Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 01:11 UTC, submitted by Panajev
Apple "Earlier this week Apple fired Scott Forstall, the architect of its iOS platform, and handed his duties over to the company's chief industrial designer, Jonathan Ive. Ive and Forstall had an infamously chilly working relationship, and one of their biggest disagreements was over the role of so-called 'skeuomorphic' design in Apple's products. Forstall, like his mentor Steve Jobs, favored it; Ive disliked it. To many observers, Forstall's forced exit looks like a vindication of Ive's stance. But if he wants to continue Apple's enviable trend of innovation, he'd be a fool to throw the baby of skeuomorphism out with Forstall's bathwater." Hoped for a thorough article on the benefits of skeuomorphism - got the age-old and intrinsically invalid excuse 'because it sells'. Windows isn't he best desktop operating system because it sells so well. Lady Gaga isn't the best artist because she sells a lot of records. This argument is never valid, has zero value, and adds nothing to what should be an interesting discussion.
Permalink for comment 540925
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Comment by hoak
by hoak on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 13:40 UTC
Member since:

Why Ive SHOULD kill Apple's skeuomorphic interfaces

To be blunt: Steve Jobs is dead, he (not Ive) was the driving force behind most of Apple's interface design; Steve steered other creative talents (including Ive) to articulate his own ideas that he could not fashion himself.

Without Steve Jobs, regardless of what you regard as his motive talent, be it: charisma, taste, insight, or just the ability to lead and get things done -- there is no path forward following a dead Ideologue's ideas; to do so would would be more retromorphism then skeuomorphism in terms of design.

Apple's products have never been original or brilliant, but have been a combination of good design ideas, a lot of talented hard working people, a ton of powerful marketing that leverages some of the best brainwashing R&D to make it's way into the private sector -- and Steve Jobs leading, running and micromanaging the show and giving everything the focus only a 'one man show' can have.

Sans Steve, there's no sustainable path forward for what are essentially vertical market fashion products, and like any fashion product Apple's will go out of fashion... As well, there are as many (if not more) that consider Apple's products well past their prime as far as 'taste' no less good design implementations of ideas -- skeuomorphic or otherwise.

Post Steve Apple is still a company that still has an enormous well of design and development talent, but sans Steve if there's to be any strong design statement to move products forward in any way that's compelling and competitive, no less 'tasteful' it's going to have to be something people working on it feel passionate about.

While there may be a lot of affection, nostalgia, and sentimentality for what what is already a legacy design; Apple's current interface doesn't even present a particularly good implementation of skeuomorphism as they're still loaded with inconsistencies (aesthetic and functional), poor ergonomics, histrionics, and art assets that as many as not consider 'tasteless' or even ugly.

Let Ive do what he wants, especially if it's something new and stunning...

Edited 2012-11-03 13:42 UTC

Reply Score: 4