Apple designers reportedly divided over use of skeuomorphic UIs

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  • Reply 41 of 122
    Let me guess: nearly everyone here who is crying for straightforward non-skeumorphic designs probably thinks Google's UI is fantastic, right?

    I'll take Apple's version any day. Techno snobs may hate it, but they're the minority.
  • Reply 42 of 122
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    For once I agree with most of the posters on MR. Apple needs to get rid of this patronizing crap. Game Center is the worst, but the new podcast app isn't far beind. Just because Steve Jobs was a fan of it doesn't make it good design. And I doubt Ive & team create minimalist hardware to show off crap like Game Center.
  • Reply 43 of 122


  • Reply 44 of 122
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    bobborries wrote: »
    Note.png
    That doesn't irk me. The pin doesn't bother me. It's cute and fun and I guess ... Logical? But then again, I never did use post its on my screen, anyway. I stick them to my monitor :-(
  • Reply 45 of 122


    " If a completely new system is developed, much like the iPhone's simple yet intuitive Calendar app, designers are free to explore and invent new ways of presenting data."


     


    Funny, because I think the UI for the iPhone Calendar app is about as bad as it gets. The month overview is completely unusable thanks to the way it obscures all but 1-2 entries at the bottom.  Day view shows you a few hours of your day, so it's easy to miss an early or late item, leaving the hideous List view to be the most functional. Ugh. Sorry, not an issue of skeuomorphism - it turns out you can make things unusable whether there's stitched leather or not. ;)


     


    In fairness, at least you can change the time/length of entries now in the Day view without having to go into Edit mode, but trying to tap-hold and get a Delete / Cut / Copy menu doesn't work, and neither does swipe to delete since that changes days. It's all very inconsistent, which is sort of sad considering how much emphasis Apple used to put UI guidelines. And how about pinch to zoom that could let you zoom out from Day to an abbreviated Week and then Month and even Year? Tightening the height of the Month calendars rows so you can see more list items? There are just all kinds of things that really need attention. :/

  • Reply 46 of 122
    I definitely agree that the skeumorphism has gone too far. It's the main reason I've stuck with Snow Leopard and have not upgraded to Mountain Lion.
  • Reply 47 of 122
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    This one bothers me because I've heard and seen this for decades from coders that have absolutely no class or taste. Part of the product is the glitter. You wouldn't buy a new car without paint or with different color panels that were thrown on even though it wouldn't affect the performance. You don't want to eat a burger that looks like it was abused by the cooking staff instead of looking like the photo on the menu even though it wouldn't affect the flavour. The little things are important to a product which is why Apple has the most mindshare in every HW category they are in.

    The goal shouldn't be to fool you but to make something more usable because it's already familiar to you because of the item in the real world. There are much, much worse examples of this outside of Apple but Apple does appear to be pulling toward it more with Mac OS X.


    The problem is, first, most of it looks terrible (my opinion as a graphic designer). More importantly, it IS taking away from the functionality. These new designs take up way more space on the screen with useless elements - in many cases you have to mouse more, scroll more, click more, take extra steps, etc. I find this very ironic, as Jobs was so creative in the original Mac OS in establishing clean, beautiful fonts and page layouts, and software that was intuitively great. Elegance and functionality were the goals - what happened? Now it's cuteness, which is very close to tackiness (like the Game Center above). It's discouraging, not only because of the skeuomorphism, but the direction of Mac software in general - less choices, less usefullness for professional work.


     


    I hope the software designers listen to Jony Ive and not Scott Forstall. 

  • Reply 48 of 122
    Personally I prefer the clean look and few, if any, skeuomorphs. They look cluttered and cheap to me. The clean, industrial design, is best. Lets not dumb down the user interface to the level of politics.
  • Reply 49 of 122
    I love the skeumorphism. The detractors all seem to come from a perspective of design obsessiveness and asceticism. That works when you're trying to have the frame 'get out of the way' (e.g. Apple hardware, and Apple stores), but there is nothing else to get away from; the endpoint is the apps people!

    I agree with others who have said that the designs give the apps visual richness, familiarity, and individual identity. Also, as far as I can tell, the design elements take nothing away from the functionality, and more often, increase functionality by increasing familiarity.
  • Reply 50 of 122

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    For once I agree with most of the posters on MR. Apple needs to get rid of this patronizing crap. Game Center is the worst, but the new podcast app isn't far beind. Just because Steve Jobs was a fan of it doesn't make it good design. And I doubt Ive & team create minimalist hardware to show off crap like Game Center.


     


    Game Center is pretty bad as well - it's actually impossible to tell that the gold/yellow text sometimes functions as a button. Wha...!?!? Then again, some of the extreme contrast UI bits (look at Pixelmator, iPhoto, FCPX, etc.) with tiny text and tiny and sometimes cryptic icons also don't really make for great usability, or for that matter the new black and white icon themes for apps. Unless you happen to be color blind, color at times can actually make it easier to find what you're looking for. So it goes.


     


    Luckily it's almost all better than what you find on Windows (anything from the Explorer toolbar to Visual Studio icons and no-longer-Metro), so at least we have that! ;)

  • Reply 51 of 122
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bobborries View Post




     


    What a horrible font. Absolutely horrible.

