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: Comment by clasqm
by ndrw on Sat 21st Apr 2012 14:30 UTC in reply to "Comment by clasqm"
ndrw
Member since:
2009-06-30

That's not what skeumorphism is all about. Going through your examples:

- Dashboard - just a name. No one is putting legs on it anymore, at least not while driving.
- Clock and dials - that's a convention. No one is trying to imitate an actual clock (twelve digits, two hands, tick-tack and a woodpecker)
- Long bonnets and wheels in the front - leg room and a big engine.
- Filofaxes - no idea what's that. This analogy wouldn't help me at all.
- 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).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by clasqm
by Athlander on Sat 21st Apr 2012 15:21 in reply to "RE: Comment by clasqm"
Athlander Member since:
2008-03-10

Filofaxes - no idea what's that. This analogy wouldn't help me at all


This helps prove his point.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by clasqm
by ndrw on Sat 21st Apr 2012 18:02 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by clasqm"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

That's good. It means we agree on something. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by clasqm
by clasqm on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 10:09 in reply to "RE: Comment by clasqm"
clasqm Member since:
2010-09-23

- Filofaxes - no idea what's that. This analogy wouldn't help me at all.


A picture paints a thousand words:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Myfilofax.jpg

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!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard

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.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by clasqm
by Priest on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 17:15 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by clasqm"
Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

There is an obvious point the pro Dvorak camp is missing. QWERTY was designed to space out commonly used keys on a typewriter but it is still useful today because it provides exactly the same function for peoples fingers.

QWERTY keyboards allow the user to spread their hands out in a more natural position where they are too cramped on Dvorak keyboards.

Only when you have a very small keypad and using a single finger to type on does it start to make sense to redesign the keyboard and even then not always. I use swipe for instance on my phone and it determines what I am writing from the shape that I draw so there is still an advantage to separating common letters.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by clasqm
by zima on Fri 27th Apr 2012 22:59 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by clasqm"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

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!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard

There's also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard#Controversy section and its links*... Or at the very least - overall efficiency is what matters in the end (most people don't even touch-type after all)

*or more succinct summary of sorts, of one : http://wwwpub.utdallas.edu/~liebowit/harvj/harvard.html
V. EMPIRICAL EXAMPLES OF STANDARD CHOICE
A. The Fable Of The Keys
The continued use of the ever popular QWERTY versus Dvorak keyboard story [...] are sad commentaries on the lack of respect for historical accuracy
[...]
Ignored in these stories of Dvorak's superiority is a carefully controlled experiment conducted under the auspices of the General Service Administration in the 1950s comparing QWERTY with Dvorak. In the experiment, a group of typists were retrained on the Dvorak keyboard. When these retrained Dvorak typists regained their prior QWERTY speed, a group of QWERTY typists began additional training on the QWERTY keyboard, while the new Dvorak typists continued their training. This parallel training is important because it is always possible to improve a typist's performance on any keyboard with additional training. The QWERTY typists were carefully selected to constitute a proper control group for the Dvorak typists, and other scientific controls were applied. The conclusion of the study was that the QWERTY typists always performed better than the Dvorak typists. Thus the experiment contradicted the claims made by advocates of Dvorak and concluded that it made no sense to retrain typists on the Dvorak keyboard. This study, which was influential in its time, brought to an end any serious efforts to shift from QWERTY to Dvorak.
Modern research in ergonomics also reaches similar conclusions. This research consists of simulations and experiments that compare various keyboard designs. It finds little advantage in the Dvorak keyboard layout, confirming the results of the GSA study.
So on what basis were the claims of Dvorak's superiority made? We discovered that most, if not all, of the claims of Dvorak's superiority can be traced to the patent owner, Professor August Dvorak.


Plus Dvorak layout is a bit of joke, vs. internationalisation & our modern very connected world, in its quest to be supposedly very optimised for English ...apparently it's community thinks it's bad enough for other languages to warrant language-specific Dvorak variants.

Still, my 1st language (of 40+ million speakers, with more letters than EN) doesn't seem to have its layout.
My 2nd language has... more than one Dvorak layout.

There's enough of a (mild) mess with QWERTY/QWERTZ/AZERTY.

Edited 2012-04-27 23:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2