skeuomorphs   37

Skeuomorphs: our little digital helpers
February 27, 2019 | Financial Times | by Lucy Watson.

Skeuomorphs are design elements that mimic older, precursor objects. They crop up everywhere, but especially in software interfaces: consider the shutter-release sound of a digital camera or the original yellow legal pad of an iPhone Notes app, or the Windows MP3 player that looked like an amp and speakers. Interactive icons that are shaded to look like 3D buttons, floating above your home screen, are a minimalist species of skeuomorph......On the iPhone, skeuomorphs acted as a guide for users unfamiliar with touchscreens: the bulbous shading of an icon meant it could be pressed, a representation of a leather-bound Filofax was where phone numbers were kept, and so on. These visual elements act as little markers of a shift in our development: they were designed to make the devices that they populated look as if they had one foot in the pre-digital era (i.e. analog). Which is almost a lifetime ago.....Yet for all Apple’s efforts to fetishise the immaculately virtual, the smartphone is still a physical object that demands some haptic interaction — even if it’s just a swipe.....In order to create a more watertight device, the home button had been replaced by a dimple. It cannot be depressed as a button would, but a vibrating motor within the phone called a “taptic engine” recreates the physical feedback a button would provide. It’s another type of skeuomorph: an electronic interface given the familiar feel of a mechanical component
skeuomorphs  design  GUI  icons  iPhone  millennials  software  analogies  haptics  senses  prompts  cues  digital_cameras 
february 2019 by jerryking
The museum as skeuomorph | koven j. smith dot com
"What? Well, the idea behind a skeuomorph is that it eases users into a new way of working by creating elements that feel familiar from the old way of working. I suppose that for our first generation of users, who knew us primarily from our physical presences, it made some amount of sense to use those concepts as ways of framing our online presences. But if we want to reach users outside of that tiny minority that actually come to visit our museums (and I hope we do), we have to think in a different way. Think of the “disk” icon used for saving documents on the web. We now have an entire generation of users who have never actually even seen a floppy disk, except maybe in one of our museums. This icon, which initially was used to help users understand what to do in an unfamiliar environment, now has the opposite effect. For those (now almost entirely potential) users who have never visited a museum, our skeuomorphic way of organizing and presenting information is similar to the disk icon problem. These skeuomorphs have gone from helpful, to quaint, to anachronistic, to now actively confusing. They have now become what are referred to in the UX world as “anti-patterns.” An anti-pattern, according to UX designer Sarah Kahn, “is a frequently used design pattern that either outright doesn’t work or is counter-productive.” Kahn goes on to say:
“Some of those patterns work, but some do not. If the wheel you are copying is actually square (hey, it works if you push really hard!), then yes Virginia, you actually do need to reinvent the wheel.”

I’m at a point now where I can hardly think of any wheels inside our museums that don’t need re-inventing."
kovensmith  museums  skeuomorphs  ux  2014  sarahkahn  information  presentation  museumnext  web  online  digital 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Subcompact Publishing — by Craig Mod
"A Subcompact Manifesto

Subcompact Publishing tools are first and foremost straightforward.

They require few to no instructions.

They are easily understood on first blush.

The editorial and design decisions around them react to digital as a distribution and consumption space.

They are the result of dumping our publishing related technology on a table and asking ourselves — what are the core tools we can build with all this stuff?

They are, as it were, little N360s.

I propose Subcompact Publishing tools and editorial ethos begin (but not end) with the following qualities:

• Small issue sizes (3-7 articles / issue)
• Small file sizes
• Digital-aware subscription prices
• Fluid publishing schedule
• Scroll (don’t paginate)
• Clear navigation
• HTML(ish) based
• Touching the open web

Many of these qualities play off one another. Let’s look at them in detail.

Small issue sizes
I’ve written quite a bit about creating a sense of ‘edge’ in digital space. One of the easiest and most intuitive ways to do so is to limit the amount of data you present to the user.12

It’s much more difficult for someone to intuit the breadth of a digital magazine containing twenty articles than a digital magazine containing, for example, five. By keeping article number low this also helps decrease file size and simplify navigation.

Small file size
Speed is grossly undervalued in much of today’s software — digital magazines inclusive. Speed (and with it a fluid and joyful user experience) should be the thing you absolutely optimize for once you have a minimum viable product.

One way to bake speed into a publishing product is to keep issue file sizes as small as possible. This happens naturally when you limit the number of articles per issue.

