So there's this usability issue on Mac OS X that I have been waiting for Apple to fix for YEARS now, and now that Lion is out and it still isn't fixed, I think it's high time I said something publicly.
Mac OS X menubar separators drive me nuts.
For those of you that don't know what I'm talking about, here are the little culprits:
They look all small and innocent, but their click area is actually pretty big, almost as big as a regular menu option row. So why do they annoy me so? Because clicking on these things makes the menu go away.
If you're on a Mac, you can try it yourself. Open up a menu and click on one; the menu will close.
"What's the harm?" you say? The harm comes from losing context as I try to use my computer. I'm trying to click on "Preferences..." for instance, and just happen to move my cursor a bit before I click and the menu disappears! Wha? I thought I clicked on "Preferences...", but nothing happened. Worse, I have to move my cursor aaall the way back up to the top of the screen, click on "Finder" again, then move it aaall the way back down to "Preferences..." and try it again.
This is stupid. There is no reason to dismiss the menu for mis-clicks like this. They can simply be ignored instead.
I made a quick video demonstrating this problem. You'll also see that if you click just above the top-most menu option (moving the cursor above the "About Finder" option so it isn't highlighted any more), the menu is not dismissed.
A similar thing happens when you click on disabled menu options. These are grayed out, indicating that they are unavailable currently. But a click on one of these options should also be ignored. In short, don't dismiss the menu unless a menu action is successfully invoked.
Observed most recently under Mac OS X 10.7.1 but I think OS X has always behaved this way.