with your media in a different way, whether it’s browsing, editing, or composing. Sounds familiar, right? Check out these screenshots:
Logic Pro 8
Logic’s new interface looks like it was crafted by the same UI artists that created Aperture’s look and feel. The two applications feel like brothers: from the very concept of a paneled, single-window workspace, to the visual execution of that concept with rounded edged panels, flat grey colors, and a subtle 3D feel to the tabs and buttons. They even share some of the same toolbar icons. This is in contrast to Final Cut Studio’s applications, which have a different look to them, but still feel like they belong together in their own family.
I think it’s worth thinking about how Aperture’s UI affects the experience of working with your photos. For me, an admitted design aesthete, one of the reasons I like Apple hardware and software is the pleasure I get from both looking at and interacting with my Macs. And I appreciate the thoughtful craftsmanship put into Aperture’s UI just as much I enjoy the industrial design touches of my MacBook Pro. From a usability standpoint, Aperture does what I need and it “gets the job done”. But there’s more to it than that: the actual experience of working in Aperture is also a big part of why I enjoy the application so much.
We now know that Aperture’s interface has influenced other applications coming from Apple. It will be exciting to see how Aperture matures and whether future Pro App revisions will borrow from Aperture’s look and feel.
Time to go experiment in Logic…