  • Reply 52 of 122
    elroth wrote: »
    The problem is, first, most of it looks terrible (my opinion as a graphic designer). More importantly, it IS taking away from the functionality. These new designs take up way more space on the screen with useless elements - in many cases you have to mouse more, scroll more, click more, take extra steps, etc. I find this very ironic, as Jobs was so creative in the original Mac OS in establishing clean, beautiful fonts and page layouts, and software that was intuitively great. Elegance and functionality were the goals - what happened? Now it's cuteness, which is very close to tackiness (like the Game Center above). It's discouraging, not only because of the skeuomorphism, but the direction of Mac software in general - less choices, less usefullness for professional work.

    I hope the software designers listen to Jony Ive and not Scott Forstall. 

    And if something familiar in the real world can help someone understand how something might be used without any instruction thus adding significant utility that isn't a function? I asked a previous poster why thought the page turning effect in iBooks was useless. I'll ask you why you don't think it has a function?


    That isn't to say that there isn't plenty that I find to be overtop or useless (I find plenty and most examples stated have been ones I dislike) but I don't think its existence in and of itself means that it's useless or has to function. It clearly does serve a purpose even if that purpose is no longer being served in the popular examples against it.
  • Reply 53 of 122


    Originally Posted by elroth View Post

    What a horrible font. Absolutely horrible.


     


    That's Handwriting-Dakota. How's some Noteworthy instead?

  • Reply 54 of 122
    The leather bound stuff is atrocious. This is not an opinion, it's fact. 

    Here's a fact: you don't understand the difference between an opinion and a fact. Step away from the computer and come back after you have completed the sixth grade.
  • Reply 55 of 122
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PatchyThePirate View Post



    I love the skeumorphism. The detractors all seem to come from a perspective of design obsessiveness and asceticism. That works when you're trying to have the frame 'get out of the way' (e.g. Apple hardware, and Apple stores), but there is nothing else to get away from; the endpoint is the apps people!

    I agree with others who have said that the designs give the apps visual richness, familiarity, and individual identity. Also, as far as I can tell, the design elements take nothing away from the functionality, and more often, increase functionality by increasing familiarity.


    But they do take away from the functionality. They generally take up extra space, which means less visible information, and more mousing, more clicking, more scrolling, etc. Also, who knows what improvements in the functionality could be made if they didn't have to keep the wall calendar shape, or the leather stitching, etc? Compare the address book in Snow Leopard to that in Lion and ML - you get more information, more readable information, in a smaller window. Quicker and easier, more usable.


     


    I'm also reminded about my parents' old house - some crazed designer designed it with deep purple carpet, some purple flowered wallpaper, and other design fads of the moment (the 70s). When it came time to sell it in the late 80s, they had to really lower the price. Colors and design elements are individual choices - you please a lot more people by keeping it understated and simple, instead of overly colourful and garish.

  • Reply 56 of 122

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by elroth View Post


    I'm also reminded about my parents' old house - some crazed designer designed it with deep purple carpet, some purple flowered wallpaper, and other design fads of the moment (the 70s). When it came time to sell it in the late 80s, they had to really lower the price. Colors and design elements are individual choices - you please a lot more people by keeping it understated and simple, instead of overly colourful and garish.



    Really? You think that if you were walking around today with an iPod from 2001, whether its interface was skeumorphic or not would be the distinguishing characteristic of whether it was stylish?

  • Reply 57 of 122


    The problem with one-sided articles like these is that as mentioned by other respondents, to put it very simply, does not include the P.O.V. of end users. I'm pretty sure that Apple performs multiple usability studies aimed at the user needs and desires of the highest percentage of new and repeat customers.

  • Reply 58 of 122
    I thought Apple's belief was if it doesn't add anything don't use it. I mean they believe in one button on a mouse until they got rid of the button altogether. Now they just need to ditch the button on the iPhone, iTouch and iPad and get something better.

    I find the skeuomorphic interfaces cheesy, tacky and lacking in originality which is what I always felt Apple was about. I prefer clean lines and a clean UI, but some of their UI elements are sterile and cold so find a way to meet in the middle.

    This comment "iCal’s leather-stitching was literally based on a texture in his Gulfstream jet," the former designer said. "There was lots of internal email among UI designers at Apple saying this was just embarrassing, just terrible." just made me laugh. Really they took the stitching from the Gulfstream jet, could that someone get more arrogant, I think not.
  • Reply 59 of 122
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by derev View Post


    The problem with one-sided articles like these is that as mentioned by other respondents, to put it very simply, does not include the P.O.V. of end users. I'm pretty sure that Apple performs multiple usability studies aimed at the user needs and desires of the highest percentage of new and repeat customers.



    What? The day AI articles include POV of end uses is the day I stop reading them. And... usability and visual design are related but also entirely separate. They may perform usability studies but I doubt they ask what their testers feel about the color scheme, etc..

  • Reply 60 of 122
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    I understand what they're trying to say about skeuomorphism but for the love of god please don't ever go the direction Microsoft is now. Instead of images that suggest anything at all, Microsoft has replaced everything with colored squares. That makes it impossible to understand what anything does without stopping and reading text. Simply terrible. I'll take a "cute" interface over a grid of unidentifiable sameness any day.

    You mean, white envelope on blue square is not enough to symbolise "Mail", so you actually have to read text to understand what is that freakin' envelope trying to tell you?

    Huh... OK...
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