Is timeless UI design a thing?(

over 3 years ago from Tiago Franco

  • Ben Patterson, over 3 years ago

    I think this is pretty spot on, but I think technology plays an ever bigger role than you suggest.

    How can UI design be timeless if the technology that it depends on is not timeless? The examples in this article are independent of any particular technology — anything that can render line and color can render a classic Swiss design. But digital UI depends on a very specific rendering engines, operating systems, input/output devices, and other very non-timeless things. (Although I will concede that some digital UIs last a lot longer than you might expect.) If you attempt to load a product from 15 years ago, I'd bet the visual style of the UI is not what will give you trouble.

    4 points
    • Tanner ChristensenTanner Christensen, over 3 years ago

      We're saying the same thing.

      1 point
    • Tiago FrancoTiago Franco, over 3 years ago

      I partly agree. Yes, a web product from 15 years ago will be outdated. But the design of digital products today is not at the same level of maturity that it was by then.

      Some UX patterns are more mature now. People are also more educated regarding how to use digital products.

      I truly believe that it is now possible to design something a digital product today that we'll need minor adjustments and still work well 15 years from now.

      0 points
      • Ben Patterson, over 3 years ago

        Well, I was actually trying to say that any digital UI is probably going to be broken in 15 years due to outdated databases, old OSes, broken links, forgotten languages, and unpaid server bills unless it has been maintained along the way.

        So if the backend technology itself is not timeless — how can the UI be timeless? Why would we want it to be timeless?

        The premise of this article necessitates that software exist in some kind of stasis, but it can't.

        1 point