Do you like Apple's Apple's skeuomorphic software design?

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by Rogifan, Jul 22, 2012.

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Do you like Apple's skeuomorphic software design language?

Poll closed Jul 29, 2012.
  1. Yes

    59 vote(s)
    53.2%
  2. No

    32 vote(s)
    28.8%
  3. Don't care one way or the other

    20 vote(s)
    18.0%
  1. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #1
    Mike Elgan at Cult of Mac has a post up about Apple's skeuomorphic software design. *http://www.cultofmac.com/180084/where-microsoft-has-more-taste-than-apple/ *Of course the title is just click bait, but I think he does have a point. *To me skeuomorphic design is just patronizing and not necessary in most cases. *What baffles me is Apple seems to have a very cohesive hardware design philosophy which focuses on elegance and simplicity. *On the hardware side they seem focused on getting design out of the way. *On the software side they seem to add things that aren't necessary, like the leather stitching on iCal and find my friends. *Ad the new podcast app which is made to look like a reel to reel tape. *Some of the worst offenders IMO:

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    I'm not suggesting Microsoft's Metro UI is the answer (some of the color choices there are horrendous), but surely there has to be a way to design software UI that had some personality but leaves out all the unnecessary ornamentation.
     
  2. irDigital0l Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #2
    Metro is ok for tablet but I HATE IT for PC. Hate how Office 2013 looks too.

    Apple does have a few bad apples though...

    -Game Center
    -Podcast
    -Find My Friends
    -Stock
    -Weather
    -Clock (iPhone version) iPad one looks amazing
    -YouTube
    -The iWork apps with their leather designs
     
  3. Vizin, Jul 22, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  4. virginblue4, Jul 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012

    virginblue4 macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #4
    I really like it! My favourite examples are the find my friends app and the ripped paper in Calendar and Notes but the best one, in my opinion, is Game Center.
     
  5. URFloorMatt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #5
    Whenever I read an article or post complaining about skeuomorphic design, here's how I translate the comments made by the person writing the "critique": I can't come up with any serious or substantive critiques of what Apple is doing right now, so I'm going to make up a problem that doesn't exist and bitch about it.

    Minimalism is not the opposite of skeuomorphism. Skeuomorphism exists in software to give the user intuitive visual cues about how the application operates by mimicking real world experience. And this could never be more valuable than when using a multi-touch interface.

    Microsoft's UI isn't tasteful because it's minimalist. In fact, it sacrifices helpful visual cues in dogmatic adherence to minimalist design, which is something to be criticized, not something to be applauded.

    Personally, I like Apple's use of texture (linen, leather, stitching, etc.) in recent years. If you're going to build retina displays, might as well show them off. And the use of linen backgrounds throughout iOS gives the user a subtle visual cue about the layering of objects. My only complaint is the way the Notifications bar is layered over, rather than under, the home screen. Particularly since it's obvious that un-intuitive layering occurs only because of sloppy implementation of the Notifications bar on the iPad.
     
  6. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #6
    I just got my Office upgraded at work (was still on 2003!) and I must say the ribbon drives me crazy. Especially because it forced me to learn a bunch of new keyboard shortcuts. And for some reason in Office 2013 they decided to use all caps for the menus. Not sure why they feel the need to shout at us. :confused:

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    Agree with you on Metro for the PC. Just awful. :eek:. Obviously for the phone MS idea is glance and go. The metro design and live tiles works for that. But I'm not sold it will work on the desktop. And the millions of users so familiar with Start menu, Windows Explorer and control panel while hate it.

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    I don't need faux leather and stitching to know how the calendar app operates. Or faux wood grain bookshelf to know how to browse my book library. Apple has gone overboard with some of this stuff. Maybe if we ever get haptic feedback it might make sense.
     
  7. Tinyluph macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    #7
    It's really just Game Center and Calendar that I don't like, and maybe the stupid paintbrushes in iPhoto as well.

    I think things like the Podcasts app look really cool though.
     
  8. throys macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Don't really see anything too much to worry about, it's not perfect but very close to what I like my stock icons to be. I hate the fancy titsy stuff.
     
  9. rorschach macrumors 68020

    rorschach

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2003
    #9
    Some of it is done well, some not. But I prefer any of Apple's skeuomorphic UIs over the god-awful brushed metal.

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    And keep in mind that brushed metal was in the HIG. You were SUPPOSED to use it for apps that mimicked real-word devices.
     
  10. markrox7 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    #10
    I think it's nice in some places, like the Notes.app, and the Calendar.app (on the Mac it's still alright IMO). I think where this skeuomorphism gets annoying is in apps like Find My Friends. The leather stitching has nothing to do with the app whatsoever and looks out of place. If skeuomorphism can be applied, like in a Calendar or Notes app, then go for it. But if there's an app like Find My Friends that could have a simpler look, then skeuomorphism just doesn't look good, but at least it doesn't interfere that much with the functionality of the app. :apple:
     
  11. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #11
    Yeah hated the brushed metal. Bad, just like Windows Aero design language.
     
  12. brayhite macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    N. Kentucky
    #12
    I understand if someone just has a general dislike for a color, but skeuomorphic design is alright in my book. Like one poster said, the visual cues it helps establish are great. I only use iCal/Calendar in Month view so it looks like a desktop calendar. I tend to use the handwriting font in the Note app.

