Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:12 PM   #1
MacRumors
macrumors bot
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Apple's Designers Clashing Over 'Tacky' Software Skeuomorphisms




Fast Company reports on ongoing internal strife at Apple over the company's use of software skeuomorphism, the inclusion of certain ornamental elements in a product that are carried over from previous tools addressing the same task for which the elements were required for functionality. Daring Fireball's John Gruber has linked to the article, noting that he has heard similar word of an "internal political divide" over the issue.

One of the most frequently-cited examples of questionable skeuomorphism in Apple's software is the company's set of calendar apps, which have recently used a stitched leather design reminiscent of physical desktop calendars, complete with the remnants of torn-off pages visible near the binding. Game Center, which is presented as a gaming table complete with wood grain and green felt, is another oft-cited example.




Skeuomorph-heavy design of iCal in OS X Lion
According to the report, Apple's iOS chief Scott Forstall has long been a proponent of incorporating skeuomorphic features in the company's software, with Steve Jobs having supported and even originated that design direction for Apple's products. But others such as hardware guru Jonathan Ive find the inclusion of such features distasteful, and Apple's designers have reportedly been divided into camps over which direction to take Apple's products. Fast Company's interviews with former Apple designers and others in the industry reveal the degree of controversy over the practice:
Quote:
Says the former senior UI designer at Apple, "I feel like [Apple] has concentrated too much on mimicking the visual skeuomorphic approach rather than concentrating on the actual functionality." For example, in iOS 6, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, Forstall recently demoed an animated paper shredder, which will be used to delete e-tickets and coupons. How many iPhone users have ever actually seen a paper shredder in real life? Is it necessary? Or just visual masturbation? "To me, it's lipstick on a pig," says the source intimately familiar with Apple's design process. "There's no need to add glitter if the product can stand on its own."
The report points to Windows 8 as an example of how companies can bring fresh user interface ideas by minimizing reliance on skeuomorphism to try to replicate experiences that may no longer be optimal or even relevant. A follow-up report will be examining the issue from Microsoft's perspective, with the conclusion of today's report hinting that Microsoft sources have unflattering things to say about Apple's approach.

Article Link: Apple's Designers Clashing Over 'Tacky' Software Skeuomorphisms
MacRumors is offline   4 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:13 PM   #2
ECUpirate44
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: NC
Meh, iPhone 5! iPhone 5!
ECUpirate44 is offline   34 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:14 PM   #3
camnchar
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SLC, Utah
Send a message via AIM to camnchar
Steve would never have allowed thi -- oh wait.
__________________
Apple //c, 1 MHz, 128k RAM, 5.25" floppy drive, 1-button mouse
camnchar is offline   75 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:15 PM   #4
PerfectChaos
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by ECUpirate44 View Post
Meh, iPhone 5! iPhone 5!
What an insightful comment about the story.
PerfectChaos is offline   58 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:15 PM   #5
chrmjenkins
macrumors 603
 
chrmjenkins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: CA
The iCal picture shown is tacky, but I haven't seen anything in iOS that draws my ire. Mostly just cute or whimsical touches that harken back to the paper world.

edit: 4 comments in and I'm the first meaningful one. I'll try to be faster next time.
__________________
Twitter: @anexanhume
chrmjenkins is offline   46 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:16 PM   #6
Eddloggg
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
I am fine with Game Center, but please change the osX versions of iCal and Address Book. I didn't upgrade to lion for this reason, and now that my new Air comes with it I want to vomit every time I see it.
Eddloggg is offline   41 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:16 PM   #7
dwhittington
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Hmmm.

I've often felt Garage Band was an excellent example of these so called "skeumorphisms" done well.
__________________
-David

Think 8-bit.
dwhittington is offline   52 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:16 PM   #8
gmanist1000
macrumors 68020
 
gmanist1000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
There's always been lots of talk about this in the forums, good to see an article on it.
gmanist1000 is offline   19 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:16 PM   #9
applesith
macrumors 68000
 
applesith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Is visual masturbation a bad thing?
applesith is offline   101 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:16 PM   #10
FFArchitect
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Never thought I'd see the words "visual masturbation" on MacRumors.

Then again...
__________________
Fame Foundry
Charlotte Website Design
FFArchitect is offline   55 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:16 PM   #11
boy-better-know
macrumors 65816
 
boy-better-know's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: England
The language this man has chosen to use cheapens his argument.
boy-better-know is offline   32 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:16 PM   #12
SqB
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Northern Colorado
So maybe I'm just old, but the elements work well for me. I can't figure out how to do anything in Windows 8 so I'm not terribly interested in what the designers responsible for that have to say.

