Less skeuomorphism in future iOSs?

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by jonnyb, May 24, 2012.

  1. jonnyb macrumors 65816

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    #1
    The recent interview with Jonathan Ive in the Telegraph got me thinking about the aesthetics of future versions of iOS. In the interview, Ive is asked directly about skeuomorphism and how it fits with his industrial design. He diplomatically sidesteps the question but the reader gets the feeling that he doesn't like it much.

    "That simplicity in the hardware has not always been matched in the software, which since the rise of iOS - the operating system for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch - has been marked by something known as skeuomorphism, a tendency for new designs to retain ornamental features of the old design. Thus the calendar in Apple's Macs and on iOS has fake leather texture and even fake stitching.

    When I mention the fake stitching, Ive offers a wince but it's a gesture of sympathy rather than a suggestion that he dislikes such things. At least, that's how I read it. He refuses to be drawn on the matter, offering a diplomatic reply: "My focus is very much working with the other teams on the product ideas and then developing the hardware and so that's our focus and that's our responsibility. In terms of those elements you're talking about, I'm not really connected to that."


    It also made me think of a story I'd read about an employee meeting Steve Jobs in a lift and showing him the app he'd been working on. "Needs more texture", was apparently Jobs' reply.

    So, putting those together, and now that Jobs is no longer with us, I wonder whether we'll see a gradual move away from skeuomorphism - at least in its more extreme forms on iOS; like the Find My Friends leather and the torn-off pages of the Calendar. Personally, I think some 'texture' is good but I also admire the sheer, plain functionality of some of Matias Duarte's work on Android ICS.

    What do people think? Is skeuomorphism an Apple thing that makes iOS what it is or can it, and should it, be toned down?
     
  2. steavejohn1994 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    #2
    Apple iCal
    This is without a doubt the hot topic at the moment when skeuomorphic design is being discussed or debated. With the release of OS X Lion, Apple decided to bring the look and feel of Calendar for the iPad to it’s desktop counter-part iCal.
    Some people love it, and others hate it. But the interesting thing about this example is that it used to be different. So unlike with most designs, we actually have the simple, clean version to directly compare it to.
    iBooks
    iBooks for iOS simulates a lot of the elements of reading physical books, from the wooden bookshelf that all of your titles appear sit on, to the action of turning pages, and being able to see what’s on the next page gradually before you’ve actually completed the action, just like real books.
    Apple were careful not to compromise on usability in iBooks, by allowing you to simply tap the edge of a page to turn it, rather than requiring the swiping action every time, it actually made the experience easier than turning a real page. Which is very important, especially on the iPhone version when it could potentially happen 100’s or 1000’s of times per read
     
  3. jonnyb thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    I really like the page-turning metaphor in iBooks but it's important to note that Apple haven't made a swipe mandatory for the user. If you just tap on the right hand side of the page it will flip over very quickly. So there, they've been very careful to allow for both types of users - the ones who want to turn a page in the traditional book-y way, and also those who just want to tap through quickly.
     
  4. The Phazer macrumors 68030

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    #4
    I don't think this means anything to be blunt. Ive does hardware, not software.

    I agree with him completely that the skeuomorphism is fugly, but I don't think the parts of Apple that are making these terrible design decisions are the parts that have anything to do with Jonathan Ive.

    Phazer
     
  5. jonnyb thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    I wasn't suggesting that Ive had anything to do with the software, I just meant that at an organisational level, post-Jobs, skeuomorphism might fall out of favour.
     
  6. The Phazer macrumors 68030

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    #6
    I don't know why Ive's opinions would indicate that, and there doesn't seem to be any sign of these terrible design choices going away in any recent software.
     
  7. jackc macrumors 65816

    jackc

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    #7
    I don't care for the skewmorpholicious stuff, but it's pretty minor.
     
  8. jonnyb thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I was just implying that the skeuomorphism, or at least top level support for it, had laid with Steve Jobs and that things might, at some point, change. I was merely using Ive as an example of someone at Apple who seemed not to care for it much; there might be others in the Mac OS and iOS design teams who feel the same way.
     

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