Interface changes in Big Sur

Back when graphical interfaces were invented the individual elements had meaning. You could see that buttons were meant to be clicked because the shape was familiar.  Shadow was meant to show which window was in front of another window.

Since a few years a lot of meaning has been lost. We now have sort-of transparent windows. What benefit has the transparent window except making odd flickers? 

Differentiating between clickable and non-clickable objects becomes harder and harder with each version of macOS. Have a look at the screenshot from the AppStore. Can you guess what you can click and what you can NOT click?Apple Music

It's not possible to click on Categories. But each of the individual categories is clickable. Even the picture is clickable. In the past we used to have different mouse cursors to show what is clickable. Underlining the text would be possible to give it the look of an internet link. Or Apple could use blue for clickable text and black for non-clickable text. But I have to click each element to find out what will happen.

Important interface elements are hidden. Sorting emails by date in Mail now requires searching in the menus. 

Search by date in High Sierra:

Sorting by date in Mail High Sierra

The same area in Big Sur:Sorting by date missing in Big Sur

Big Sur has given us much more whitespace than we had before. Was the whitespace in Catalina a problem? 

Additional whitespace in Big Sur

I just know that the screen real-estate on my Air felt 25% smaller than with Catalina.

The toolbar icons now are much smaller and the most look similar. I had to remove half the icons in Mail because I had to go over the icons one by one to get the one I needed.

Full set of toolbar icons in Mail:

Full set of toolbar icons in Mail

Reduced set of toolbar icons in Mail:

Reduced set of toolbar icons in Mail

But the design is now "more modern" and "cleaner". What does this mean? What benefit do I have as user? Does this just mean that I'm getting older?

What does this mean for Mail Archiver?

Having a different interface also means that the existing interface of Mail Archiver looks "old-fashioned". It doesn't fit to the look in Big Sur anymore. Users don't like old-fashioned looks like this toolbar here:

Toolbar in Mail Archiver

Therefore, I have started to make new style icons. 

Toolbar new design

But there will be a setting to switch between the color icons and the outline icons. The size should be okay. I'm also going to make sure that the icons don't all look like uniform mush.