Update: Well, that was fast. The ‘double update’ thing is now gone, and I’m no longer given the OS X Mountain Lion download ‘option’. Looks like a glitch has been squished and an engineer cuffed around the ear.

Despite a half-hour swearing at Mail for refusing to update my email database until it randomly had a change of heart, my Mountain Lion upgrade appears to have gone smoothly (although I did of course make two clones prior to doing so), somehow avoiding what Mr Matt Gemmell has referred to as the Grannell Tech Halo of Doom, given my usual upgrades from hell. The reason I upgraded, truth be told, is I had to, because one of the magazines I regularly contribute to, MacFormat, is switching all its grabs to Mountain Lion next issue.

Generally, I don’t like to upgrade OS X prior to a point upgrade being made, but Mountain Lion’s so far been reasonable. GarageBand seems to have continued its gradual decline, now running even slower than under Lion (if that’s possible) and with more playback glitches. Elsewhere, though, I’ve witnessed few app crashes, but also witnessed few reasons why I’d have upgraded given the chance. I think about the only new feature I’ve used so far is Calendar’s mini-calendars (back after vanishing in Lion), and I’ve had to do some minor surgery to remove the Calendar page rip and also stop iCloud-enabled apps defaulting to iCloud every single time they access a Save dialog. (I could hug Mac OS X Hints for the Terminal command for achieving this.)

Today, though, OS X 10.8.1 arrived, and so I dutifully went to the Mac App Store, which has now taken over from Software Update and saw this:

OS X update

Without thinking, I clicked Download on OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1 and noted it had started to download the full installer. Given that the aforementioned Mr Gemmell had earlier today noted the svelte nature of the update, I was a little taken aback by this. On further investigation, I discovered the updater was hidden inside the collapsible Software Update entry at the top (although the OS X 10.8.1 listing only appeared after I restarted the Mac App Store app—prior to that, it was just voice updates).

This strikes me as an odd piece of user experience design. One option is right in your face and the other can be hidden. How many relatively novice OS X users are going to by mistake download the full installer rather than the updater? (And, for that matter, how many pro users? Judging by my Twitter feed, it appears I’m not the only one who nearly did this.) For some people, that will also eat into bandwidth caps, due to what’s primarily an interface issue—not putting the most important thing (the update) front and centre over the thing of lesser importance (downloading the entire OS X installer again).

I hope this is teething problems and will be addressed, because to my mind it’s a really poor piece of design. Oh, and if you made the same mistake I did, you can cancel—rather than pause—a Mac App Store download by holding Option and clicking the Cancel button (which is what Pause then turns into—another piece of hidden but essential UI).