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View Full Version : You Know What's Funny?... (UI Observation)


newyorksole
Jun 4, 2013, 10:06 PM
People are calling the move from 3D Icons / Interfaces and Skeuomorphism to flatter designs a "leap forward".

I guarantee if Apple and other companies started with flat designs and went to 3D that everyone would be saying "this is amazing! the 3D icons look so good!"

I think people are just tired of the same look and are welcoming any new change whatever it may be.

I think the skeuomorphism when done right looks really good. I think it's the lack of consistency that I don't like. All of Apple's apps are so different.

So it should be nice to have the same look/feel across the apps.

watchthisspace
Jun 4, 2013, 11:51 PM
People are calling the move from 3D Icons / Interfaces and Skeuomorphism to flatter designs a "leap forward".

I guarantee if Apple and other companies started with flat designs and went to 3D that everyone would be saying "this is amazing! the 3D icons look so good!"

I think people are just tired of the same look and are welcoming any new change whatever it may be.

I think the skeuomorphism when done right looks really good. I think it's the lack of consistency that I don't like. All of Apple's apps are so different.

So it should be nice to have the same look/feel across the apps.

I've found with OSX, consistency is what made the OS great compared to Windows. But with iOS, the lack of consistency is quite the contrast to OSX.

Knosrac
Jun 5, 2013, 12:28 AM
Maybe. I tend to think that User Interfaces aren't going to visually evolve forever though.

Eventually we'll know exactly what we want. Maybe a flatter design is one step on this road

FSMBP
Jun 5, 2013, 06:56 AM
People are calling the move from 3D Icons / Interfaces and Skeuomorphism to flatter designs a "leap forward".

I guarantee if Apple and other companies started with flat designs and went to 3D that everyone would be saying "this is amazing! the 3D icons look so good!"

I think people are just tired of the same look and are welcoming any new change whatever it may be.

I think the skeuomorphism when done right looks really good. I think it's the lack of consistency that I don't like. All of Apple's apps are so different.

So it should be nice to have the same look/feel across the apps.

That already happened in computing, look at computing from 1990 to 2009 (it went from flat to 3-D). Flat icons and non-sophisticated UIs were in found on Macs and Windows. Then, with Mac OS X, a more 3-D style came about with Aqua. Same for Windows with Vista with Aero UI.

Basically, UIs have gone from one extreme to the other and back again. Eventually a happy-medium will be reached.

This is the same for basic computing...early 1990s computers were so complicated and gave too many options, then the trend in 2000s was to dumb-down computing (see iOS). I hope it will bounce back to the middle.

ominx
Jun 5, 2013, 08:06 AM
Basically, UIs have gone from one extreme to the other and back again. Eventually a happy-medium will be reached.

I agree with your other points but there will never be a "correct" design so no happy-medium can be reached. Design tends to follow a trend and often times they repeat themselves in a cycle. It will forever be changing.

Small White Car
Jun 5, 2013, 08:49 AM
You're going out of your way to ignore hardware, which is a critical part of this story.

The move to greater and more pronounced 3D GUI (on desktops in the 80's) WAS seen as an advancement. Why? Because monitors were low-res and the 'screen' itself was recessed behind a big piece of glass on the front of your CRT monitor.

The 3D look helped make GUI systems more user-friendly and easy to understand on such systems.

Fast-forward 30 years and we not only have much higher-resolution displays, we have advanced screen-building techniques that allow the pixels to be much, much closer to the surface than ever before. Even the first iPhone had an air gap beneath the screen that has since been eliminated. So this is a processes of improvement that's been continuing over the last 6 years, even.

So given all that, the reasons that the 3D look was invented to address have been nearly eliminated. In light of that, does not it make sense to change the design language we use to fit modern hardware rather than CRT screens from the 80's?

coolguy4747
Jun 6, 2013, 02:38 AM
Why should graphic design be different from any other kind of design? Architecture, clothing, painting, etc have all evolved continually since they first appeared. There will never be a "perfect" style of architecture, clothing, painting, etc, and that's totally missing the point of aesthetics. Tastes change. People get used to certain things and want to move in a different direction.

