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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Skeuomorphism can go too far, but...
by bloodline on Fri 20th Apr 2012 18:38 UTC
Member since:

Is not the whole concept of the "Desktop"* an example of a skeuomorphic interface? I think that in moderation it is a cleaver way to allow users to naturally interface with a new paradigm, quickly and easily.

*I grew up with the Amiga, so I had a "Workbench" metaphor rather than a desktop...

Edited 2012-04-20 18:39 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Verenkeitin Member since:

I think Desktop started out as such poor attempt of skeuomorphism nobody has ever realized it until it is pointed out that its supposed to represent an actual desk.

Come to think of it, its this colossal failure as skeuomorphism that makes Desktop work so well.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Morgan Member since:

I've always envisioned the desktop on any OS as an always-open folder, a place to drop a file I'll only be working with for a short time. Call it the Desktop, the Workbench, the workspace, or whatever, I only use it for that purpose so I visualize it as a huge manila folder laid open...on top of my "desk". ;)

As an aside, I'll never get over the reaction I got several years ago when I was training a first time computer user (retired man in his 70s) and I told him to click on the icon on his desktop. He began to shuffle papers around on his desk, asking me what the hell an "icon" was and what did it have to do with his computer? It should go without saying it also took me over a week to convince him that the mouse should remain on the surface of the desk and not pointed at the screen like a TV remote.

Reply Parent Score: 3

ndrw Member since:

My screen looks nothing like my desktop. To be specific that's what I currently have on it:
- a laptop (recursion warning!),
- a computer mouse,
- some books (books, not icons of books),
- my cellphone on a charger (again, an actual phone, not an icon),
- a cup,
- cables.

On the on-screen desktop I have:
- a pointer,
- a panel with some buttons and gadgets on it,
- some movable rectangular windows displaying more buttons/UI controls and changing content,
- some icons acting as shortcuts to applications/documents/directories.

No, they aren't the same thing, in fact, they are as different as they possibly could be. Computer screens just happen to display 2D images so it makes sense to construct user interfaces that way.

So, we are left with just the name. But that was just someone's arbitrary decision to call it a "desktop" (for a good reason, we don't want to describe it every single time we mention it). After all, just because someone else called a pointing device a "mouse" doesn't mean we should now be comparing them to living mice.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Doc Pain Member since:

I think Desktop started out as such poor attempt of skeuomorphism nobody has ever realized it until it is pointed out that its supposed to represent an actual desk.

From the opposite point of view: See the "Realworld Desk" (including "screenshots") at The GUI Gallery! :-)

Reply Parent Score: 4

nefer Member since:

Spot on. A crude and simplistic version at that, because on the earliest systems carrying GUI's, resources were extremely limited.

These days, we have oodles of resources available to display so much more than these early UI's, so more refined and realistic versions become possible.

Reply Parent Score: 1