skeuomorphism

iOS 7 is the most skeuomorphic, most liberating version ever

iOS 7 is turbulence. It's change. That scares some people, and makes others hungry. It divides sentiment and reaction, and creates as much fear and noise as it does thoughtful analysis and future thinking. That iOS 7 in its current form had to be realized in under 8 months, that it involved designers at Apple outside the usual interactive team, and that the beta came in so hot the iPad version wasn't even ready, adds to the turbulence, and to the uneasy feeling that we're still in the midst of change rather than comfortably through it.

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Forget iOS 7, it's Hollywood Super suits that need a texture intervention

While many people are no doubt ecstatic that newly appointed head of all human interface at Apple, Jon Ive, is reportedly walking through iOS 7 with a sandblaster, stripping out overly heavy skins and skeuomorphic design elements, one look at the newly released Man of Steel publicity photo above makes me think it's really Hollywood that needs its texture fetish dialed way back.

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Seeing Apple through rose-colored blasters

Apple needs to fix their crappy designs and online services. I'm talking about green felt and iCloud sync. No, wait, I'm talking about brushed metal and MobileMe sync. No, wait again, I'm talking about pin stripes and .Mac sync. No... Come on, seriously, I've got this!

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Defining skeuomorphism and why the debate matters

I love it when great debates spark great opinion pieces -- I already know what I think, I want to find out what everyone else thinks! -- and when great designers like Louie Mantia and Dave Wiskus put font to screen to express their views on important topics like trends in iOS app design, I'm going to pay attention.

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Iterate 40: The future of iOS design

Louie Mantia, Dave Wiskus, Marc Edwards, Seth Clifford, and Rene Ritchie talk about the future of iOS design, from heavily textured themes and skeuomorphs to minimalism and digital authenticity, and the evolution of typography, icons, and more.

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iMore show 334: Elegant aluminium iOS

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Rene re-visits skeuomorphism one last time, then talks 500px, Vine, and Apple's problem with porn, Q1 2013 financial results, and iPhone 5s, iPad 5, and iPad mini 2, cheap iPhone and big iPhone rumors. This is the iMore show.

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Imagining an all-aluminium themed iOS 7

Skeuomorphism -- the use of real world design in a digital context -- has been a target lately. It's also been lumped together with heavy design, elaborate themes, or highly textured skins, to the point of being completely misunderstood. At the extreme, this "skeuomorphic" melange has been held up as an example of iOS being boring, outdated, and bereft of innovation. In more reasonably terms, it's looked at as something that can be useful, but has perhaps been overused.

Personally I think there are far more important things Apple needs to do in iOS 7 than wiping the world clean of textures, gradients, and curves, both, but the argument persists so it's worthwhile giving it some form. but let's imagine for a moment it is on the agenda. That Apple's new head of all design, hardware and software, Jony Ive, was set to impose a new, unified, Aluminium theme. That, just like the Scarlet Witch in House of M, he whispered "No more themes."

Instead of arguing in the abstract about how much better or worse it would be, let's mock it up and see what could that look like...

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Are flat interfaces a trend towards digital authenticity, or a reality of competing platforms?

A lot has been said recently about "skeuomorphism" -- both real skeuomorphism and the design-heavy skins for which it's often confused. There's even been a trend, real and perceived, towards flatter, squarer, more "digitally" authentic operating systems, themes, and apps, often credited to Microsoft's Windows Phone or Google's more recent Android design aesthetic. But is it a backlash against gradients and curves and shadows, or is it something else? Marc Edwards of Bjango argues it might just be something else -- the realities faced by competing hardware.

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It's not about HTML5 or skeuomorphism, it's about usability

There were a couple of interesting comments on user interface today, one coming from Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, who acknowledged they bet wrong on HTML5, and the other from unnamed sources who suggest Apple is deeply split along Scot Forstall vs Jonathan Ive lines when it comes to skeuomorphic vs more digitally authentic design.

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