John Gruber on Apple and whimsy:

The second aspect of the original Mac that stands out today as Apple-like is putting just enough whimsy into the experience. Most famously, the smiling Mac you saw as the system booted. Had anyone prior even considered a smiling computer? But fundamental to the genius of the smiling Mac is that it didn’t come across as silly or corny. Friendly and fun: yes. Goofy: no. Getting that right required that most Apple-y of talents: taste…

The radical visual overhaul of iOS 7, I think, was largely driven by a sense that iOS 6, with its skeuomorphic textures, had veered too far over the line, past merely fun and into the territory of silly. But there’s a strong case to be made that the course correction was too far in the opposite direction, and as a result, iOS 7 is perhaps the least whimsical — least fun — system that Apple has produced since 1984. More than any specific critiques regarding icons or button shapes and borders, it’s the depletion of whimsy in general that sits at the heart of the mixed reaction that greeted iOS 7.

January 31, 2014