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UI Theater: iTunes 9 Edition

Until recently, I had only used the word "revolting" in jest.

Until recently, I had only used the word "revolting" in jest.

In case you couldn’t tell, I love grayscale. I love grayscale so much I want to have sex in grayscale, like in that A Ha video. I have the little window widgets in OS X set to grayscale. I hacked OS X so that the startup progress bar is in grayscale. Until yesterday, I wouldn’t have believed there was such a thing as too much grayscale. Then I downloaded iTunes 9. (By way of a PSA, if you try to update to iPhone OS 3.1 before installing iTunes 9, it will fucking brick your iPhone, requiring you to reformat, during which process you have no working cell phone. Awesome.)

You know how when you vomit, you can tell what you ate originally, but the vomit is always a subtly different color? iTunes 9 looks like someone ate a bunch of #2 pencil lead and then vomited all over the old iTunes interface. The text is in two different shades of gray. Every widget in the entire application has its own individual grayscale gradient, most of which don’t match – plus a second grayscale gradient for when it’s a background application. Every time I glance at that side of the screen, my eyes get drawn into an infinite loop of grayscale gradients. It’s literally nauseating.

Anyway, without further ado, a very special edition of… UI Theater:

Apple iTunes Team Meeting, Mid-2009

Manager: OK, team, it’s time to gear up. Let’s brainstorm some features for iTunes 9.
Programmer 1: Faster Genius playlist generation?
Manager: Very good! One of our biggest complaints.
Programmer 2: What about better iPhone integration? App management and upgrades on the desktop.
Manager: Yes, I like it.
Programmer 3: How about we finally bring a wishlist into the Store?
Manager: Of course, top priority.
Programmer 2: Special features in movie rentals?
Manager: Fine, fine, but come on, people, this isn’t a point release! We need something huge! We need… grayscale.
Programmer 3: Grayscale?
Manager: Yes! Solid colors in a GUI are going to go the way of the dinosaurs, and we can be on the cutting edge! Attention-grabbing visual patterns everywhere in the interface!
Programmer 1: Won’t that just make it really hard to, you know, use?
Manager: Come on, that isn’t the Apple spirit! What do we always say?
Programmers: [In unison] Function follows form.
Manager: That’s right! Now get out there and gradient it up!

And… scene.

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