Corey McCue, UX Designer
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Scenes saves you time by arranging your Mac automatically. Giving a presentation? Instead of closing all your apps individually and enabling Do Not Disturb, let Scenes arrange everything for you. 

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What’s the problem?

People use their Macs for many different things. Each of these use cases require that your Mac be set up differently. If you’re giving a presentation, you may want a certain set of apps open, and certain settings changed. If you’re working on financial work, you may want a different set of apps to be open. Constantly changing your Mac’s settings and opening/closing apps is time consuming and tedious.


How can it be solved?

Why can’t we automate these tasks? With connected home products, like wifi-connected light bulbs and locks, users can set specific “scenes”—complex, pre-defined configurations of all of their connected products which can be recalled with one tap. This concept could be applied to other products as well. If a user could create scenes on their Mac, they could automate the process of setting their Mac up for different tasks.



Scenes needed to be quick and lightweight. It needed to accommodate apps, settings, and desktop space arrangement.

The first iteration of Scenes explored the idea of trying to restrict all interaction into a right-click window from the app’s dock icon. This ultimately did not move forward—having that amount of interaction in such a small window was not an ideal experience.

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While the app is working, it’s important to provide the user with visual feedback. Scenes needed to include visual feedback of some kind.

Included in this visual feedback is messaging after Scenes has finished. This messaging tells the user which changes were made, and which were not. For example, if a particular Scene requires that an app be closed but that app has unsaved work, the app will remain open.


Using Scenes

Scenes allows the user to set custom configurations of their Mac. If the user likes their Mac set up a certain way for different activities, they can create a scene to set their Mac up for that activity.


In the Scenes app, users can edit their scenes or create new ones. Apps can set to full screen mode and rearranged, and settings can be enabled. For a presentation, a user might want Do Not Disturb enabled, Messages and Mail closed, and Keynote or PowerPoint opened.

Scenes can do all of that for the user with one click.


A scene can be quickly selected by right clicking on the Scenes dock icon.


Visual Feedback

After selecting a Scene, the user is given visual feedback that lets them know Scenes is working.


Once Scenes is finished making changes, the user is given a confirmation that explains which changes were made, and which weren't. 


Does this solve the problem?

People use their Macs for many different things. Manually opening/closing apps and adjusting settings is tedious and time consuming. Scenes solves this problem by giving users the ability to define configurations of their Mac for different tasks. These scenes are only a click away. Automating the setup of their Mac for different tasks will save the user time, and allow them to get more done.