Today is my birthday. I celebrated in the best way I could think of: I broke ground on vesper-mac.psd.
This isn’t quite true. The ground for this particular document was broken over a year and a half ago, in the early days of Vesper work. This document has been maintained to some degree all along. I like to check my design assumptions on other platforms sometimes; if an idea works well for iPhone but makes no sense on Mac it may still be a good idea, but I like to put myself through the process.
But today was different. The framework is there — windows, chrome, note lists, tags, stoplight buttons — but Yosemite feels like a whole new kind of OS X. Things that John described as my accent are now native UI, endorsed by Apple.
I’ve worked on Mac apps before. I was project lead on Kaleidoscope 2 for about a year. But I got into this business by doing iPhone apps, and Mac has never quite felt like home. In fact, a lot of our crazier (read: better) UI ideas for Kaleidoscope had to be thrown out because they were too quirky or required nonexistent APIs. Like that old vesper-mac.psd, many of those ideas would look at home on Yosemite.
There’s no precognition at play here. I’m not some visionary who saw exactly where the puck was headed. I just happen to have a very iOS-centric sensibility about design. A sensibility it seems Apple now shares. This feels like the OS X I would have made. As a designer, I feel overwhelmingly lucky right now.
I’m excited not because the work will be easy; Mac is still not my core strength, and this will likely be the hardest work I’ve ever done. I’m excited because for the first time, the three of us — Brent, John, and myself — are all speaking the same language on the Mac.
For the first time, it feels like this could be home. Happy birthday to me.