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GUI IOS Operating Systems Programming Windows Apple

Designers Criticize Apple's User Interface For OS X and iOS 484

Hugh Pickens writes "Austin Carr notes that a number of user interface designers have become increasingly critical of Apple's approach to software user interface design. Much of their censure is directed against a trend called skeuomorphism, a term for when objects retain ornamental elements of the past that are no longer necessary to the current objects' functions, such as calendars with faux leather-stitching, bookshelves with wood veneers, fake glass and paper and brushed chrome. A former senior UI designer at Apple who worked closely with Steve Jobs said, 'It's like the designers are flexing their muscles to show you how good of a visual rendering they can do of a physical object. Who cares?' The issue is two-fold: first, that traditional visual metaphors no longer translate to modern users; and second, that excessive digital imitation of real-world objects creates confusion among users. 'I'm old enough, sure, but some of the guys in my office have never seen a Rolodex in real life,' says Designer Gadi Amit. 'Our culture has changed. We don't need translation of the digital medium in mechanical real-life terms. It's an old-fashioned paradigm.' One beneficiary could be Microsoft, where the design of Windows 8 distances itself from skeuomorphism by emphasizing a flat user interface that's minimalist to the core: no bevel, no 3-D flourishes, no glossiness and no drop shadow."
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Designers Criticize Apple's User Interface For OS X and iOS

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  • by gelfling (6534) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @07:20AM (#41385413) Homepage Journal

    Silence, citizen or Apple will send its flying monkeys to sue you.,

  • by Dahlgil (631022) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @07:32AM (#41385525)

    Of course once you've gone completely flat and removed all the ornamentation, it makes one wonder where the next generation will go. Perhaps someone will suddenly realize, wow, we can make those tiles look just like a 3D image of a smartphone (and, of course, be promptly sued for rendering them with curved corners).

  • by Type44Q (1233630) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @07:52AM (#41385701)

    Silence, citizen or Apple will send its flying monkeys to sue you

    My eyes are still a little fuzzy from sleep and that looked like it said ..."Apple will send its flying monkeys to use you..."

  • by Barefoot Monkey (1657313) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @07:59AM (#41385743)

    Naturally, the trick to doing minimalism right is to use as little of it as possible.

  • I Agree! (Score:5, Funny)

    by clonehappy (655530) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @08:00AM (#41385757)
    Touching objects on a screen that look visually like what the physical representations of the function being peformed used to look like before we had PDAs and smartphones is ludicrous!

    I'd much prefer a CLI so I can type "cd /usr/bin" then "./phoneapp dial -domestic +13125551212" whenever I want to make a phone call and "./phoneapp hangup -log /var/log/" when I hang up and want to add the details to a log file. That's much easier for me to understand, and should be self-explanatory to anyone if they just read the command. :)

    If that's just too hard for some people, I guess we can have a GUI with red and green icons with antiquated pictures of analog handsets on them, for now. But those should eventually be deprecated in favor of some newer, more modern representation of what a phone looks like.
  • by tooyoung (853621) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @11:55AM (#41389059)
    I love their idea that we should update the application icons to be represented with more modern tools. Here are some icon suggestions for different apps that people might use based on the tool that they now use for that functionality:
    Phone - cell phone
    Calculator - cell phone
    Note taker - cell phone
    Music player - cell phone
    Camera - cell phone
    Web browser - cell phone
    Photo viewer - cell phone
    Facebook - cell phone
    Calendar - cell phone
    Alarm clock - cell phone
    Contacts - cell phone
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:58PM (#41390937)

    This: Leaves. There are "directory" trees, so the "folders" should simply be called leaves. Because everybody knows what a tree ... oh, wait.

Power corrupts. And atomic power corrupts atomically.