There’s a conservative/liberal sort of fork in UI design, in the sense of traditional/non-traditional. The conservatives see non-standard custom UI elements as wrong. Liberals see an app built using nothing other than standard system UI elements as boring, old-fashioned, stodgy.
“This is non-standard” criticisms will thus generate one of two responses. “Agreed, that’s wrong” say the conservatives. “So what?” say the liberals.
“This isn’t good design” criticisms, however, if accurate, are the sort of thing most designers ought to agree with, regardless of their position on the conservative/liberal UI design spectrum. The problem is that once you see that a certain piece of UI criticism is coming from someone at a distant position from yours on the conservative/liberal design spectrum, there’s a natural tendency to close your mind and discount everything they say.
via Daring Fireball – Uniformity vs. Individuality in Mac UI Design. I’m in the fence about this, certain elements should retain their conformity for ease of use by users. Order of of the maximize, minimize and close buttons on Mac applications is a good one that if changed defeats a lot of muscle memory and thus issues for end users, or system wide shortcuts. That being said applications should have the ability to change their design if it works.