November 2, 2012


I just read a great article on Slate about the debate at Apple over skeuomorphism (Steve Jobs was a big fan, so was Scott Forstall who was recently let go). 

Who knew there was a word for this - skeuomorphic design is interface design that references elements in an older device that were necessary for that device to work. There are many Apple designed apps that use this technique. Some more successfully than others. 

For example, I greatly prefer the calculator design by Apple (on the right is Microsoft's stripped-down version). Am I comforted by the illusion of 3D buttons? 

The problem with replicating older objects in modern UI design is that things can quickly get hokey. I'm not a big fan of the tape-deck imagery on the podcast app. It seems outdated and unnecessary. 

What I'm getting at is this... design is hard.
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