Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 20th Apr 2012 17:05 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Tobias Bjerrome Ahlin, an interface designer at Spotify, is a big believer in skeuomorphism. Whereas Apple is a strong advocate of this design concept, Microsoft is clearly moving in the exact opposite direction, while Android is in the process of moving away from skeuomorphism entirely, to a more digital experience. As a passionate hater of skeuomorphism in UIs, I found Ahlin's examples to be a bit weak.
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RE[2]: Comment by clasqm
by clasqm on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 10:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by clasqm"
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- Filofaxes - no idea what's that. This analogy wouldn't help me at all.

A picture paints a thousand words:

OK, I'm sure you see the inspiration for dozens of skeumorphic PIM apps there.

- QWERTY - again, a convention. Physical keyboard may look similar to a typewriter because of similar physical constraints but the last thing I want from an on-screen keyboard is to render a photo of a keyboard (at least not while they lack tactile feedback).

That's not the point. If this was about efficiency, we would all be typing on the far more efficient Dvorak layout now, on tablets, on laptops, on everything, not on a QWERTY layout that was developed for nineteenth century typewriters. The QWERTY keyboard layout perpetuates an illusion that we are still working on an ancient typewriter. And we all go along with it. Resistance to learning something new is a very strong factor even among geeks, and I don't exempt myself from that!

If anything, I am arguing that the general definition of skeumorphism is too loose and not radical enough. It goes far deeper than just how photo-realistic a depiction of a real-world object it is. If you don't analyse those deeper levels, then no matter how abstract and non-representative you make the depiction, the skeumorphism is still lurking underneath and waiting for a graphic designer to pretty it up and make it look like a real-world object again.

The question is not whether the virtual keyboard on, say, your iPad is a photo of a typewriter keyboard (actually, it is damn close to a photo of an Apple wireless keyboard, but never mind). The point is that as long as nobody asks the question "isn't there a better way to do text entry?", the possibility exists for someone to make that photo of a typewriter keyboard and paste it in there. And as long as that possibility exists, someone, somewhere, is going to do it.

And if that "better way" does catch on, watch out for someone to make a skeumorphic representation of that, ten or twenty years later! This is going to be a long debate.

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