February: Old OS UI Elements Database
I've recently been exploring old operating systems through emulators I've found online. There's a ton of richness to them, and I have yet to be able to find a way to really process them and all the effort that went into how their interfaces were designed and constructed. They're also a fantastic resource for interface design; there are plenty of details that made certain OS iterations really stand out as the canonical button, for example. There's not a very good way to explore these UI elements outside of finding screenshots online, but these screenshots don't show everything and aren't taken to really showcase just how a button, checkbox, or scrollbar function and look.
I'd like to build a website that addresses this gap and serves as a neat place to go to find the standard input bars, tabs, windows, buttons, and so on included in old operating systems.
Of course, this doesn't sound simple. In fact it sounds like quite a bit of work, and the goal of this project is to produce simple things. As a result, I'll need to impose strong restrictions on the scope of the website and the content on it. Probably the best place to start is by choosing a constrained set of UI elements and operating system variations, then thinking about the most essential way of presenting each element / OS combination.
As I mentioned in my last post, another consideration I'll need to take into account is cost. One way to keep things under control is to produce some static websites, which can be hosted for free. This will be one of those websites, and I can add to it later and keep it running for a very long time without accruing further costs.
So, first steps are to establish the constraints to UI elements and operating systems, then sketch out the interface. I'll aim to have that done by next week. I'll have less time to dedicate to this project this month, so I'll need to really keep things on schedule this time.