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Apple and the future of design

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

Post your comments for Apple and the future of design here
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#2 User is offline   TheTSArt 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:36 AM

I never heard the word "skeumorphism" before sometime in 2012 and then it was in every article, every podcast, every everything for the majority of the year.

I was so hoping that 2013 would be the end of it—not necessarily the style, but the word and discussion of it. I see it's not going to happen...

So, my own opinion: if Windows 8 represents the opposite of it, then pour me some good skeumorphism on my OS.
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#3 User is offline   jakecross 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:37 AM

"Before the iPhone, smartphones were bulky, simplistic, and overwhelmingly digital."

I think this is a pretty broad generalization. For better or worse, PalmOS and Windows Mobile devices were far from "simplistic." Symbian, too, was a very robust and powerful mobile OS. If anything, the iPhone and iOS were the "simplistic" entrants.

"Advertisements for the iPhone and iPad never discuss features; they show human beings using the devices to enrich their lives."

Another bit of over-generalization. Take the latest "noise-cancelling" ad from Apple and AT&T. It spends 30 or 60 seconds explaining one single (today taken-for-granted) feature of the iPhone.

You're right about app design, though. And for sure that's something that came from the Mac. Consistent interfaces, cues, and commands have always made Apple's operating systems a joy to use.
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#4 User is offline   SockRolid 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:03 AM

Re: "Technology is no longer witchcraft to be feared by the masses."

Agree. Too bad for those who still aspire to be techno-witches/warlocks. The masses no longer care how much of an uber-geek we, er, you are.
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#5 User is offline   Luis_Alejandro 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:01 PM

My two cents:

1) I think that "skeumorphism" has a longer that imagine history at Apple.

1984's icons were symbolic representations of objects.
NeXT's OS and Mac OS X change this to be more like the "icons" of the Greek Orthodox/Russian Churchs… pieces of art.

So, "copying" reality in place of "symbolizing" it is like 20 years old.

2) There is something "strange" about "skeumorphism", at least in my opinion, in actual Apple's software.

In one hand, there is the "calendar" type of skeumorphism. One can like or dislike the type of calendar copied, but it is similar to —at least— a real calendar.

On the other hand, there is the skeumorphism of iBooks and Newstand.
Who, in hell, has a library with four books by shelf and facing front?
Or a News stand so pretty and ordered?

So, an iBooks shelf with books' backs (and, maybe, a overflow viewing) would be, from my point of view, more skeumorphism that this pseudo-idealistic approach.
As for Newstand… I leave it free to your imagination!
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#6 User is offline   MutantPie 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

"Technology is no longer witchcraft to be feared by the masses."

That is until you've had your identity/personal data stolen because your control of your individual modules of data called "files" has been taken away from you by the OS designers so that you don't have an independent means of encrypting those "files," and the hacking community has found a way to bypass security measures in the OS.
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#7 User is offline   thinkman 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:56 PM

skeuomorphism or skeumorphism - which is it. I constantly see it written both ways. You use both iterations in your article. Thanks!
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#8 User is offline   Dennistrator 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:50 PM

The only skeuomorph backlash I am aware of is from pundits. I have never heard, in the wild, even one person express weariness or annoyance with skeuomorphism-"Boy, am I tired of user interface elements that look like recognizable things!". The fact is, there has to be some visual component to what is on the screen, and if some of it has a historical background, why should that be repellant? Here's a clue for the anti-skeuomorph contingent: every photo-posting website is chock-full of sepiatone pictures taken with the best cellphone cameras. A lot of people either like "old timely" things or don't care one way or the other.
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#9 User is offline   Bialystock 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

The principle is that the media should not get in the way of the content and that is precisely where Apple is going off the rails.

The rot started with that abomination, the Dock, which has got progressively worse, with every iteration.

Apple has taken the notion that hiding things is making things simpler. No, it is just making the user waste most of their time trying to find where Apple has hidden it, or giving up, assuming that the feature simply doesn't exist, because they can't find it.
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#10 User is offline   buddhistMonkeye3ew 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:29 PM

The backlash against skeuomorphism is coming primarily from Windows 8 advocates and sites like Gizmodo which consider Windows 8's flat, chromeless design language to be the standard of beauty by which all other user interfaces should now be judged. Well, Windows 8 isn't catching on with consumers, and the "beauty" of primary-colored rectangles and simplistic vector icons has accrued more detractors than defenders at this point, so I think Apple can safely ignore those railing against shadows, bevels, textures, gradients, and realism. For those people who prefer that their operating system look like a child's toy, there is Windows 8.
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#11 User is offline   ToriHart 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:47 PM

I view the icons as being another means of assisting people with becoming more visually literate--another sign we've gone well beyond the world of text to convey meaning.
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#12 User is offline   nicodemusoneil 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:12 PM

The backlash against skeuomorphism is coming primarily from Windows 8 advocates and sites like Gizmodo which consider Windows 8's flat, chromeless design language to be the standard of beauty by which all other user interfaces should now be judged. Well, Windows 8 isn't catching on with consumers, and the "beauty" of primary-colored rectangles and simplistic vector icons has accrued more detractors than defenders at this point, so I think Apple can safely ignore those railing against shadows, bevels, textures, gradients, and realism. For those people who prefer that their operating system look like a child's toy, there is Windows 8.

Couldn't agree more. Windows 8 devices look like they were designed to appeal to pre-adolescents.
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#13 User is offline   Paolomssb 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:31 PM

I think the reason hardware and software follow different philosophies, is that Forstall (software) is American and Ive (hardware) European. We have different tastes, and what Americans consider common objects from the real world, like leather calendars or hardcover books, is unknown or considered 'cheap' for a cultivated European. If Ive will prevail in software design, I expect some unhappy American customers, and many more happy European ones.
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#14 User is offline   Paolomssb 

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  Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:40 PM

Windows 8 is simply bad design. It is flat reproduction of real things (they still have floppy disks!), with no effort to create a symbolic language. Enter the Ribbon, and you even lose any hint of coherence.

iOS has two different languages: the symbolic one (the share icon, for example), similar to what you can find when driving or at the airport. And the pictorial one, like the fake leather. One of the two has to die.
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