Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 01:11 UTC, submitted by Panajev
Apple "Earlier this week Apple fired Scott Forstall, the architect of its iOS platform, and handed his duties over to the company's chief industrial designer, Jonathan Ive. Ive and Forstall had an infamously chilly working relationship, and one of their biggest disagreements was over the role of so-called 'skeuomorphic' design in Apple's products. Forstall, like his mentor Steve Jobs, favored it; Ive disliked it. To many observers, Forstall's forced exit looks like a vindication of Ive's stance. But if he wants to continue Apple's enviable trend of innovation, he'd be a fool to throw the baby of skeuomorphism out with Forstall's bathwater." Hoped for a thorough article on the benefits of skeuomorphism - got the age-old and intrinsically invalid excuse 'because it sells'. Windows isn't he best desktop operating system because it sells so well. Lady Gaga isn't the best artist because she sells a lot of records. This argument is never valid, has zero value, and adds nothing to what should be an interesting discussion.
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Subconscious signal
by vtolkov on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 04:05 UTC
vtolkov
Member since:
2006-07-26

Does someone understand why skeuomorphism is so attractive? Its because it makes our instincts to react. Our subconscious ourself. Animal inside. It feels like something familiar, something it is used to. Not something "authentically digital". Just watch rich texture and feel how it touches your deeply. It is powerful, bacause we are still animals, all our motivation is still there, and motivation to buy as well. So I predict: end of reasonable skeumorthism will be the end of commercial success.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Subconscious signal
by Neolander on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 07:13 in reply to "Subconscious signal"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Does someone understand why skeuomorphism is so attractive? Its because it makes our instincts to react. Our subconscious ourself. Animal inside. It feels like something familiar, something it is used to. Not something "authentically digital". Just watch rich texture and feel how it touches your deeply. It is powerful, bacause we are still animals, all our motivation is still there, and motivation to buy as well. So I predict: end of reasonable skeumorthism will be the end of commercial success.

While excessive skeumorphism does wake up my animal self, it's more often about primal rage than feelings of endearment ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Subconscious signal
by quackalist on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 07:17 in reply to "Subconscious signal"
quackalist Member since:
2007-08-27

hmm, So those who don't find skeuomorphism attractive are somehow perverse. Don't buy it or the idea it's removal would end Apples commercial success.

Personally, I find skeuomorphism has a place in design just not the absurd level it's reached at Apple. Besides, and I suppose this is even more subjective, so many of them just suck. They look crap and dated which doesn't mean skeuomorphism is bad in-itself just Apples design team really suck at visuals.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Subconscious signal
by Panajev on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 09:03 in reply to "RE: Subconscious signal"
Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

The interesting thing in the article is that the argument "it is good because it sells" is not the argument put forth by the person writing the article and not the reason I submitted it. Confuting an argument by misrepresenting it is the textbook definition of strawman right?

If you wanted to stretch things you could cut a few parts in the following argument (which is similar to the argument made about OSX and iOS by the article writer), re-arrange it, and call it a day

"skeuomorphism can lead to visually pleasing and familiar UI's (when not abused) --> iOS is liked because it has a well designed, mostly very coherent, familiar UI and does use skeumorphic elements in a few places --> iOS sells because it has some good qualities, nice UI being one of them"

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Subconscious signal
by TM99 on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 13:26 in reply to "Subconscious signal"
TM99 Member since:
2012-08-26

Skeuomorphism is behavioral economics. It is always about marketing products to a particular socio-economic class of consumers - the bourgeois middle class.

If you are poor, you get an item, if you can afford it, for its purpose. I buy a used car to get to work. If you are rich, you get an item, because you can afford it, for purposes other than its true use. I buy a car that has real leather seats, real wood paneling, etc. It is a show of wealth and prosperity.

If I am in the middle aspiring to be upper, I am susceptible to marketing that uses skeuomorphism. I get that car for work, yes, but hey look at the fake leather seats. That must show that I am wealthier or 'cooler' than all the others. This has been done for hundreds of years, and Apple is making millions with this model.

The new iPad mini has specifications far below its price tag. And consumers in this demographic which are now 'hooked' will continue to buy it until something new displaces the 'coolness' of it.

If they get rid of skeuomorphism too much, will that sink future sales? Will Metro RT & Surface become the new 'cool'?

Reply Parent Score: 1