(mac)OStalgia

(mac)OStalgia

(mac)OStalgia

(mac)OStalgia

UI / UX
Graphic Design
Nostalgia

UI / UX
Graphic Design
Nostalgia

UI / UX
Graphic Design
Nostalgia

UI / UX
Graphic Design
Nostalgia

UI / UX
Graphic Design
Nostalgia

COVID-19 has taken the world by surprise in early 2020 and has definitely shaken the world in ways that we all could have never imagined before. The repercussions of the pandemic on our society will most likely be felt for decades to come. Pre-covid, some companies, startups, studios, etc. already started allowing their staff to work from home from time to time. Though, post-covid, it has become the new normal for many. If working from home was once a luxury, it has now become a crucial part of putting an end to a pandemic.

(mac)OStalgia is exploring my 2021 work-from-home routine from a nostalgic perspective. How would have the same workflow looked like with the tools of today and the limitations of yesterday. Unreliable internet, little disk storage, macOS 9 and much more.  

First things first:
Mac OS 9 components

First things first:
Mac OS 9 components


To help me understand how modern applications would have looked liked in the Mac OS 9 era, I had to start analysing the OS in greater detail. After all, the last time I had used Mac OS 9, the word hipster had not even been reappropriated yet. The Mac OS 9 emulator SheepShaver has been of great help to help me analyse Mac OS 9 in its greatest details.

I then started creating a Library of Mac OS 9 components that I reused throughout my project. The Mac OS 9: UI Kit is available to the whole Figma community. Feel free to use it for your own personal projects as well.

figma-library

Before & after
Slideshow

Click through the slideshow to see the same applications in the macOS 11 environment followed by their Mac OS 9 treatment. The complete Mac OS 9 prototype video can be found below.

The ABC of Mac OS 9

The ABC of Mac OS 9

A

Internet ready


Mac OS 9 shipped with internet support out of the box: Internet Explorer, Email client and much more made the OS the perfect companion to start browsing the web.

B

Voice Assistant


Mac OS 9 sort of offered some voice assistance even back in 1999. It offered text-to-speech to make it easier for people with disabilities to use their computer.

C

C

Sherlock 2.0


Sherlock 2.0 was the in-built Apple tool that allowed people to search the content or their computer and the web. It is the direct ancestor of the more modern Spotlight.

Now, showtime. 
2021 meets Mac OS 9

What stood out in UI/UX practices

Even though Design and UI trends definitely changed a lot in the past 20 years, applications still behave and look (somehow, aesthetic aside) very similar. After all, it is indeed difficult to replace well installed behaviour such as visual feedback on hover, scroll for more content, double click to launch application, etc. Basically, because our Operating Systems still behave in a similar way, so did the UI and the UX of many of our apps.

One area where both UI and UX improved dramatically as part of the operating systems is on the accessibility front. The apparition (and improvement) of a full-fletched Voice Control, integrated screen readers, dark mode, etc. is definitely what stood out the most looking back at Mac OS 9.

out-of-space-message

A lot (and not much) has changed 

The internet was an absolute pain 20 years ago with 56 kbps connections and hard drives offered very little storage. 20 years later, now that our internet connections can reach the 1 gbps speeds and our hard-drives can store terabytes of data, our internet can still be sucky and we still run out of space. As technology evolved, so did our thirst for getting the best image quality possible on a video call and our desire to store all of our family memories in 4K and High Definition.

Or simply put, as technology improved and adapted to our needs, our tech frustrations moved from 1.0 to 2.0.



Credits

Music:
Husi Rass 
iMac G3 Render: Adam0_TS
All copyrights of the original designs belong to Apple, Spotify, Zoom, Slack, Google Chrome and Figma