Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 17:05 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Mike Elgan at Cult of Mac: "It must surely be a sign of the impending apocalypse that Microsoft's operating systems have 'more taste' than Apple's. I'm referring, of course, to Apple's inexplicable use of skeuomorphic design in iOS and OS X apps, and contrasting that with Microsoft's stark avoidance of such cheesy gimmickry in the Windows 8 and Windows Phone user interfaces. A skeuomorphic design in software is one that 'decorates' the interface with fake reality - say, analog knobs or torn paper. The problem is worse than it sounds." Won't come as a surprise to anyone that I wholeheartedly agree with this one. iOS and Mac OS X are ruined by an incredibly high Microsoft BOB factor. I have no idea how - or if - Apple will address this, or if the current downward spiral is going to continue.
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Both Apple and Microsoft can do better
by laffer1 on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 18:33 UTC
Member since:

I find that modern OS X is a nightmare with the leather bound address book and ugly iCal. Windows 8 looks like a children's toy with the colorful boxes. The era or professional, clean user interfaces is over. it really started going down with Windows XP on Microsoft's side and Lion with Apple, although let's not forget the brushed metal look they experimented with.

I've experimented with this real world object idea on an app. Eventually, I came to my senses because it truly was ugly. I had a "journal" view for a blogging app.

It's like every developer at Apple and Microsoft have forgotten history. Are all the old timers gone who remember Microsoft Bob and the Quicktime 4? It wasn't just them either. Some people may remember Packard Bell Navigator. (computers shipped in the mid 90s had it)

I don't think it's limited to desktops either. Some of the new mobile apps I've seen are just as hideous and it's even showing up on the web in some places. The era of ugly is upon us.

Reply Score: 3

MysterMask Member since:

The critique is way over the top. There is a vast difference between a pseudo leather background look which can - depending on personal taste - look pleasant or not and the QuickTime 4 problem where discussions were (rightfully) about a wrongly chosen UI control: You don't have to interact with the leather background so there's IMHO no problem to use something that looks 'real world'. From the 'use' standpoint there is no real difference if you use grey or pseudo-somehing.

You can see how ridiculous the discussion is if i start calling the white background in a MSWord document a skeuomorphism because it looks like real world paper. Is this a problem. No. Just one of those Holwerda stories stating the message that the success of Apple is the downfall of good IT ..

Reply Parent Score: 2

laffer1 Member since:

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I don't think this critique is simply about the rise of Apple and the downfall of everything. It's a critique on the poor usability of modern operating system (and application) development. Everything we've learned in the last thirty years has been thrown out.

I have a Mac Pro and a PC w/ Windows + BSD on it. I'm not so narrowly minded that I think all things Microsoft and Apple are bad. I just find my computers less and less useful over time. That is a problem to me and it should be to anyone else who needs to get real work done. At the same time, I don't hear anyone I know claiming computers are getting easier to use. Most people are confused with the new interfaces too. Not only did they throw out what they new, they don't make sense and have no consistency. Every "screen" is different.

Reply Parent Score: 3

tidux Member since:

> The era of professional, clean user interfaces is over.

If you miss Win9x, try MATE, Cinnamon, Xfce, or even KDE 4 with a "Redmond" style for Qt, Gtk, and KWin.

If you miss NeXT, try Afterstep or Window Maker.

If you miss BeOS, go contribute to Haiku.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Dave_K Member since:

Using a minimalist NeXTSTEP, BeOS or Win9x style theme in an OS doesn't change the applications that run on it.

In my opinion the main problem today is with the design of applications, not with the theme of the GUI itself (however bloated and annoying they may be).

Reply Parent Score: 2