Nov 30, 2010

So is it "Eks" like Racer X or "Ten" like Mac OS X?

So I recently upgraded to the brand-spankin’ shiny new version of Adobe Reader. Since it follows version 9 they decided, unlike iTunes but similar to Mac OS (apparently Apple can't pick one and stick with it), to call it Reader X.

I know Adobe revamps the entire UI every damn time they release a new version, but this time one aspect in particular struck me: the toolbar. Whether it actually is or not, it feels larger this time around (perhaps to address the continually increasing average desktop resolutions?) but that's not the problem. The problem is the icons themselves.

Screenshot clip of Adobe Reader X toolbar

Just looking at the toolbar everything is pretty much okay. There is a definite more-or-less style to them all and none of them stick out as being particularly out of place. It flows, they have a nice soft-gradient-y feel to them (in a CSS3 kind of way), and they are lighter than the previous release's dark theme.

Adobe Reader X toolbar icon comparisons

But their hover effects seem to be practically chosen at random. Some highlight, some dim, and some are outlined in a box. Worse, the “link buttons” on the far right for Comment and Share behave more like an Aero-style button (and not particularly impressive ones at that). So much for consistency.

What gives?

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