Apple designers reportedly divided over use of skeuomorphic UIs



  • Reply 81 of 122
    i don't want all my apps to look like the iOS default UI. I like the realism in the applications, and I can't think of an example where it has hampered me. In fact, I hope it doesn't go one note. I think that would be the true regression. Apple's iOS devices are already so boring that making all the apps plain jane would just kill me inside to own an apple device. As it stands now, I have most of my apps deleted from lack of use. The only thing I REALLY want is the ability to hide the dumb apps that are built in that I will NEVER use.

    stocks. news stand. DIE!
  • Reply 82 of 122
    I like the tangibility in the design. Personally I'm glad to be past the greyish squares that once pervaded my computing experience. Anachronisms (photo shutter sound) and tangibility (leather,wood) aid accessibility to a broader audience.
    I mostly like iCal on iPad; IMO it's the iPad Music app thats really a tragic mistake.
  • Reply 83 of 122

    I put those dumb apps I can't delete in a folder and stick im on the last page!

  • Reply 84 of 122

    The iPhone podcast app that uses a reel-to-reel tape recorder is truly appalling.  As an interface, it does't work, as they seem to have concentrated on fitting in tape reels rather than making the controls easy to use.  I could live with the interface if the app itself was any good, but it isn't.  It is buggy and just doesn't work properly.


    What inspired them to use a reel-to-reel recorder, something that people under about 30 may only have seen in old movies or a museum?


    What will they do next?  Turn iTunes into a record player?

  • Reply 85 of 122

    Skeu 'em all. The only way Apple can satisfy everyone is by allowing for themes and skinning! Do it Apple. Let us go for everything between minimalistic (the 'Ive' mode) and everything-is-skeud (the 'Forestall' mode). And while we are at it, please let us be able to root our iPhones (the 'Android' mode) without voiding our warranty. And make Cydia a part of the App Store.


    (/s  in case it isn't too obvious).

  • Reply 86 of 122


    Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

    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...

    No see you're talking about an icon, icons are great! They allow the super fast image recognition parts of our brain to help us more quickly locate things! Metro on the other hand tends to leave them out, or make such a poor attempt at minimalism (when really they're just not designing, there's just a lack of design at all) they end up with this:


  • Reply 87 of 122

    Thank goodness.


    The current design of Calendar and Contacts is hideous. It was this bumbled design that stopped many places who used iCal in 10.6 moving to 10.7.


    Sorry Apple but nearly all of it is utter crap, its hideous and confuses users and slows things down. BIN IT.


    It works in some situations, Books etc. But it really doesn't help in others.

  • Reply 88 of 122
    habihabi Posts: 317member

    The lion address book and calendar are the to biggest pieces of shit ever concieved by software developers.


    Please bring back the snow leopard versions.


    Im mean usability fell out of the equation in those releases and "visual masturbation" is exactly what it is.


  • Reply 89 of 122
    habihabi Posts: 317member

    • redhanded   What will they do next?  Turn iTunes into a record player?


    Effin hillarious. Thats probably allready in their sights!


  • Reply 90 of 122
    Ical is an example of a good product that has been totally messed up with this form of design. it is now harder to read and has forced a lot of people to purchase a $36 (or so) copy of the old Ical called Busy Cal just to get away from skeuomorphism (if thats a word)... Apple - listen to your users and get away from this sort of crap!
  • Reply 91 of 122
    habihabi Posts: 317member


    Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

    This is an age-old battle that's been going on looonnggg before iOS - developers/engineers vs. designers/artist. Most developers don't care about aesthetics they only care it works and is functional  - less is more, while designers want everything to be beautiful and elegant as wells as functional. We have these same battles at my job, my manager a dev doesn't care about design - he just cares it works as needed, while the designers are always trying to push the design further. Steve was a little of both but more a man of aesthetics. There needs to be some harmony of both, the average user wants some beauty as well as functional. They want to feel they are holding a piece of beauty and art in their hands that also works. Microsoft = developer functional with little design (until recently at least), Apple = design and functionality. Apples mastery of the design - love of the aesthetic - attention to detail is what sets them apart. So, do you want Windows XP/Palm Treo or do you want an iPhone/iOS/OS X? Simple as that (kinda).


    Well it has worked for apple aslong as the astethics dont hurt usability. In some aspects they have failed miserably lately. If it makes using the product unintuitive and strange then they have really screwd it.

  • Reply 92 of 122
    A backlash against skeuomorphics is understandable but a return to stark simplicity is an engineer's ideal: it's out of touch with customers in general, who prefer an endless variety of seductive sensation in their real and virtual objects.

    Berners-Lee's assertion that transparency is the future of infosystems (1) is spot on but I feel it leads toward a variety of naturalistic experiences, as opposed to sensory deprivation.

    As with all leading edge systems, skeuomorphics are work to deploy because they're not outdated enough for a good framework to exist. That's not the customers' problem.

    The value of skeuomorphics to foster user adoption warrants this defense but I do think they'll scale back to the kind of barely-perceptible elements we've seen in Mac OS folders, for example.

