Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 8th Jun 2013 20:10 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
Graphics, User Interfaces "Though 'flat design' is a popular meme right now, there is something much, much deeper going on here at Microsoft. With my own lifelong passion for design I immersed myself in the community and got a front-row seat on a journey that has its roots as far back as the late '90s with Encarta's bold use of typography and clean interface. But it truly sprang to life in late 2010 with the launch of Windows Phone and in the last few weeks has advanced even further with Windows 8.1 and Xbox One. I started from the very place I bet you are right now - disbelief that Microsoft is leading the way on design." They really are. If Apple really goes all minimalist and digital (I dislike the term 'flat') with iOS, Microsoft will have taken over the baton. Crazy world indeed.
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Comment by vtolkov
by vtolkov on Sat 8th Jun 2013 21:30 UTC
vtolkov
Member since:
2006-07-26

Here is a question: what should we, old farts, do, if we dislike/hate that all-digital design? Really, if you dislike teens' music, you can continue listen classical one. You can read 19th century books, listen to old-style radio and warm-lamp vinyl, buy and restore some used car, use furniture of your grandma, but what can you do about computers? It is not that old, all this Windows-7 or Mac Osx or iOS, it is just few years old. What if I like background to be a little textured? It gives me a sense of comfort and a piece of mind? I can't read on clear white, my eyesignt is not good enouth. Unlike old-style phone with rotating disk, it does not work anymore: you need to upgrade to keep level of security and support for the latest formats and protocols. Using old OSes is just unsafe. So should we, old fars, just die and leave the space to the new generation of designers with their libido, as it usually suggested? Or we should be allowed to choose Windows/OsX/iOS Classic and live confortably surrounded by loved things and kind people?

It is more than just design question. It is a respect to user's choice. We, users, need a choice. I can choose another phone, but I can't choose another planet, if we have just one copy-pasted design on it.

P.S. Sorry for English, Im not a native speaker.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Comment by vtolkov
by WorknMan on Sat 8th Jun 2013 21:58 in reply to "Comment by vtolkov"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I've been struggling with this myself. It seems that there has been a concerted effort by giant tech companies to declare war on power users. They take a look at their metrics, find out that only a small percentage of users actually use/want a certain feature, and decide that those users are irrelevant.

After all, why worry about these people, who are not only picky, but also expensive to develop for, when there are millions and millions of tech tards who only care about what colors it comes in, or if it's made of aluminum. Hell, even Google has joined in on the action by killing Google Reader and numerous other infractions. Why bother giving people a choice of what they want to see, when we can just feed them information based on what their friends like?

Point being - power users don't matter. Of course, there's always Linux, but that swings too far in the other direction, catering to people who care more about what license it comes with than what sort of functionality it has.

Edited 2013-06-08 21:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by vtolkov
by Adurbe on Sat 8th Jun 2013 22:24 in reply to "RE: Comment by vtolkov"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

because most users arn't power users. These companies are targeting the mass market.

"Intuitive interfaces" should in theory make for smaller learning curves. Saving on TCO.

Systems designed for power users either end up completely reliant on tacit knowledge or considerable features being unheard of / unused.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by vtolkov
by woegjiub on Sun 9th Jun 2013 01:25 in reply to "RE: Comment by vtolkov"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

GNU/Linux really is the solution, though.
You can do everything you could under the other OSes, and you can pick and chose how you want your system to look and behave.

It's also so insanely simple these days, a monkey would have no trouble with it. Even Arch, which has a reputation of being difficult, is simple and easy to use, so long as one can read and follow instructions.

If you like the old ways, I would suggest grabbing a KDE-based GNU/Linux (Kubuntu, OpenSUSE or Fedora if you like GUIs), and themeing it to your liking.

You get all possible features, the latest in security updates (It's more secure than OSX or windows), and more "power user" customizability than you ever had in windows.


N.B.: I consider "power users" to be plebians incapable of using a terminal properly due to loving their GUIs so much, so take that with a grain of salt.

Edited 2013-06-09 01:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by vtolkov
by Tuishimi on Sun 9th Jun 2013 02:09 in reply to "RE: Comment by vtolkov"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Power users simply find a way to bend the OS to their needs. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by vtolkov
by olejon on Sun 9th Jun 2013 10:59 in reply to "RE: Comment by vtolkov"
olejon Member since:
2012-08-12

It seems that there has been a concerted effort by giant tech companies to declare war on power users.


So true. Funny thing; those are the ones actually creating the software ("apps"). The can't even seem to build Office in Metro. When it launches it will lack features for sure. So when will we see an IDE?

I fear that in the future developers have to buy special hardware and software to develop, because what the majority uses is not capable of doing any real work. Then it will again only be rich companies who can afford to develop software. One of the great things about the "app revolution" is that anyone can join, giving us so much choice.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by vtolkov
by Soulbender on Sun 9th Jun 2013 02:34 in reply to "Comment by vtolkov"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

It is more than just design question. It is a respect to user's choice.p


Where was the choice for people who didn't like the previous designs?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by vtolkov
by ze_jerkface on Sun 9th Jun 2013 03:15 in reply to "RE: Comment by vtolkov"
ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

With Vista and Windows 7 you could choose the classic theme if you didn't like Aero.

I like Aero but now I'm supposed to accept flat 'n ugly because that is what design trendsters favor and the Windows team no longer believes in choice.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by vtolkov
by vtolkov on Sun 9th Jun 2013 07:04 in reply to "RE: Comment by vtolkov"
vtolkov Member since:
2006-07-26

"It is more than just design question. It is a respect to user's choice.p


Where was the choice for people who didn't like the previous designs?
"

Exactly!

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by vtolkov
by malxau on Sun 9th Jun 2013 05:55 in reply to "Comment by vtolkov"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

Here is a question: what should we, old farts, do, if we dislike/hate that all-digital design?...What if I like background to be a little textured? It gives me a sense of comfort and a piece of mind?


Speaking personally, my home desktop boots to Linux by default, with a configurable window manager, currently FVWM.

If you're picky, something like this can be configured very exactly, and if you're less picky, it can be configured relatively simply to achieve your UI ends. You can also use largely generic configurations and be picky about the little things that matter a lot to you.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by vtolkov
by Neolander on Sun 9th Jun 2013 07:51 in reply to "Comment by vtolkov"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, there is choice. If you go Linux/Android and trade the most common desktop environments for more obscure and customizable ones, you can tweak your computer and cellphone to look and feel pretty much the way you want.

But obviously, for every freedom, there is a price to pay in return: using Linux in and of itself entails extra maintenance work and software incompatibilities compared to other OSs. And the more customization power you want, the more time it takes to build up your own custom work environment, so there's a tradeoff there too.

As far as I'm concerned, the sweet spot between simplicity and customization lies somewhere around a carefully tweaked Mint 13 Xfce, together with a few PPAs to keep some software like Gimp or Libreoffice current. It is robust enough for my needs, yet doesn't require so much fiddling to keep working.

I've also seen some people say good things about Gnome 3 extensions recently. But I still think that requiring GPU acceleration for basic tasks is a mistake on a non-commercial OS like "consumer" Linux, so I won't try that for now myself.

Edited 2013-06-09 07:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by vtolkov
by Gaius_Maximus on Mon 10th Jun 2013 14:10 in reply to "Comment by vtolkov"
Gaius_Maximus Member since:
2012-08-31

Try Linux Mint Mate.

I migrated my entire family from Windows to Ubuntu 5 years ago, and we all really loved it. But then Gnome changed direction toward a 'cool', 'new', touchy-feely interface. And Ubuntu did the same with their Unity UI. Now we use Mate on Linux Mint.

That's choice.

Reply Parent Score: 1