Reading through Microsoft’s 1995 Interface Guidelines is like unearthing a lost relic. The 381-page tome — for designers creating Windows apps — got me thinking about how much has changed, not only with Microsoft but with software overall. The guidelines are ahead of their time.
They’re concerned with helping the user get to grips with the OS, and there’s a focus on empathy and a hint Microsoft is starting to think about UX. That’s which isn’t something Windows 3.1 makes any effort to do. On first run, you’re thrown into this jumble: