8 comments

  • David McGillivrayDavid McGillivray, almost 6 years ago

    Disagree with this post very much.

    He opens by stating..

    'Apple [are] reducing the hardware to a minimum with clean lines and invisible seams. As technology gets better, the hardware gets out of the way even more. The hardware sets the stage for the user interface, and its content, to shine.'

    I would in fact argue that a good UI should do just what he described the hardware should do - 'get out of the way', and let the user do the task they are trying to do.

    Let the users experience 'shine' not the UI itself.

    He also says 'Its part of a UI designers toolbox to make use of textures, shadows, light effects, etched or embossed elements and so on to make the UI tangible and understandable. I don’t see them going away.'

    I find it hard to agree with the notion that "Special Effects" should are part of a good designers toolbox. If you have to rely on the above mentioned faux effects to allow users to comprehend, and engage with your design, I'd argue, you're a bad designer. And if you think that using those effects makes the UI feel any more tangible than the glass screen users are prodding, you're not only bad, but deluded. These things are crutches the majority of the time, but let's not circle back into a realism/skeuomorphism debate....

    If I was a designer that spent years rolling sh*t in glitter, I'd be scared if someone told me we weren't using the glitter anymore, too.

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    • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 6 years ago

      I find it hard to agree with the notion that "Special Effects" should are part of a good designers toolbox. <<<

      Really? We're communicators and story tellers. There's nothing wrong with delighting users. There's nothing wrong with some well placed embellishment to make a point, highlight or aid memory.

      There should be many things on your Bat-utility belt. It's about knowing when to use the right one.

      If you have to rely on the above mentioned faux effects to allow users to comprehend, and engage with your design, I'd argue, you're a bad designer. <<<

      I'd argue that if your interface doesn't have a concept of depth and if it doesn't build a mental model of how it's constructed, you may have failed.

      A user interface should describe how it can be used. Sometimes that means building a hierarchy and construction with depth. Subtle shading, shadows and edge lighting can make it really obvious how an interface will move, all without the user needing to experiment.

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      • David McGillivrayDavid McGillivray, almost 6 years ago

        "We're communicators and story tellers. There's nothing wrong with delighting users. There's nothing wrong with some well placed embellishment to make a point, highlight or aid memory."

        But a drop shadow isn't delighting. A glossy button isn't delighting. Having a delightful experience, is delighting. I'm not saying they should NEVER be used and can't contribute to crafting an experience, i'm saying treating them as a crutch - as an essential part of your toolkit that a good designer can't do without, is the part I have a problem with. I can design a good, intuitive, delightful interface without the need for a linen texture to create a sense of nostalgia, or to engage the user. Saying design can't move forward without these treatments is short sighted.

        "A user interface should describe how it can be used. Sometimes that means building a hierarchy and construction with depth. Subtle shading, shadows and edge lighting can make it really obvious how an interface will move, all without the user needing to experiment."

        But there are other ways to make the interface intuitive, these are A way, but to suggest they are the main way (as per the orignal blog post) , and to suggest that's why the use of them won't disappear, is a stretch in my opinion.

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        • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 6 years ago

          “But there are other ways to make the interface intuitive”

          Sure, but not that many. A button that doesn't look raised, doesn't look pushable.

          I'm all for experimentation and other methods, but I find the current trend of flat design elements throws out way too much important information for it to be seen as a viable style for most of the projects I work on.

          There is a nice mid-ground, where you allow yourself to use lighting, but keep everything minimal.

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    • Matt KelshMatt Kelsh, almost 6 years ago

      "Let the users experience 'shine' not the UI itself." Why not do both?

      Many other posts on this topic make it clear that some designers, some pundits and many people on the internet don't like one of the greatest tools at a designer's disposal. Hating on Skeumorphism is fashionable right now. This is completely fine, of course. Haters can hate whatever they like.

      It's mad to limit your design's access to certain styles & tools based on petty prejudice. Good designers give the best result for the job, and not by ignoring highlights and shadows on elements.

      "If I was a designer that spent years rolling sh*t in glitter, I'd be scared if someone told me we weren't using the glitter anymore, too." I wouldn't say I'm scared, but I certainly do feel stupider after reading nonsense statements like that one.

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      • ポール ウェッブポール ウェッブ, almost 6 years ago

        Lol!

        I'm with you man. I am a huge fan of the current flat look in design right now, but I also understand that it is not a "one-size-fits-all" style decision. Most things benefit from it, but not everything.

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      • David McGillivrayDavid McGillivray, almost 6 years ago

        I wasn't stating that any one designer should limit themselves to certain styles and tools, in fact, my point was exactly the opposite! You do the design most appropriate for the project, whatever delivers the best experience and meets objectives. I'm saying that designers shouldn't be using drop shadows and textures as a crutch, there are other ways to implement intelligent, engaging design, and it would be nice to see more people doing so, instead of boshing out this formulaic texture/gloss/shadow crap with the rational of 'nostalgia' and 'emotive connections' when someone's swiping their finger on a piece of glass.

        0 points