Monday, June 10, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Bringing Back Color and Depth

Louie Mantia Jr.:

When I worked on iTunes 10, Steve requested to remove all icons from the source list (sidebar). I created shaded monochrome icons as a last-ditch effort to save them. The request to remove icons inadvertently shifted the sidebar icon style on a system level for the next decade.

In macOS 10.15, colored sidebar icons are back, thankfully, but only in the media apps (Music, News, Podcasts, Apple TV). The explanation given was that these apps have content that can stand up to colored icons, whereas apps like Finder and Mail do not. I don’t think this distinction makes a whole lot of sense.

Meanwhile, Safari continues to have colored favicons in its sidebar, but grouped under monochrome folder icons. And Xcode never stopped using color, and its folders are yellow instead of blue.

Bill Heyman:

Don’t worry, the pendulum will swing back soon. There’s a happy medium between ornate skeumorphism and minimal flat.

Louie Mantia Jr.:

“Don’t worry, the pendulum will swing back soon” is something I’ve verifiably heard for the last 6 years.

The only way we’ll get it back is if designers are brave enough to do it. It’s not going to happen on its own.

Previously: Music.app on macOS 10.15.

2 Comments

Piotr Tobolski

Xcode folders are blue, groups are yellow.

@Piotr I guess that was the original reason. But in recent versions of Xcode groups now behave like folders, and the opaque blue folders have always been rare, anyway.

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