ThisIsNotMe
Jun 6, 2013, 03:10 AM
Look at 10.0 to 10.8.
10.0 was a "revolutionarily" UI and has steadily gotten flatter and flatter in each revision.

pittpanthersfan
Jun 6, 2013, 05:12 AM
The 3D buttons with their heavy shadows and the like were necessary at the beginning as people were learning to operate their first touchscreen phones. It needed to mimic the physical world.

Now, in 2013, we can move beyond this.

iDento
Jun 6, 2013, 06:39 AM
You're going out of your way to ignore hardware, which is a critical part of this story.

The move to greater and more pronounced 3D GUI (on desktops in the 80's) WAS seen as an advancement. Why? Because monitors were low-res and the 'screen' itself was recessed behind a big piece of glass on the front of your CRT monitor.

The 3D look helped make GUI systems more user-friendly and easy to understand on such systems.

Fast-forward 30 years and we not only have much higher-resolution displays, we have advanced screen-building techniques that allow the pixels to be much, much closer to the surface than ever before. Even the first iPhone had an air gap beneath the screen that has since been eliminated. So this is a processes of improvement that's been continuing over the last 6 years, even.

So given all that, the reasons that the 3D look was invented to address have been nearly eliminated. In light of that, does not it make sense to change the design language we use to fit modern hardware rather than CRT screens from the 80's?

I wish you have the time to copy/paste this post everywhere till all the complainers give up!

novakedy
Jun 6, 2013, 11:43 AM
"Finding a happy medium" to fit every single person's tastes with what they want in a mobile phone OS, or any OS, is and will always be impossible. I've been hoping that Apple will eventually come up with some way of applying "themes", not necessarily in a Winterboard-y fashion, but just to introduce something that graphic designers can have a bit of a job outlet like how the iOS developers do now. As well as a means for users to personalize their own devices. Though I know this will never happen, at least for many years to come :/

sk24iam
Jun 6, 2013, 11:47 AM
I think people want and prefer a simple and clean look. It just happens that Apple hasn't made any major changes to the UI since the first iPhone so although a flat interface isn't revolutionary, it is still considered a big change for users.

kmj2318
Jun 6, 2013, 01:21 PM
I feel like the highly decorated user interfaces were a way to make them appear less intimidating. As our technology continues to evolve, and our need for immediate information expands, I think UI design will focus predominately on clarity.

Imagine if the UI on google glass was made to look like stitched leather, think of how ridiculous that would be. Or imagine a heavily shadowed and textured design on a smart watch UI. The UIs on wearable devices will act as more of a HUD in a video game, instead of an all encompassing window that we remain entirely fixated on. Do you want your health stats and map to be decorated or just clearly visible? That's were I think UIs are heading.

Our interfaces of today are made to absorb you into a world of there own, but with wearables, we're going to see the interfaces sit in the background and let your world be the star, the UI will just complement it. It'll be there when you need it, and not when you don't. With this new paradigm, I don't see any value in decorated interfaces.

The main purpose of our devices is to spread information to people, not very different from a book. When you open up a book (most books), the value is in the information you receive from the words. The words don't have to be decorated, nothing needs to pop, and any attempt to do so would hinder your ability to absorb the information.

I don't think it's a coincidence that people are getting tired of realistic decorations right now, nor do I think it was a coincidence that people enjoyed them before. I think it's a necessary evolution as people become more adept at using technology.

vvswarup
Jun 6, 2013, 09:00 PM
People are calling the move from 3D Icons / Interfaces and Skeuomorphism to flatter designs a "leap forward".

I guarantee if Apple and other companies started with flat designs and went to 3D that everyone would be saying "this is amazing! the 3D icons look so good!"

I think people are just tired of the same look and are welcoming any new change whatever it may be.

I think the skeuomorphism when done right looks really good. I think it's the lack of consistency that I don't like. All of Apple's apps are so different.

So it should be nice to have the same look/feel across the apps.

Skeuomorphism hasn't been done right in iOS. It has gotten to a point of not only looking tacky but also removing functionality from the device.