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Opinion: Scott Forstall right not apologized for the skeuomorph, it is relevant even today

In an interview with Computer History Museum Creator of iOS Scott Forstall told about the causes of skeuomorph in earlier versions of the operating system. Then, as you know, the design used textures of real objects – paper, metal, leather, etc. it was Considered that the differences with Jonathan YWAM about the further development of the iOS interface became one of the reasons care Forstall from Apple in 2012.

For the past five years, buttons, icons and panels iOS cast shadows, and texture resembled elements of the real world. In some way it became the hallmark of Apple’s design, at least until 2013. Leather cover organizer in “Contacts”, wooden bookshelf in iBooks, ruled notebook in the “Notes” table from a casino in Game Center. Scott Forstall and Steve jobs were advocates of the use of familiar visual elements in digital devices.

In 2007, the first iPhone came out, smartphones were used mostly by geeks. For them, these devices were familiar, they looked like miniature computers, and displays familiar icons.

But it is for this reason smartphones at the time were not products of the mass market. Normal people use paper journals, notepads and notebooks. Apple should bring iPhone to more users and to make the transition as simple and convenient. And one of the ways of solving the problem was the user interface, simulating real-world objects.

Forstall and jobs believed that this principle is ideal for the realization of the ambitions of Apple to make use of a digital device as simple as possible. So even a person who has never held any iPhone or iPad and not working on a Mac, could for a few moments to get comfortable and understand what is here and how it works.

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But time passes, and now this approach is no longer relevant. Modern man does not need to an electronic notebook on your smartphone or tablet resembled the paper version, and the icon of the mail application resembled an envelope. Users already familiar with interfaces and applications, so that the waste from skeuomorph is a logical step in the development of iOS.

Whether you like the new look of iOS or not, but this is a big step in the development of Apple’s operating system, which gave designers and developers more space for action.

The main drawback of skeuomorph — limited. Since absolutely all design elements should be as close to analogues from the material world, to come up with a new icon in the next iteration of the software difficult. Besides, it often makes the interface a bit serious and a bit outdated.

Today’s “flat” design of iOS seems pretty dismal, even for fans of minimalism. Words of Forstall that the skeuomorph is relevant now, not meaningless. The graphics capabilities of modern devices allow you to create a variety of interfaces, including borrowing the appearance of the design elements of the actual items. It is not necessary to return the YouTube icon in the form of a tube TV, but maybe it’s time to get away from the simple textures and standard flat icons.

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