    Reference 1: sfgate, around the time of his late 90's book launch
  • Reply 93 of 122
    OK. Very simply:

    Skeumorphic is very important for icon recognition, because that's how we use something, given everything is just full-colour-screen-based of a printed page metaphor. So let's say what is a Calendar app? Yes, it has a page like a flip calendar. What is a Twitter app? A bird, that looks like a bird, because you "Tweet"

    However. And this is the big However. It has to stop at one point, because let's say while Tweeting, if you are in the Twitter app, the experience HAS NO REAL-WORLD EQUIVALENT. A calendar looking like a paper calendar is good but you don't need to go overboard.

    Steve was very good in pushing skeumorphic for iPhone because that really connected you to a new realm of apps and mobile websites. iPad has some really nice skeumorphic stuff, but it depends on the Context and User Experience. Game Center on iPhone is good but for iPad, a bit overblown.

    OS X ~ OS X I feel is the best operating system out there but it will be a challenge to stay relevant. There is definitely an IMPORTANT use for the Calendar Icon to look LIKE A CALENDAR but the Calendar app DOES NOT need to look ~so much~ like a physical paper calendar.

    Books are different. This is because you are trying to replicate the book experience on an iPad. If you truly love books, you will love iBooks and iBooks2 on an iPad. So Books on iPad perfect, on Kindle and e-readers that are not full colour, to me, rubbish. I love books.
  • Reply 94 of 122
    Everything MacOS reminds me of the early Photoshop days when suddenly every ad you saw had a beveled and embossed image with a drop shadow floating on a gradient background, Microsofts minimalist Metro theme is a breath of fresh air with it's knowing referencing of seventies typography and layout (the pre Photoshop era), when you look at Apples design philosophy in print or on line it's borderless and minimal with no drop shadows, it's about time the OS caught up and grew up, the days of bezels and borders of drop shadows and faux this and faux that should be long gone.
  • Reply 95 of 122

    I like skeuomorphism in certain apps.

    When I got my first Mac running Leopard, I was kinda irritated with how all windows looked the same. Exposé (now transformed to Mission Control) was hard on my eyes, with many windows especially, because they all looked grey/silver-ish with white and hard to distinguish. 


    Am I the only one who kinda likes Lion's iCal? It adds some color and style, while not taking away functionality.

    I miss the old Address Book though. The new one looks dull and requires too many clicks to do anything...


    The most tragic examples, in my opinion, are the Music and Podcasts apps on iPad. Especially the latter one, as it takes away a major chunk from functionality, for what? A fake tape recorder look? Small and unintuitive controls? It doesn't make any sense! I don't have any music on my iPad because of these apps... The iPhone Music app is great and does the job nicely. 


    I think designers at Apple should balance looks and functionality better. Sometimes it feels like features are cut off cause they wouldn't fit nicely in a skeuomorphic design.

  • Reply 96 of 122
    ascii wrote: »
    So when Apple fans agree with Apple they're Yes-men. But when they disagree, instead of concluding they are not in fact Yes-men after all, you conclude that they're Yes-men arguing? Obvious contradiction is obvious.

    You didn't understand me....and no being Yes-men doesn't mean you simply means you're incapable of disagreement.
  • Reply 97 of 122
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Extraneous Visual Noise? or subtle (or maybe not so subtle) Visual Reference that make instant recognition possible.

    If you are going to argue about user interface elements a big one that I miss is the ability to assign sounds to various system events - used to be included in the OS - then was provided but he likes of Unsanity (who have not seemed to be able to keep up with changes Apple has made to the OS). Some folks may consider sounds a needles distraction - but for me having the computer quietly make particular sounds when certain events occur adds a level of confirmation that events are occurring as expected. Moving from a system where opening a folder was always accompanied by a sound unique to that even to a system that makes no sound at all had me doing double takes to ensure that I hit the correct key or that the computer is actually performing the requested action.

    In similar fashion I replaced the stock exhaust on my car with a 3" cat back system so that when at highway speed with the top down I could actually hear some feedback from the power train - not so loud as to be annoying or overwhelming - just enough so that the sound (and feel) provides information that adds to the overall experience without distracting from the task at hand.
  • Reply 98 of 122

    Out of interest which of these do people prefer?



  • Reply 99 of 122


    Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post

    No see you're talking about an icon, icons are great! They allow the super fast image recognition parts of our brain to help us more quickly locate things! Metro on the other hand tends to leave them out, or make such a poor attempt at minimalism (when really they're just not designing, there's just a lack of design at all) they end up with this:


    That is not true metro can use icons aswell.


  • Reply 100 of 122

    Leather calendar: literally worse than Hitler.


    Cheese and rice, people. It's just a skin! The stitching adds maybe 20 vertical pixels. Other than that, buttons and other interface parts are generally in the same place, and the overall behavior is probably helpful to first-time users.


    If this was really the greatest tragedy to befall iOS & 10.8, the majority of users would use a superior competing app. That doesn't seem to be the case, especially not compared to Apple's Reminders vs the creative and extremely competitive to-do list app market. No one in this thread has even mentioned a decent alternative, or having removed the leather themselves. That speaks volumes.

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