Apple's Designers Clashing Over 'Tacky' Software Skeuomorphisms

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    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.

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    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:
    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
     
  2. macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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  3. macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Steve would never have allowed thi -- oh wait.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

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    #4
    What an insightful comment about the story.:rolleyes:
     
  5. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

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    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    dwhittington

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    #7
    Hmmm.

    I've often felt Garage Band was an excellent example of these so called "skeumorphisms" done well.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    gmanist1000

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    #8
    There's always been lots of talk about this in the forums, good to see an article on it.
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    applesith

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  10. macrumors regular

    FFArchitect

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    Never thought I'd see the words "visual masturbation" on MacRumors.

    Then again...
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    boy-better-know

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    #11
    The language this man has chosen to use cheapens his argument.
     
  12. SqB
    macrumors 6502

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    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?
     
  13. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #13
    You didn't upgrade to lion because you don't like the ui design of two programs?
     
  14. macrumors 6502

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    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    Don't let it ruin your day :)
     
  16. macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Skeuomorphic features in iOS are like mock-tudor beams on a Bauhaus building.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

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    #17
    iCal is the only one that is outright ugly. I can't think of any other Apple app that looks particularly bad.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Sixtafoua

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    #18
    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.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

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    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'
     
  20. macrumors member

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    What I don't think Steve would have allowed would have been this conversation to make it to the press.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    dwhittington

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  22. macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Podcast app

    The Podcast app suffers from this too. Bleh.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

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    #23
    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.
     
  24. macrumors 68020

    jclardy

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    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    kirky29

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    #25
    That caused a childish chuckle from me!
     

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