The folks at Panic Software have a wonderful story up that, although it’s long, is really worth the read. It brings back memories of that heady period when everything seemed like a mystery over the horizon, when we felt like we could do *anything*. It has the “startup” story, the references to stuff that Mac users from the period will certainly remember and may have already forgotten, and some great insights about design.
Audion, for Mac users of 1999-2001 or so, the MP3 player of choice. At least, among those of us who loved beautiful things on our desktops. It was Mac-like, through and through, with lovely attention to detail.
But when iTunes hit, it changed everything. As explained here:
iTunes was, of course, and I’ll say this now, brilliant. It single-handedly taught us an entirely new philosophy on software design. Do you really need that Preference that 1% of your users will use? Can you find a better way to design that interface than having each function in a separate window? Can you clean this up, even if it means it’s a little less flexible? iTunes blazed the trail for clean, efficient software design for a broad audience, a design philosophy we practice actively today. It was a way to take a complicated digital music collection, and make it easy. Sure, it was limited, but man was it easy.
I think we’re all still trying to learn this.