For the last several months now I’ve seen post about skeuomorphic design, specifically in iOS products. If you don’t happen to know what that is, take a look at the picture. Boils down to where something looks or acts like something in the physical world usually something recognized by most people. Like the picture, Even if you never seen the app before or even used an iPhone/iPad I bet you know what it is used for, taking notes.
Apparently a lot of people don’t like it, I should say geeks don’t like it or it’s being used to get peoples attention. They are saying we don’t need it because people are use to computers now. I say they are full of it.
People are visual. Don’t believe me, when your looking for a file on your desktop or in documents folder, do you read every single file name? No, your looking at the icons first, because if your looking for a spread sheet you don’t need to read the name of a text file or a pdf file. There was once when all document files looked the same. Then they changed to show you what program they belong to like adobe reader or MS Word. Now they show you a small version of what the file looks like along with what program they are associated to.
Some are saying it gets in the way. Like the notepad looks like there are sheets already torn off, visible on the iPad version. It only takes up about 10 pixels. Think your going to get another line of text with those 10 pixels, Nope. Also it makes it looked like a more polished app with it. Devil’s in the details.
Another example are iBooks. The books are put on a book shelf. Someone did a mockup of what it would look like without that. It looks like crap. The difference is one looks like someone took the time to make it look good and the other didn’t care and didn’t want to take the time.
It’s kinda like things in the real world. There use to be time when people took time to build and make things with care and details. Now they just stamp it out in mass production. Most of the time you don’t even notice the details, but you do notice when they are not there. Like rounded corners looks much nicer then square ones. It’s called craftsmanship by an artisan.
One last thing. Have you seen the new Microsoft’s icons for Windows 8, like for Office or Visual Studio? OMG, did their art department quite and they used 5th graders to make them. Actually I’m probably insulting the 5th graders, they could do better. They are flat, 1 color and no style. They’ve went square, but I guess, they are kinda of a square company.
Visual studio 2010 logo, nice curves and gradient color with transparency and shadows :
Visual Studio 2012 logo, sharp corners, straight lines and one color:
I bet the next version isn’t going to look this bad. Maybe they did this because they were afraid their surface tablet would be to to handle all the curves, shadows, gradients and transparencies without bring it to a crawl or the nice looking icons looked bad because of the low resolution. That’s one icon that isn’t going on my work desktop.
That’s my 2 cents worth.