The History of the X Button

Twitter’s @drakfyre, host of YouTube’s Cooking with Unity, posted a link to an article I know a few of my fellow geeks here would be just as intrigued with as I was. Columnist Lauren Archer at medium.com went in search of the origins of the now ubiquitous X button used to close windows in GUI (Graphical User Interface) centric operating systems all over the computing world.

While I won’t ruin the story here, I will say that things really get interesting when Daniel Oran, creator of the Start button and Taskbar for Windows 95, jumps into the investigation with some very interesting insights and very old screenshots.

More than a lesson in UI anthropology, this article features a treasure trove of screens from the OSs of yesteryear. Except one. Allow me to rectify this grievous oversight with a brief screenshot. Ladies and gentlemen, Geos: the GUI OS for one of the greatest computer platforms of all time, the Commodore 64.

Alright, now get on over to medium and check out X to Close: The origins of the use of [x] in UI design.

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