I stumbled upon this site when browsing Stack Overflow and got interested. I started reading the top questions and at first was really excited, but halfway trough page three all I could think was "Seriously, do we really need to nitpick this much?" or in less harsh terms "Almost every choice only has a small majority over the opposite option, why go through the trouble of picking one or the other?".
n.b. I'm a web developer, not developing for a specific OS.
Windows and Apple use the opposite. So whatever you choose, you will always have a large group that has the opposite of their OS.
Some say they should be more like a sales/marketing guy would handle the situation, while others state the message should be short and descriptive.
Again, some say Apple has it right with the on/off button where "on" is blue, while others state it's unclear. Either way, a lot of users will like it or dislike it, no matter what you choose.
Apparently the right-aligned labels have a lighter cognitive workload on the users. I'm sure its correct, but do we really notice this that much? Isn't this a bit like car sickness? The first computer users might have issues with things like this, but the current generation has been looking at screens longer then they have seen daylight, so aren't they just used to it?
I believe that users can adapt to an interface quite easily these days because of the all the differences in many applications and websites. They are used to it. An Apple users wont be frustrated when the cancel button is on the right and a Windows users can understand an Apple toggle button just fine the second time he uses it.
Now I'm sure that some design choices could lead to people leaving your site quickly (The rotating cube), but can we rely on users to adapt to your site if you offer something of value and a reasonable interface? In other words: Isn't the content of the site still the reason why you have visitors/conversion?
If you say the answer is no: Seeing a lot of differences come from Windows/Apple user, would it be useful to detect/request the OS and show a website that is based on the OS? Or go as far as to allow users to change settings like "left/right align" or "long/short errors".
Update I know that the UX is very important when you develop something. But looking at the top voted answers, I can hardly imagine that these changes would have a positive/negative effect on revenue/vistors. E.G. Could changing a left/right aligned label really make a difference? I'm hoping for some experienced based answers that show minor changes could have big effect.