Snippet: In Praise of Heart and Soul ☇

Shared on January 25, 2024

Nick Heer arguing for buttons that look like buttons:

A little thing I noticed when I was looking up great older Mac software is how much of my appreciation for it was driven by its feel. I put Coda on my list of all-time great Mac software because Panic worked hard to make it feel just right — just the way they had intended. When I look at screenshots of Aperture, I remember how its atmosphere of technical precision was still friendly.

There are plenty of reasons why that is, but I think a major one is their tactile quality. Everything which can be manipulated not only looks like it can, but invites you to do so. And there is no more foundational tactile interface element than a button.

The trend of minimalism under the guise of “focusing on your content” is one of the worst things to happen to user interfaces, although we’re seeing it in places outside of computers, too—car controls, home decor, graphic design. I hope the pendulum starts to swing back the other way (with thicker iPhones and the current MacBook Pros, Apple’s hardware at least seems to be).

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.