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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RE: Hm
by Morgan on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 18:36 UTC in reply to "Hm"
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

It hasn't always been beautiful and pleasant to everyone. This isn't just one of Thom's fetishes, I happen to have always found skeuomorphism silly and unnecessary. The only exception I've ever made is with music multitracking software; the analogue of an on-screen interface to a real mixing board is a functional example of skeuomorphism done right. As a musician, I find it much easier to glance at a virtual control that looks just like what I use in the real world, rather than an OS-specific slider widget.

That said, I think Apple goes too far with, for example, GarageBand with its wasted pixels on either side to represent functionless wooden cabinet panels. That's the key difference: If the skeuomorphism is functional, then (as long as it looks pleasing to the eye) it can be a good thing. But doing it for kicks or because you think it looks "organic" without function to back it up is just wrong.

As for Metro, it's about as far from Windows 3.11 as you can get. Have you actually used a Metro interface? I live with it every day on my phone, and it's highly intuitive, simple, elegant and stays out of my way. It's not perfect; no interface ever will be, and there are a few things I'd love to change about it. But it works for me so I stick with it.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Hm
by Raziel on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 18:41 in reply to "RE: Hm"
Raziel Member since:
2006-03-27

Used the W7 phone Launcher a couple of days on my Android phone. Looks nice at first glance, but lacks a lot of functionality I'm used to, I switched back to my default Android launcher.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: Hm
by Morgan on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 18:51 in reply to "RE[2]: Hm"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Right, you used a poorly implemented visual clone of Metro, written as a launcher for a completely different OS, and you're condemning it based on that? That's no different than calling OS X unusable based on an Aqua skin for Gnome or Xfce.

All of that "missing functionality" is present in the real thing; I would suggest testing out a WP7 phone at a store. Who knows, you may still find it lacking, but at least then it would be an honest, informed opinion.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Hm
by henderson101 on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 22:25 in reply to "RE: Hm"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

That said, I think Apple goes too far with, for example, GarageBand with its wasted pixels on either side to represent functionless wooden cabinet panels.


I need to stop you there. GarageBand is a REALLY, REALLY poor example to use. Anyone who has used ant kind of music creation software can tell you that this is the absolute norm. Here are some key players who skeuomorph like a Mofo:

Native Instruments - Guitar Rig, Studio Drummer, pretty much all of their products and plug ins (including ones that work in GarageBand)

IK Multimedia's AmpliTube.

Peavey ReValver

Toontrack EZ Drummer

Addictive Drummer

Any of the 100's of free or low cost VST or AudioUnit plug-ins for PC or Mac.

I have no idea why they feel they need to look like real hardware. It is actually harder to use them in many respects. But they do.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Hm
by redshift on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 22:51 in reply to "RE[2]: Hm"
redshift Member since:
2006-05-06

Anyone who has used ant kind of music creation software can tell you that this is the absolute norm. Here are some key players who skeuomorph like a Mofo:....

...I have no idea why they feel they need to look like real hardware. It is actually harder to use them in many respects. But they do.


Sometimes I hate that you cant vote on posts after you have responded to an article. I really want to give you a +1 for this. It is very true.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Hm
by Morgan on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 22:58 in reply to "RE[2]: Hm"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Did you read the paragraph above the one you quoted, where I said that skeuomorphism can actually serve a purpose in audio editing software? My comment about GarageBand specifically called out the useless "wooden" left and right borders. The program overall is one of my favorites, especially on the iPad.

Personally I find the realistic look of the knobs and sliders in such programs easier to understand, coming from a background in analog audio editing. I was making a distinction between useless, eye candy skeuomorphism and functional, useful implementations.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Hm
by Gone fishing on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 07:02 in reply to "RE: Hm"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

As for Metro, it's about as far from Windows 3.11 as you can get. Have you actually used a Metro interface? I live with it every day on my phone, and it's highly intuitive, simple, elegant and stays out of my way. It's not perfect; no interface ever will be, and there are a few things I'd love to change about it. But it works for me so I stick with it.


Interesting maybe Nokia isn't f*cked

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Hm
by Drumhellar on Mon 23rd Jul 2012 08:21 in reply to "RE: Hm"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

As for Metro, it's about as far from Windows 3.11 as you can get. Have you actually used a Metro interface? I live with it every day on my phone, and it's highly intuitive, simple, elegant and stays out of my way. It's not perfect; no interface ever will be, and there are a few things I'd love to change about it. But it works for me so I stick with it.


I love it, also. My only gripe is how god damn much I have to scroll on the start screen. As I (slowly) add apps to the start screen, the scrolling gets annoying.
God help me if I decide to move a live tile from the top to the bottom.

Reply Parent Score: 2