What if Apple had decided to stick with Mac OS 9, what would Mac users’ favorite apps have looked like? A designer has embarked on this crazy gamble, and the result is worth a look.
Prior to Mac OS X’s public debut in 2001, Mac users relied on its predecessor, Mac OS 9, whose graphical interface was nothing like the one they know today. This interface, which many would call old-fashioned, was very popular at the time and it even remained in place in the Classic environment of Mac OS X for years!
Back to the future
Graphic designer Michael Feeney had fun imagining what his favorite software would look like if Apple had kept Mac OS 9 and its famous interface. The project, called (Mac) OStalgia, required a lot of background work: Feeney used the SheepShaver emulator and created a library of interface components that he could thus reuse for the different applications to be recomposed.
Among the software passed through the mill of nostalgia, we can appreciate Spotify, Slack, Zoom, Figma, TextEdit or even Chrome. The result is impressive and very close to the allure of these applications if they had been released twenty years ago! Recall that Mac OS 9 was launched in 1999.
Better yet, budding designers nostalgic for Mac OS 9 can reproduce their software with the interface components that Michael Feeney graciously makes available to them. A sacred return to the future …