Reasonable subscription prices
Ideally, digital subscription prices should reflect the cost of doing business as a digitally indigenous product, not the cost of protecting print subscriptions. This is yet another advantage digital-first publications have — unlike print publications transitioning to digital, there is no legacy infrastructure to subsidize during this transition.

Fluid publishing schedule
With smaller issue sizes comes more fluid publishing schedules. Again, to create a strong sense of edge and understanding, the goal isn’t to publish ten articles a day, but rather to publish just a few high-quality articles with a predictable looseness. Depending on the type of content you’re publishing, days can feel too granular, and months require the payload to be too large. Weeks feel just about right in digital.

Scroll (for now)
When I originally presented these ideas at the Books in Browsers conference in 2012, the dismissal of pagination was by far the most contentious point. I don’t mean to imply all pagination is bad. Remember — we’re outlining the very core of Subcompact Publishing. Anything extraneous or overly complex should be excised.

I’ve spent the last two and half years deconstructing scrolling and pagination on tablets and smartphones. If your content is formless, then you might be able to paginate with minimal effort. Although, probably not.

Certain kinds of pagination increase the complexity of an application by orders of magnitude. The engineering efforts required to produce beautiful, simple, indigenous, consistent — and fast — pagination are simply too high to belong in the subcompact space.

Furthermore, when you remove pagination, you vastly simplify navigation and thereby simplify users’ mental models around content.

No pagination is vastly superior to pagination done poorly.

Clear navigation
Navigation should be consistent and effortless. Subcompact Publishing applications don’t require complex how-to pages or tutorials. You shouldn’t have to hire a famous actor to show readers how to use the app with his nose. Much like a printed magazine or book, the interaction should be intuitive, effortless, and grounding. The user should never feel lost.

By limiting the number of articles per issue, and by removing pagination, many of the routes leading to complex navigation are also removed.

HTML(ish) based
When I say HTML I also mean EPUB or MOBI or any other format with an HTML pedigree. HTML has indisputably emerged as the future format for all text (and perhaps also interactive) content. By constraining Subcompact Publishing systems to HTML we bake portability and future-proofness into the platforms. We also minimize engineering efforts because most all computing devices come with high-quality HTML rendering engines built in.

Open web
Simply: whatever content is published on a tablet should have a corresponding, touchable home on the open web.

Content without a public address is non-existent in the eyes of all the inter-operable sharing mechanisms that together bind the web."
craigmod  publishing  epublishing  magazines  themagazine  writing  digital  design  2012  digitalpublishing  html  html5  matter  joshuabenton  touch  mobilephone  ios  iphone  ipad  skeuomorphs  openweb  scrolling  pagination  navigation  tablets  claytonchristensen  davidskok  jamesallsworth  marcoarment 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Thoughts on Skeuomorphism in UI Design - Kaishinlab
"Skeuomorphs in UI design refer to interface elements that retain obsoleted visual or behavioral aspects of the physical objects they are based on"
apple  Skeuomorphs  design  usability  ux 
august 2011 by benterrett
Rhizome | Skeuomorphic Sounds: Digital Camera Shutter Clicks and Car Door Clunks
"BBC looks at ways audio engineers have retained classic sounds of objects. The shutter noise on a digital camera is entirely uneccessary. An ENV hydrogen-powered motorbike is silent, but an artificial roar warns "road users it is approaching." These "manufacturers of cars, phones and cameras are merely responding to their own archaic ideas of how things should sound.""
things  sound  sound_studies  skeuomorphs 
july 2011 by shannon_mattern

related tags

2012  2014  aesthetic  analogies  app  apple  apps  ballard  bauhaus  benterrett  blog  bookmarks_bar  buttons  calculator  claytonchristensen  computer  craigmod  cues  davidskok  design  digital  digital_cameras  digitalpublishing  epublishing  floppy.disk  future  google  greebling  gui  haptics  history  html  html5  humor  icons  information  innovation  instapaper  interface  internet  ios  ipad  iphone  jamesallsworth  joshuabenton  kovensmith  lukew  macosx  magazines  marcoarment  matter  media  millennials  mobilephone  museumnext  museums  music  navigation  new  newspapers  online  openweb  pagination  presentation  prompts  publishing  realism  russeldavies  sarahkahn  scrolling  senses  software  sound  sound_studies  starred  storage.formats  tablets  themagazine  things  thinking  touch  twitter  ui  uncannyvalley  upfront  usability  ux  web  willself  windowsphone  windowsphone7  writing 

Copy this bookmark: