The whole GUI-idea for the original Mac OS (the OS on the Lisa & 128k) came from Steve Jobs' visit to Xerox Parc. After seeing a graphical user interface in action and a mouse, he knew that this had to be adapted for the Macintosh project....
The first Mac OS icons were black & white, but with the evolution of Mac OS and eventually System 6 and System 7 in color, the icons became colorful 8-bit bitmapped icons which had a bevelled look and were very, very attractive. Compare the icons of Macintosh System 6/System 7 to the Equivalent Windows 3.11 of the time, and you will see the Mac OS and icons, and user interface on the Mac was much more attractive, as well as the use of Fonts like Chicago, Geneva, and Helvetica in the interface. Looked MUCH MUCH better than Windows in 1986-1996, even before Copland/Tempo (Mac OS 8) came out with the 3D-icon look.
Windows 95 was an attempt to brush up the Windows look and add a more 3D interface with better icons...but The Apple System 7.5 of the time still looked better. NeXT had been developing their NeXTStep/OpenSTEP with full photorealistic icons, and it was the OPENStep OS interface-look that eventually was adopted by Apple as the basis for the Mac UI under Rhapsody. Apple tweaked this and introduced a whole new look with more Mac-style icons when they introduced the Aqua interface for OS X at Macworld 2000.
You can see in my screenshots below, the Mac vs Windows look over the years, and the icons and UI...take a look at these screenshots:
Macintosh Sceenshot evolution:http://blogof.francescomugnai.com/20...derful-images/
System 7, 8, 9, Mac OS X Appearance (WinMac emulator):http://winmac.emuunlim.com/SSFrame.html
Mac OS X Evolution:http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/lof...hp/t26724.html
Windows Screenshot evolution:http://techzworld.blogspot.com/2010/...y-version.html
This is the original Mac OS X "Aqua" interface I was talking about, which was introduced in 2000: