Skeuomorphism

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by ajvizzgamer101, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. ajvizzgamer101 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I found this article to be a very good read and wanted to share it.

    http://realmacsoftware.com/blog/skeuomorphism-and-the-user-interface

    Basically, Skeuomorphism isn't bad if it is done right. If done right, it can enhance the experience. iBooks is done right. It's not just a theme to make it look like a book, it actually acts like a book. Contacts on OS X, just looks like an address book. It doesn't function like an address book though. But sometimes skeuomorphism isn't the right choice. And i hope Jony Ive can make the right decision on when to fix skeuomorphism and when to get rid of it.

    My opinions:
    Kill Skeuomorphism: Game Center, Find My Friends, Find my iPhone
    Improve Skeuomorphism: Calendars, Contacts, Notes, Music
    Leave Alone: Passbook, iBooks, Maps, Camera, Calculator

    For any App that doesn't have skeuomorphism, should take after the App Store: Black Bars, White background
     
  2. Phayz macrumors member

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    #2
    I don't think it's that simple, it comes down to user preferences and everyone's opinion of UI and perception of the "perfect" user experience are different
     
  3. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #3
    I have some vision problems and frankly many skuomorphisms reduce visual contrast and make my life harder. I'd abandon most of them (except maybe in iBooks).
     
  4. andrv1126 macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Am I the only one that doesn't understand this sudden general negativity towards skeuomorphism?

    I actually like it very much as it gives Apple devices a fun, colorful and unique look - way more pleasant than tech-driven designs... Besides, I don't think it makes the interface any harder to use or look at. I'd be quite disappointed of they got rid of it.

    What is it about skeuomorphism that puts people off?
     
  5. Beeplance macrumors 65816

    Beeplance

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    #5
    You're not alone. After Forstall's sudden departure, everyone started slamming his skeuomorphism tactics, as if it actually ruined the user experience.

    Truth is, I'm perfectly fine with iOS the way it is now. Just because some people find it "boring" does NOT mean it is unusable. As long as you can do everyone you want on a iPhone the same way as other smartphones, who cares about the design of the software?
     
  6. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

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    #6
    It has nothing to do with skeuomorphism, but the design of the software is a very big deal and I find it somewhat unsettling that nearly every app or feature created by Apple follows a completely different set of design rules. There is little to no cohesion or method to their madness.

    Even worse is that, as new apps and features are built created, they seem to continue the 'let's try something completely new for no reason' mentality while older apps/ features are only partially updated- making things match even less.

    I don't care so much for what they look like, but every app should operate in a similar fashion... and they don't.
     
  7. andrv1126 macrumors newbie

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    #7
    I don't think getting rid of skeuomorphism would make different Apple apps behave more alike - each one provides different functionality, after all.

    I do agree, however, that the Podcasts app may have gone a little overboard with all that...
     
  8. rorschach macrumors 68020

    rorschach

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    #8
    Why should all apps operate in a similar fashion if different functions demand different designs?

    For example, Maps and Contacts are totally different -- one is visual and the other is text/list-based. So they operate differently. I think trying to fit all apps into one design scheme, regardless of their different uses and functions, would be far worse.

    But in fact many apps do function similarly, even with different designs, when it makes sense.

    Contacts and Calendar are similar and they do look/act similarly: see the Calendar/Group selection screens, the edit screens, the item view screens.

    Notes might have a skeumorphic design, but it operates like standard iOS app (Mail, Messages) with the list of items, the navigation header, and the function buttons along the buttom.
     
  9. Beeplance macrumors 65816

    Beeplance

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    #9
    Why should every app operate in a similar fashion if every app has a different function?

    And "operation" of the app does not necessarily translate to the design of the app?
     
  10. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

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    #10
    Ease and convenience. For a product that is supposed to 'just work,' it'd make much more sense if the universal functions were always in a similar spot and worked a certain way.

    Every day someone finds a new 'feature' on their iPhone that has been there for months or years, posts it here, and everyone goes crazy thanking them for pointing it out. Sorry, but I see a major problem there. Namely, it shows that the apps aren't intuitive enough.

    As pointed out by rorschach, Contacts and Calendar are similar and Notes operates like Mail and Messages, that's two completely separate styles right there. Reminders, the App Store, Game Center, Maps, iBooks, Podcasts and a bunch of other each work in their own way.
     
  11. RenoG macrumors 65816

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    #11
    and what will happen is that if everyone gets their death-to-skeu wish everyone will complain about boring apple's UI is, and how Microsoft everything looks.

    Whatevs....
     
  12. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

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    #12
    Notes is one of the apps I enjoy for that very reason. It follows the basic design of other core apps while living in its own fun world and being extremely user friendly. When someone opens it for the first time, they (for the most part) know what to do.

