Elegance vs Flat Functionality

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by masterbaron, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. masterbaron macrumors regular

    masterbaron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    3rd Planet from the Sun
    #1
    The impassioned responses to the flat UI changes in iOS and Mac OS reflect the long held paradigm that Apple embodies class, simplicity and most prominently elegance.

    I for one have always cherished these attributes!

    Honestly though, as time moves on my reliance to the desktop, UI and overall performance of the Operating System has lessened as evolution brings more esoteric capabilities to mainstream.

    I want the end result more than the journey at this point.

    I'm attempting to reduce my time in the actual digital framework while enjoying the results, output and solutions more - less tinkering and modifying and more focus on results (i.e. greater quality of life which means less time looking at a device and more time looking at the world through my God-given eyes and enjoying human interaction).

    This means I want the results faster with less intervention and less concern for the presentation.

    I think Apple is going to help me with this - because I will only be able to do the work that must be done because hanging around in this flat iconic environment is tedious and lacking inspiration.
     
  2. Altis macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    #2
    Although I have no idea what your precise point is, I do know how you feel about wanting to unplug a bit! :cool:

    It's one of the reasons I don't end up using iPads very much... I find they simply add time to any task. I can get so much more done on a desktop in a given time and then move on if I want to.. Or keep wasting my time on the internet.. :eek::rolleyes:
     
  3. masterbaron thread starter macrumors regular

    masterbaron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    3rd Planet from the Sun
    #3
    Elegance vs Flat Functionality

    I'm currently on iOS6 and won't upgrade until I'm forced to ... Mac OS 10 is going to finalize my deep involvement and caring about presentation as both platforms will be flat.

    I almost tanked when my wife upgraded and we lost Facetime because I refuse to upgrade.

    I lost Bookmark sync because I refuse to utilize the Cloud ... again I'm being pushed into the "I Don't Care Anymore - Does it Work".

    I do my work and leave when in the past I was driven to explore.
     
  4. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #4
    How much time do you actually spend in the actual digital framework?
     
  5. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #5
    Functionality is necessary for elegance. An interface that looks nice, clean and sparse may be pretty, but if it gives you no cues as to how to use it, it isn't elegant.

    Skeuomorphism, done properly, was functional: 3D buttons showed you which bits of the screen to click on. Icons - when designed to be individually distinctive with unique outlines - helped guide your eye to the function you wanted. References to physical devices (books with tab indices, tape players...) gave you functionality clues. Some icons, even though they were anachronistic (floppy discs, cameras, folders etc.) became, well, iconic and universally recognised. Most importantly, standard conventions were adopted for how things worked, so moving between apps became easy.

    Then people (including Apple) lost the plot. Apps started breaking out in wood veneer, stitched leather and green beize. Icons morphed into shiny uniform discs distinguished only by abstract colours and patterns. Look at the 'Contacts' app in the leather-look era: the problem was not that it looked like a book, the problem was that it looked like a book but didn't work like a book rendering the visual design pointless.

    Worse, everybody started making standard features work in gratuitously different ways so they could try and patent them (the MS Office ribbon bar - designed purely to be protectable IP and to hell with usability - was the highlight of this).


    So people confused skeuomorphism with bad design and we had the backlash in which everything was flat, and all those handy visual cues were thrown out with the bathwater and everything becomes a sea of featureless white, with 'mystery meat' navigation.

    Thing is about these cues, you don't necessarily appreciate them when you're carefully scrutinising a screen - its when you're in a hurry or distracted that their absence bites.. I've actually missed appointments because the gridlines have disappeared in Calendar and I associated the appointment with the wrong day of the week. Seems crazy when you look 'properly' but it happened several times after I upgrade to Mavericks. However, I think Android and the Google apps have been worst affected - Android already had a 'discoverability' problem because some apps used the physical menu button for options while others (particualrly Google's) didn't, and the loss of distinct on-screen controls has made this worse.

    I think designers these days have forgotten the 'bad old days' when software like Wordstar , Lotus 123 and dBase all had completely different systems of menus and keyboard commands (and some of them tried to copyright their interfaces) and hence overlooked the single great advantage that Mac OS and Windows brought: a unified, consistent user interface across applications.
     
  6. masterbaron thread starter macrumors regular

    masterbaron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Location:
    3rd Planet from the Sun
    #6
    Elegance vs Flat Functionality

    and this is crossing the line ... negating functionality with peer upgrades and topology mandates such as iCloud.

    Apple has reduced it's focus on the individual ... increased it's focus on profit ... while emphasizing iControl over it's community of users.

    I think it's Google that's using cardboard to make certain gear like goggles ... truthfully I think that's the future.

    Make it work and make it so I really don't care whose device it is or whose network it uses ... make it all go away and make it cheap so I don't mind throwing it away in 2 years.
     
  7. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #7
    So you don't have a point? Apple doesn't need to do anything. They're never going to catch android.
     

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