Tag Archives: mouse

Apple (Pro) Mouse — Minimally Minimal

Apple (Pro) Mouse — Minimally Minimal.


According to an interview by Cult of Mac with a former Apple ME, Abraham Farag, the Pro Mouse’s design was born unintentionally. During a design review, Steve Jobs was shown six different models of mice to evaluate. But Jobs was instead drawn to a seventh design, an unfinished model with the buttons yet to be built in. Jobs thought the buttonless design was brilliant, and the design team played along, pretending that it was their intention from the beginning. This unfinished design became the foundation of future Apple Mice.


Regardless of what you may think of the Apple Pro Mouse, I believe that there’s something admirable about its stubbornness. It’s like a masterful chef that’s owned a restaurant for decades and refuses to change their ways (Sukiyabashi Jiro comes to mind). If everyone was that stubborn, society wouldn’t function, but it’s these people with strong beliefs that help the rest of society ground their opinions. When so much of the world produces apologetic, impartial products, we need some stuff that pushes our notions forward. The mice that Apple made were just that.


The key to the Apple Pro Mouse’s beauty is in the layering of materials. The crystal clear shell incases a translucent graphite housing which hints at the inner workings of the mouse. Transparent housings were popular but in most cases, improperly done. Here, it’s done tastefully and these layers add depth and visual richness. It’s a work of art. This layering actually reminds me of marbles I had as a kid which I would hold up to the sun to examine their swirls of layered color. There was something incredible about these swirls, they were like encapsulated flames. The Apple Pro Mouse does something similar – in encapsulates technology.

The clear shell does a brilliant job of creating depth. At its thickest point, the wall thicknesses reach around .75cm. It’s rare to see a mass produced part that uses this much material and it’s no wonder the Pro Mouse looks so beautiful and truly unique.


And because the mouse is mostly transparent, it does a great job of blending into its environment. It’s a wondrous object when you examine it carefully but stays quiet when you don’t need its distraction.

It’s also fun to observe how the clear shell morphs its environment, bending the texture of whatever it sits on top of.


When Steve Jobs fell in love with the idea of a buttonless mouse, the solution the Apple engineers came up with was making the whole top housing a button. Instead of having switches mounted underneath a hinged button, it’s mounted underneath the entire top shell. It’s an elegant solution that allows the user to click anywhere they want.


It’s in natural lighting that the Apple Mouse really shines. The white nucleus looks like it’s being preserved in resin. Sort of reminds me of the Jurassic Park mosquito in amber. It’s helplessly futuristic, and comparisons with EVE from WALL-E are inevitable.


For most products, clarity becomes fogged up with doubt and lack of ambition. They have no opinion, are overly apologetic as they are designed to satisfy too many people. Steve Jobs didn’t believe in this approach. He made the zero button mouse a reality, and in tandem created the most simple, elegant operating system possible