    The same can not be said for Passbook.
     
  13. Small White Car, Nov 25, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012

    Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #13
    For me it was when they took the 3-panel Mac OS Address Book and made it a 2-panel program that forced you to flip back and forth constantly to see the 3rd page for no reason other than the fact that books only have 2 pages, so this app must too.

    I have a 24" monitor and I was clicking constantly to flip tiny little pages back and forth while 90% of my screen goes un-used.

    Stupid stupid stupid.

    They've since corrected this in Mountain Lion, but the fact that they did it at all shows just how insane Apple got with this skeuomorphism stuff. It's not just how it looks. It's how it works, and it was making things work worse.

    The OP is correct, there are right and wrong ways. I don't care that the current Address Book looks like a book. That's perfectly fine. It was the fact that they forced it to act like a book that was idiotic.


    Sorry, but you're wrong here. Forcing people to flip pages back and forth for no reason can not be defended as a 'preference.' It was just plain wrong. (Which is why it's since been changed back.)


    Design is 'how it works.' They re-designed it to work worse just because they wanted it to work like a book. That's skeuomorphism at its worst. The current version looks like a book but works like a well designed app. That's skeuomorphism that's ok.
     
  14. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030

    blackhand1001

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    #14
    Exactly, if theres one thing google did right with Ice Cream sandwich and forward its standardizing holo across the entire OS.
     
  15. MikeyMike01 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Android is incapable of providing the sorts of design that iOS is, due to the fact that the images need to be stretchable, so they have taken to slamming it. That's all.
     
  16. bjb.butler macrumors 6502a

    bjb.butler

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    #16
    You're a troll. What does any of what he said have to do with android
     
  17. touchipods macrumors regular

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    Oct 9, 2012
    #17
    I agree. Forstall was heavily in favor of skeuomorphism just like Steve Jobs was. If Apple moves on, they will be moving on from Steve and his 4-year plan. Unless Jobs also wanted to eliminate in the future-which I doubt since Forstall didn't.

    Ive may remove it completely thus leaving Jobs vision of what iOS was meant to be and more towards what Ive/Cook want.:mad:
     
  18. bp1000 macrumors 65816

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    #18
    I think it's quite nice to have a bit of colour in the apps - black and grey might be quite boring after a while. Although i agree with some other posts, you can go too far with skeuomorphism which cheapens the experience.
     
  19. m00min macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Design should be informed by the function of an app or site. I find skeuomorphism a bit of a lazy cop out, a paper address book has fewer routes into its data (usually an alphabetised collection of tabs), an electronic address book is far more flexible, offering search and cross-linking of certain shared data (people with shared work places for example) and more. What works IRL won't necessarily transfer to the screen and can actually get in the way.

    I use Busycal on my laptop because more of the screen space is given over to displaying the important data than Apple's calendar and the interface isn't pulling my attention away.
     
  20. Rogifan, Nov 26, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012

    Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #20
    There was an article on this in the New York Times and someone who used to work for Microsoft said this whole skeuomrphic design language is not something they teach in design school. Why make an app look like a physical object when the app does things the physical object cant do? Or worse, why cripple the functionality of an app because you're trying too hard to adhere to representing a physical object.

    I'm not a fan of skeuomrphism but what bothers me most is there doesn't seem to be any consistency within iOS. Some things are more minimalist and others are very kitsch. I'm hoping Ive can bring some consistency to Apple's UI's. Doesn't mean Apple has to go all metro or Android. There has to be a way to lose the kitsch but still keep some personality.
     
  21. m00min macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Yep. I certainly don't remember it being covered.
     
  22. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    #22
    The sad thing (if that's the right word) is I'm sure Apple UI/UX designers spend a lot of time making these things life like and creating all these animations when their time could be spent on improving core functionality and on innovation. Something like Pasbook seems half baked to me, yet I'm sure guys under Forstall spent plenty of time making sure the shredder animation worked perfectly when it wasn't necessary in the first place.
     
  23. ajvizzgamer101 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Hmm... I'd figure more character would make it easier for people with bad vision to use.

    ----------

    I don't see him going all metro on us. I think it will have a subtle gradient like the new iTunes.
     
  24. bushido Suspended

    bushido

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    #24
    i just dont like how there isnt any consistency with iOS anymore. u open one default app and it looks completely different from another.

    the UI is all over the place, its like they started to improve one thing but didnt bother with another one. stock looks still the same from 2007 while the music app looks completely different
     
  25. ajvizzgamer101 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #25
    I can agree with that for System UI like Settings, Notification Pop-up, App Store...ect they are all different looking.
     

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