Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 12th Feb 2013 22:52 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces "If you're paying attention to what's going on in the design world, you've probably noticed the ongoing debate around skeuomorphism vs. flat design." Good overview of the subject from Sacha Greif. This is a very important point: "But where the main victim of realism is merely good taste, taking minimalism too far can have serious consequences on usability. Users have come to rely on a lot of subtle clues to make their way through an interface: buttons have slight gradients and rounded corners, form fields have a soft inner shadow, and navigation bars 'float' over the rest of the content. Remove all these clues, and you end up with a flat world where every element is suddenly placed at the same level, potentially leading to confusion: Is this a button, or simply a banner? Will anything happen if I tap this?"
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jared_wilkes
Member since:
2011-04-25

The standard buttons in any gui toolkit I've ever seen look nothing like the physical buttons I've seen in my real life. So they have an aspect of abstraction built into their looks.


The level of familiarity or photorealism or direct analog doesn't change that it is in fact skeuomorphic. Why do buttons need to have a false sense of depth when you are dealing with a 2D target area? As soon as you start to appeal to some unnecessary analog it is skeuomorphism.

Why Its a kinda but not really aspect. Icons of written documents aren't bad, but the more you actually make them look like a mini photograph of a document, the worse they are. Usually less is more in this case. Microsoft has always used a giant W for Microsoft word documents, sometimes with a litte doc behind it. It works great. If you made it more skeumorphic it wouldn't be so great.


I think my point is being misinterpreted. My point is: skeuomorphism is both unavoidable and desirable despite what some would say or have us believe. Of course, it is a question of degree. But unfortunately, I've had to endure nearly 2 years of black-and-white arguments saying that it is bad -- quality articles like this one are returning the nuances back into the debate.

Radio buttons? Again the standard ones look nothing like real old school 1970's buttons that you'd find on radios.


There's nothing in the definition of skeuomorphism that says that the analog must be "real old school 1970's buttons that you'd find on radios." People have been using the term since before the turn of the century -- before there were computers or even transistors.

Check boxes? I don't press them in real life. I can't press them again to remove the check mark I made. Its a blend of skeumorphic and abstraction that we are used to on computers, and that's what works best, imho.


More or less what I am saying, yes.

Edited 2013-02-13 20:14 UTC

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