Tuesday, February 7, 2023

From iTunes to Everywhere

Louie Mantia (via John Gruber):

As part of this same release, I also redrew iTunes controls, like the playback buttons, LCD, and volume slider. I suggested making the “stoplight” window controls vertical, to eliminate the titlebar since that entire toolbar was grabbable. (Not everyone loved it, but Panic adopted this style for Coda!)

One day during the development of this release, Steve requested to remove all the icons from the [iTunes] sidebar because it was getting too busy. My heart sank. Icons are my life. How were were going to navigate such a long list without icons that hint at the type of list item? In a last-ditch effort to save icons in the sidebar, I created shaded monochrome icons for the source list, and Steve approved them. This style of icon inadvertently became the de facto style of sidebar icons on a system level for the next decade.

A book could probably be written about the influence of iTunes on the design of Mac apps from Apple and third-party developers.


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