Sunday, November 4, 2012

Why Jony Ive shouldn’t kill off Apple’s skeuomorphic interfaces

“Earlier this week Apple fired Scott Forstall, the architect of its iOS platform, and handed his duties over to the company’s chief industrial designer, Jonathan Ive. Ive and Forstall had an infamously chilly working relationship, and one of their biggest disagreements was over the role of so-called ‘skeuomorphic’ design in Apple’s products,” John Pavlus writes for Technology Review.

“Forstall, like his mentor Steve Jobs, favored it; Ive disliked it,” Pavlus writes. “To many observers, Forstall’s forced exit looks like a vindication of Ive’s stance. But if he wants to continue Apple’s enviable trend of innovation, he’d be a fool to throw the baby of skeuomorphism out with Forstall’s bathwater.”

Pavlus writes, “It makes sense that Ive would hate skeuomorphism. It’s not a useful solution for any design problem he’s ever faced at Apple before... Skeuomorphic nostalgia is antithetical to Ive’s industrial-design ethos, with good reason. But digital interface design is a whole different animal. Apple’s genius has always been in creating innovative UIs that look and feel like something much better than the future: the familiar, comfortable, comprehensible present. How? Skeuomorphism.”

Read more in the full article here.

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