Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 7th Jan 2011 18:00 UTC
Mac OS X Remember the good old days? The good old days when people cried loads of foul over the inconsistency in the Windows user interface? You know, applications deviating from the norm - with even Microsoft seemingly doing whatever pleased them? This was considered a huge problem, especially by those from the Macintosh and Apple camp. Oh, how the times have changed.
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It is the web's influence
by theorz on Fri 7th Jan 2011 18:32 UTC
theorz
Member since:
2006-01-08

I see the changing philosophy with consistency as a result of what the web is teaching us. Websites evolved without the toolkits resulting in a lot more experimentation in their designs. The next generation of designers are growing up with the web as the biggest platform resulting in a different way of thinking about design.

The old way of thinking was that a good UI was a set of rules to follow religiously. While the web generation of design sees a good UI as something that:
* Is on message marketing wise (style and copy)
* Is consistent workflow wise, but not necessarily in the details
* Tests well. I think this is a big one. User testing is now the stamp of approval for web designs. Having a design that users find easy to use and elicits the emotional response they are looking for is seen as far more important than following platform style guides.

Is this a good thing? Well that remains to be seen. It seems to be working well so far as web and mobile interfaces take this philosophy and are seeing great adoption rates, especially among people who found computers too hard to use in the 90s.

Reply Score: 8

RE: It is the web's influence
by orestes on Fri 7th Jan 2011 19:59 in reply to "It is the web's influence"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

Bingo. Me personally, I've never really cared if my apps looked like they were fully integrated into the environment. I put vastly more value on self consistent behavior within the app itself and doing the job the app is intended to do without getting in my way.

Reply Parent Score: 2

izomiac Member since:
2006-07-26

Hmm... perhaps that is why I (and a vocal group of others) find webpage functional inconsistencies to be so annoying. To me, webpages are documents, and an interactive one is like a shared document. The viewer (i.e. web browser) renders them consistently despite their quite varied appearance.

For example, hyperlinks have a variety of ways you can interact with them (e.g. middle click, tab to select, drag to toolbar, etc.), so when some moron uses flash or javascript to replicate only a single aspect of their functionality, it's infuriating. OTOH, perhaps I'm a dinosaur fearing the meteor that is the gradual unification of the viewer and the document, the application and the webpage.

Reply Parent Score: 8