Making things on the screen work like they do in the "real world" has always been an Apple trademark. Why all the fuss about something that helps people connect more naturally and intutively?
__________________
...Steve would never have allowed this...
SqB is offline   33 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:17 PM   #13
chrmjenkins
macrumors 603
 
chrmjenkins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddloggg View Post
I am fine with Game Center, but please change the osX versions of iCal and Address Book. I didn't upgrade to lion for this reason, and now that my new Air comes with it I want to vomit every time I see it.
You didn't upgrade to lion because you don't like the ui design of two programs?
__________________
Twitter: @anexanhume
chrmjenkins is offline   67 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:17 PM   #14
FrizzleFryBen
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Charlotte, NC
What drives me nuts is changing from month to month in iCal. If forces me to wait for the page to turn. Really annoying when trying to go three months down the road quickly.
FrizzleFryBen is offline   37 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:17 PM   #15
ECUpirate44
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: NC
Quote:
Originally Posted by PerfectChaos View Post
What an insightful comment about the story.
Don't let it ruin your day
ECUpirate44 is offline   9 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:17 PM   #16
Moonjumper
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Lincoln, UK
Skeuomorphic features in iOS are like mock-tudor beams on a Bauhaus building.
Moonjumper is offline   54 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:17 PM   #17
Andy-V
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
iCal is the only one that is outright ugly. I can't think of any other Apple app that looks particularly bad.
Andy-V is offline   13 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:18 PM   #18
Sixtafoua
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Boston, MA
I love/ hate these looks too. I think it goes to show apple has great graphic designers on hand, but then again, it's not very creative or original. iOS and OS X don't have that the modern and creative UI that WP8 and Windows 8 have.
__________________
Website
Sixtafoua is offline   8 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:18 PM   #19
LastLine
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy-V View Post
iCal is the only one that is outright ugly. I can't think of any other Apple app that looks particularly bad.
See iCal's one of my favourites. Reminders? Can't figure out what that's meant to be.

As someone who sells Apple products though? Customers reactions tend to be 'Ooooohhhh' rather than 'Ewwwwwww'
LastLine is offline   9 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:18 PM   #20
Wildog27
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by camnchar View Post
Steve would never have allowed thi -- oh wait.
What I don't think Steve would have allowed would have been this conversation to make it to the press.
Wildog27 is offline   16 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:19 PM   #21
dwhittington
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Not ______ing blue enough!!!
__________________
-David

Think 8-bit.
dwhittington is offline   7 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:20 PM   #22
HappyPig
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Podcast app

The Podcast app suffers from this too. Bleh.
HappyPig is offline   10 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:20 PM   #23
JPyre
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pistolvania
Send a message via AIM to JPyre
I think its the little things that set Apple apart.

The best example is the volume slider in iOS6, as you change the direction you hold the phone - the reflection changes on the button.

While not having little things like that wouldnt hurt, it would toss them into the pile of simple and lazy like ui design everyone else.
__________________
Dual 2.0GHz G5 Tower, 2.4GHz Black MacBook, 1.5GHz 12" Powerbook, Screenless 667MHz 15" Powerbook, iPhone4, Apple ][c with Okidata line printer.
JPyre is offline   8 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:20 PM   #24
jclardy
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Doesn't "lipstick on a pig" imply that it was ugly in the first place, and "makeup" won't help?

The next quote seems to imply that he likes the base product just not the skeumorphic animations. Unless maybe he is saying he likes the hardware and not the software.
__________________
Swift Fox Software | Amounts - Expense Tracker | Rocket Chimp | TargetTap Lite | TargetTap
jclardy is offline   24 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:20 PM   #25
kirky29
macrumors 65816
 
kirky29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Lincolnshire, England
Send a message via Yahoo to kirky29 Send a message via Skype™ to kirky29
Quote:
Or just visual masturbation?
That caused a childish chuckle from me!
__________________
27" iMac, 15" MacBook Pro 2.2GHz i7 2011, iPhone 5 16GB - iPad 1/2/3/Mini - 24" Cinema Display,
Apple Magic Mouse, Trackpad, Time Machine, Apple TV,
| Check out my flickr |
kirky29 is offline   7 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Apple looking for Human Interface designers Rogifan iOS 7 39 Mar 2, 2014 09:02 PM
Do the Apple designers protect their iPhones and how? befrank4444 iPhone 33 Sep 10, 2013 02:45 PM
Odd circles and clashing fonts Deasnutz Wasteland 5 Jul 31, 2013 02:06 AM
Desks for Graphic Designers and Web Designers hg.wells Design and Graphics 6 Apr 5, 2013 10:07 AM
Is it just me or does the new phone dialpad look super tacky? PBF iOS 6 44 Sep 20, 2012 11:42 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:46 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC