Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 31st May 2017 22:51 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces

I wonder if these rugged aesthetics, now commonplace in cutting-edge websites, can work at scale - in mobile apps used by +1b people. Instagram's new UI paved the way: can this effort be replicated in other categories (e.g. gaming)? Is brutalism a fad or the future of app design? Would it make apps more usable, easy-to-use and delightful? To end with, would it generate more growth? Conversions experts sometimes suggest that more text equals more engagement - what if we push this idea to the extreme?

There's something unsettling about these brutalist redesigns by Pierre Buttin - but I don't outright hate them. There's something very functional about them.

Thread beginning with comment 644986
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Not brutal
by Treza on Wed 31st May 2017 23:34 UTC
Treza
Member since:
2006-01-11

I was expecting something related to the "Brutalist" architectural style:

Concrete gray (with texture ?) with heavy 3D effects (as Motif, 4 grays NextStep), no rounded corners, very visible buttons and widgets with thick borders. No colour, obviously. No text, but basic icons (like traffic signals), etc...

Wholly inappropriate terms.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Not brutal
by Alfman on Thu 1st Jun 2017 00:15 in reply to "Not brutal"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Treza,

Wholly inappropriate terms.


I agree, even with his own examples he was inconsistent. Netflix got a different kind of makeover than all the rest. He did not give Instagram the same treatment as facebook.


Spotify looks like it could have won a contest for worst UI!

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Not brutal
by Soulbender on Thu 1st Jun 2017 03:16 in reply to "Not brutal"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Wholly inappropriate terms.


Maybe hes uses it to mean "ugly and inefficient"

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not brutal
by Savior on Thu 1st Jun 2017 13:51 in reply to "Not brutal"
Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

Completely agree. Thought it seems as if he had the same "brutal" aesthetics in mind, the result certainly feels more primitive and ugly than brutal.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not brutal
by dnebdal on Fri 2nd Jun 2017 08:41 in reply to "Not brutal"
dnebdal Member since:
2008-08-27

I was expecting something related to the "Brutalist" architectural style:

Concrete gray (with texture ?) with heavy 3D effects (as Motif, 4 grays NextStep), no rounded corners, very visible buttons and widgets with thick borders. No colour, obviously. No text, but basic icons (like traffic signals), etc...

Wholly inappropriate terms.


Nah, that would be against the spirit of brutalism. It advocated letting the raw concrete through instead of adding layers of non-functional decoration (thus "brutalism" - concrete brut = raw concrete).

In the case of apps, adding textures and 3D effects to make it resemble a physical building material would be the layer of non-functional decoration. Of course, the virtual dreamstuff we build user interfaces out of has no natural texture or color; the closest parallel I could find would be to trust the default look of your toolkit instead of adding your own skins.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Not brutal
by Treza on Sat 3rd Jun 2017 10:01 in reply to "RE: Not brutal"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

Ah, Skeuw-moawr-phizz

I was expecting something inspired by the brutalism style and was disappointed. There is nothing wrong with wanting to imitate existing styles from architecture, furniture, painting. As an "exercise in style" : Baroque, art nouveau, impressionist, Louis XV, Sukiya-zukuri...

Ikea's style is named Material Design by Google ;-)

What would be a primitive mode for a computer, discarding nonfunctional decorations ? Probably what still appears in firmware boot menus : Monospaced texts, as a VT100 console.

What is showed is not really basic/primitive/funamental/essential (anti-aliased 45° inclined texts ?), nor coherent.

The only softwares that really try to create or imitate styles are games. Some are awful, some are quite interesting and could be adapted to many applications.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Not brutal
by Savior on Sun 4th Jun 2017 13:11 in reply to "RE: Not brutal"
Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

"I was expecting something related to the "Brutalist" architectural style:

Concrete gray (with texture ?) with heavy 3D effects (as Motif, 4 grays NextStep), no rounded corners, very visible buttons and widgets with thick borders. No colour, obviously. No text, but basic icons (like traffic signals), etc...

Wholly inappropriate terms.


Nah, that would be against the spirit of brutalism. It advocated letting the raw concrete through instead of adding layers of non-functional decoration (thus "brutalism" - concrete brut = raw concrete).
"

Yes, but the "brutal" part comes from the concrete used as the building material. You cannot really build a brutalist building from marble, whose natural coloring and patterns are anything but brutal, any more than build a brutalist rose arbor. ;) In the same way, the virtual building "material" of apps just doesn't lend itself well to brutalism. That is the reason why we are missing something.

BTW. you could also say that the "building material" in this case is the widget L&F, and then it is a valid question why didn't they use e.g. Motif, which is kind of the concrete of L&Fs.

Reply Parent Score: 2