    Some things, like Game Center, are a little goofy and unnecessary in design. Not sure why the card tabletop design is representative of a "Game Center" feel. But then again, I don't know what sort of UI would have a Game Center feel (I'd rather not see an arcade or casino-look, personally).

    The brush metal isn't bad, to me either, though I'd prefer a glass/glossy-look.

    Maybe my tastes in aesthetics aren't sophisticated enough to want more from Apple :p
     
  13. kmj2318 macrumors 68000

    kmj2318

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    Naples, FL
    #13
    There are many examples that I don't like, but some I feel ok about. I think the happy medium would be somewhere between iOS and Android. Windows 8 might be too sparse to be useful, even though I like some of the designs.

    IMO, Google Now looks much better than the ugly linen used in Siri.
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    I feel like Apple way oversuses it at times, but there are times when it trumps the metro style

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    You obviously know what's touchable by the look of the glassy bubbles, whereas in the metro design, the flat letters don't convey teachability, even though i tend to visually prefer flat designs.

    Overall I feel that Google has the best design, which is surprising considering how ugly the google homepage used to be for many years. However, the android side of things is sometimes a little too techy for me.

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  14. rorschach macrumors 68020

    rorschach

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2003
    #14
    I forgot the pinstripes as well:

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    ;)
     
  15. Planey28 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    Greater Birmingham, UK
    #15
    It's alright to a degree, but they're way overdoing it. Game Center and Podcasts being the perfect examples; felt and wood have absolutely nothing to do with video games and it looks tacky. They really need to stop using the linen everywhere as well, it's a really ugly and overused texture.

    There are times when it works well though such as the calculator and notes.

    I agree that Google are doing much better in the UI design field lately, Jelly Bean looks slick.
     
  16. Daysight macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    #16
    I hate it, frankly. Distracts from the experience of working in a slick modern OS, like driving a Porsche wearing mittens and rubber boots. Just my personal opinion of course. Wish I had the option of an alternative design.
     
  17. virginblue4 macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #17
    I disagree with your opinion on Siri vs Google Now. I feel that Google Now looks like it has been quickly and cheaply thrown together, whereas, Siri looks like time and effort has gone into it.
     
  18. jacg macrumors 6502a

    jacg

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    In iOS it sometimes looks a bit overdone, but in most cases I will tolerate it if the app is good. In some ways it may help identify the app, especially when I am multitasking using the 4 finger sweep gesture. I didn't realise the podcast app looked like that: what a shocker. If I'm buying and trying to choose between two similar apps, i'll choose the more OS X-like app.

    Which leads me to the bigger problem: awful and creeping skeuomorphism by Apple in mac OS X. Here I do not want several apps on the screen at once all using different interfaces and colour palettes. That is what I dislike about windows. Full screen apps, maybe, but I never use these as it limits productivity.

    Lion's iCal and address book are truly shameful. Why can't a standard OS X UI be an option for every one of these abonimation? If iWork is updated for OS X next week with leather and torn paper, it will prove that Apple have truly lost the plot.
     
  19. acosmichippo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    #19
    I didn't even realize this was an issue. I don't use Find my Friends, Game Center, or the Podcast app, so I can't comment on those, but I have no complaints with their other apps. In fact, I rather like it.
     
  20. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #20
    Most of the non-Apple apps I use have great design. Clean, simple and uncluttered. I still scratch my head on how Steve could be so focused on refining and simplifying when it came to hardware but adding all this unnecessary stuff on the software side.

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    Does Apple have any designers on the software side or are they all engineers? I think you'll get a totally different outcome from someone who has an engineering degree vs someone who maybe has a fine art degree.
     
  21. Grolubao macrumors 65816

    Grolubao

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #21
    It's awful! I prefer the minimalist approach.

    That leather in a lot of Apple app's is just plain horrendous.
     
  22. MattInOz macrumors 68030

    MattInOz

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney
    #22
    But you have a device with a relativity small screen for the function it delivers. So the design is not just how it works but placemaking or branding each app. Think of Find my Friends, Addressbook, Calendar, many 3rd party apps, all of which could be in standard supplied Person Picker when you get distracted by something look away from the screen or screen changes. You come back seconds, minutes later. How long does it take you to re-estatablish in your brain why you there. If all the apps use just used the standard UI then your lost. If each app adopts a theme element then it's another bread crumb you have to handle context shifting.

    Not saying some of themes Apple uses are good chooses, but the value does go beyond purely functional visual clues.
     
  23. ajvizzgamer101 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    United States
    #23
    It gives applications the home sweet home feeling but it also uses more resources. So it has it's ups and downs, there is definitely room for improve in some of them. iPhone glass shelves are terrible. But the brushes are nice touch.
     
  24. acosmichippo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    #24
    Because if they treated every apple app like that, they'd all be boring grey blobs - just look at Lion's finder sidebar. Color and visual cues help people get things done. Maybe you aren't one of these people, but a lot of us are.
     
  25. Rogifan thread starter macrumors P6

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #25
    What function does it provide though, other than bad aesthetics? Faux leather and stitching on the iCal app helps you get things done how exactly? I'm not advocating for no color or grey everywhere but taking something virtual and making it look like its physical counterpart isn't necessary IMO. It's just cheesy.
     

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