I have yet to see a response to that blog post that fully understands the principle I write about. It was a quick blog post and needs to be explained in more detail, anyway.
I'll likely write a follow up to address the red herrings and give a push to those designers who need it. I'd like to see a bigger culture of reduction in the world and move past the superficial question of aesthetics, or the pseudo-intellectual crap that asks "what is honesty?" when dealing with pixels.
I'd love to see a follow-up to the article, Allan. It's definitely warranted at this point.
(As an aside: I could be mistaken, but I gather you might be referencing — at least in part — the article I wrote in response to yours when you mention “pseudo-intellectual crap.” I hope this isn't the case, but if it is, I'd love to get in touch with you to clear things up.)
Not at all, Cole. That wasn't a rib at you. I have someone else in mind who got pretty belligerent with "what is honest?"
Cool, thanks for clarifying! I referenced the “honest” concept a bit in my article, so wasn't sure.
Looking forward to the follow-up!
The closing sentence is what nails it for me:
“If you want to see the future of software UI design, look to the history of print design.”
Faux-realism really reminds me, conceptually, of the bubbly, happy-go-lucky advertising of the 1950s. With all the hype over “flat” interface design, I think we're moving steadily closer to the High Modernism of the 60s. And thank goodness for that.
I've spent a lot of time as a print designer, and I remember that a lot of the style choices had very little to do with aesthetics and a lot to do with technical constraints.
Here's my take on things: http://bjango.com/articles/justlikeprint/
Forgot to add: So I think the flat design trend has nothing to do with enlightenment, it's just a highly convenient choice for an anti-Apple crowd and on platforms where pixel precision is difficult.
Also, it's important to not lump skeuomorphism in with realistically lit UI (or even UI with textures and gradients). They're not the same thing.
I think I agree with everything he's saying here except that Letterpress is at the leading edge of this trend. Spelltower came out a looong time before that. http://www.spelltower.com/
If Letterpress is leading this trend, shouldn't it have a flat app icon? ;)
If you're looking for flat colour computer software prior art, the 8bit era had plenty of it. ;)
Yeah, all I was saying is that letterpress is just popular, not trend making
"A year ago, Erik Spiekermann tweeted: 'If you want good type on Retina displays, stop discussing hinting et al. Just search for faces that happen to look good. Like the old days.'
I’d go further, and argue that this principle applies to all aspects of designing for retina displays, not just typeface selection. Do what looks good and is true, like we do with print."
This is, in part (excusing my Apple fanboyism) the reason I felt so compelled to buy a Retina Macbook Pro when they came out. As designers, we should be designing as close to the end product as we can. Designing iOS apps on a non-retina screen reminds me of punchcard-driven computing...
Do your thing, hope for the best, and push it into the machine hoping what you expected comes out. Rinse and repeat.
I think that the type of design we're talking about is not "Skeumorphic" vs. "Flat" vs. "Windows 8". It's just a matter of "Simple" vs "Not Simple".
The arduous craft of keeping things Simple and beautiful has long kept the outside of Apple products appealing, because it is possible to create something and simple and beautiful using the materials available (solid pieces of aluminum and glass). Apply the same methodology to ugly materials (I'm thinking PC black plastic) and you're not getting there.
Same thing with Simplicity. You can have it, but if the materials you are working with (this includes both the quality of the screen your designs are being rendered on, and your textures/colors/typefaces) do not live up to the design you are using them in, then you're missing the point.