Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Sep 2012 21:10 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces "Copying design choices (use of materials, shapes, manufacturing limitations) purely as aesthetic is toxic, and it’s not design. It misunderstands the very nature of what product design is supposed to accomplish and ignores the true nature of what the product is and what it does." Concise but spot-on criticism of skeuomorphism by Wells Riley. Couldn't agree with this more.
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Skeuomorphism is the easy way IN too.
by steviant on Wed 5th Sep 2012 22:19 UTC
steviant
Member since:
2006-01-11

This word has been around a long time but has begun being bandied about as a pejorative against visual designs that some people dislike lately. The truth of the matter is that Skeuomorphism is more than how something looks, but about familiarity.

To dismiss Skeuomorphism is to dismiss things like an on screen Qwerty keyboard (a typewriter keyboard! Wtf?! How quaint!)

We like and need skeuomorphic designs to preserve our knowledge and ability to recognise things. Under close examination one of the things that become clear is that many people think if you make something look boring and unadorned then it can't possibly be skeuomorphic.

The sad truth is that Android, Windows Phone and iOS are all more or less equally skeuomorphic. However some people feel that if you make your designs flat and blue that it can't possibly be considered skeuomorphic. I'm sorry, but that just makes it uninteresting and less engaging.

A true move away from Skeuomorphism would include the removal of everything that's familiar. We have a non skeuomorphic user interface that predates the GUI, it's called the command line. It's still there today in every OS.

Reply Score: 1

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I was at least following your argument until this:

However some people feel that if you make your designs flat and blue that it can't possibly be considered skeuomorphic. I'm sorry, but that just makes it uninteresting and less engaging.


I don't think you understand what the term means. It is not just making things familiar, it is using aspects of one design in another one that by definition no longer needs it to function.

Colors, shading, adding or removing 3d effects, etc. are not design elements at all - they are impressionistic effects. They _generally_ do not involve function, although there are sometime exceptions.

It only becomes skeuomorphism when you use color, shading, etc. to create the illusion that something is actually something it is not.

The poster child for this iCal. The toolbar (that is what it actually is) is made to look like the stitched leather cover over the calendar binding. This isn't simply artistic - it is made to look like a real physical, functional object (which it is not). The torn page, same thing - ornamentation that looks like a physical object, and in iCal it in fact serves absolutely no functional purpose at all - it is purely artistic flair.

Where do you see these kinds of things in Android or Windows Phone? Im not saying there are not some examples in applications, but there are few. And I don't know of many at all in the system apps (especially in Windows Phone).

No trying to be argumentative - just curious if you have any good examples I might not have considered.

Reply Parent Score: 3

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

To dismiss Skeuomorphism is to dismiss things like an on screen Qwerty keyboard (a typewriter keyboard! Wtf?! How quaint!)


Except that's not actually skeuomorphism... of course, I would never rule out the possibility of Apple introducing a keyboard that's a skeuomorphic representation of a typewriter, complete with paper jams, correction fluid & a simulated carriage return lever.

Edited 2012-09-05 23:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

steviant Member since:
2006-01-11

Except that's not actually skeuomorphism... of course, I would never rule out the possibility of Apple introducing a keyboard that's a skeuomorphic representation of a typewriter, complete with paper jams, correction fluid & a simulated carriage return lever.


Skeuomorphic design is about needless elements retained from previous designs, I maintain that there have been non skeuomorphic interfaces in the past, and they sucked. We moved on, and now everything to do with computer user interfaces is skeuomorphic, even Metro and Holo.

If you like it flat, fine. But don't act like most of the elements of UI design couldn't have been done in a way that doesn't include "unnecessary" characteristics of obsolete elements of machinery from a bygone era.

Here's what I call a non skeuomorphic UI -
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c9/Altair_Com...

Reply Parent Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

of course, I would never rule out the possibility of Apple introducing a keyboard that's a skeuomorphic representation of a typewriter, complete with paper jams, correction fluid & a simulated carriage return lever.

Reminds me...
http://kyon.pl/img/21671,wtf,gone_full_circle,iPAD,typewriter,.html
http://kyon.pl/img/21679,iPAD,typewriter,gone_full_circle,.html

Even though I do have a pet dream of finding a classic teletype and hooking it up as a terminal (or maybe even modifying - to act also as a computer keyboard - an old mechanical typewriter that I have, Groma Kolibri; possibly the smallest/thinnest mass-produced one ever: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GROMA_Gromina_aka_Kolibri_ty... - the roll is barely wider than A4 page), the iPad "typewriters" above seem too much into the area of ridiculous.

Reply Parent Score: 2