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A lesson in skeuomorphism.
Jony Ive has been knighted today by the Q of E. There's an interview in today's Daily Telegraph in which he talks about the horrible user interface design that has been invading Apple's apps and opera...
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+Veronica Belmont I agree. Complaining about such "inelegant" details totally ignores usability and marketability and implies a level of design authoritarianism that is a not-so-subtle put-down of normal users.
Maybe he should check out Windows Phone.
Some people might like those ornaments and "some" might a big number sometimes so data will tell who is "right" in design.

I for sure don't like when someone skews someone's opinion to match his agenda.

Windows Phone is nice, but just wait for a fashion among tech journalists to be against faux 3d effects or 2d ui elements.
Skeuomorphism: generally bad.
Condescendingly implying that people in developing countries aren't part of the club: worse.
+Matt Greenfield Agreed. Saying that people in developing countries share the same taste -- good or bad -- as people in "developed" countries is a major put down. Everybody's different.
+Wojciech Halicki-Piszko Given Apple's target demographic, you're correct: you cannot assume that a minimalist approach is the most marketable. I generally prefer a UI without too much gratuitous detail (I don't own any Apple products, for that reason among others), but some people seem to enjoy it. Presumably Apple does some market research.

So, Ives may be torqued off at Apple's GUI designers, but that doesn't mean that his way would necessarily be the most profitable.
Yes, you'd think they'd have found a few more legitimate things to complain about. Ultimately, it comes down to whatever floats your particular boat.
+Matt Greenfield Few people in developing countries can remotely afford Apple's premium. Frankly, it's more than I'm willing to pay.
+Veronica Belmont I think it's the combination that feels right in Apple. It's like combination of Zen and Rock on Steve Jobs.
+James Karaganis That's not true. The iPhone is incredibly popular in many developing countries. In Southeast Asia, for example, the iPhone has 30% to 80% smartphone market share.

Tangentially related, Bangkok is the top world city for number of Facebook users:

Mobile internet use is not a western phenomenon, and Apple is a globally popular brand. China is primed to shortly become the world's largest iPhone market.
great article.. all the ornamentation just gets in the way of usability and doesn't even look good. candy, gloss, all that needs to be gone, kinda like the hashtag comment thread here.
+Thomas George I used a range because the link discusses multiple countries, with a range of percentages. I spend much of my life living in Southeast Asian countries. It's normal to see more iPhones (or iPads) used in public (eg on trains) in developing Asian countries than in developed Western countries.

Rather than making snide remarks, you could read the links I posted.

The point is "first world problems" is insulting, baseless, and subtly racist. It's a shitty meme.
+Thomas George I can't afford an iPad either. That there's income inequality in any country is not an acceptable justification for belittling the people from said country by implying that they can't or don't experience the same everyday irritations as those in "the first world".

Once again, the "first world problems" meme is insulting, baseless, and subtly racist.

Here's a perspective on it from Africa:

"It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn't disappear just because you're black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here's a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are."
+James Karaganis Never is a strong word. China is poised to be the world's largest economy.

I specifically mentioned Southeast Asian countries because they are considered "developing" yet iPhones are extremely common there. From a Southeast Asian perspective: it's a shitty meme. Having never lived in Africa, I can't speak for Africans. But Teju Cole can, and from his perspective: it's a shitty meme.
The #firstworldproblems is insulting for many reasons, but I find it particularly annoying when I post something about technology. You know, the field I work in. Should I be only posting articles about floods and famine and infant mortality rates? I'm sorry, but if you're only looking for that kind of content, you're not going to find it here. Feel free to follow +BBC News and +CNN International for that.

And please, feel free also to donate to the charities I do work with, like +World Bank , +charity: water, Child's Play, and Youth Rock. In fact, I spent my entire Saturday working at a benefit ( to build an orphanage in Laos. +Dennis D. McDonald, I'll make sure to hit you up for donations next time.
Hey Veronica I need some help to get the exposure of my company underway. Ill help build your client base if you help me build mine? Add me to your circles. Thanks.

+Veronica Belmont I apologize for seeming insensitive. My most recent experience with developing countries is not with people who buy iPhones as fashion statements but with people who lack electricity, running water, medical care, paved roads, female equality. and decent diets. Arguing over rounded edges on icons or fake stitching does not rise to the same level of importance, is all I'm saying,
I was really hoping to hear what Ive had to say, not a round-a-bout answer. Professionally Ive shouldn't insult colleagues so thats understandable, but i would love to hear his thoughts on UI anyway
Greenfield, the smartphones statistic tells us nothing about how many smart phones are being used in SEAsia, and my trip to Indonesia last month (small sample I know), the only locals I saw with smart phones were expats. Sorry to continue the derailment, but I can't stand a dodgy argument. And grouping those stats together to give a 30-80% range makes the stat useless.
I think it's fair to criticize ornamentation in the UI since the hardware is minimalist and the software is a mixed bag of minimalism and ornamentation. Apple has room to improve on the software side of things. It's a difficult problem to solve because the number of really good minimalist apps is very small. Instapaper and Reeder are two that come to my mind. Minimalist designers have historically focused on hardware. We are finally seeing attention being made to software, but it's slow going. Most modern apps emphasize features over function. Users have become used to having a thousand features even if it means cluttering the UI. I think there is much to like about an app that has a few features but does each of them extremely well.
Like i said I'd love to hear Ive's thoughts on UI design. Mainly because thats what I am passionate about. Ive is a hardware designer first and foremost. I believe that of course he has a vision as to what the UI for his products should entail, and he is a brilliant designer, but that doesn't necessarily make him right. It's just a different perspective, one i'd still like to hear
+Scott Corey well, given the vast numbers of people who confuse gratuitous complexity with sophistication, odds are he's wrong from a sales perspective. A lot of users like glitter. Now, in terms of what I personally would like to use, he is probably spot on.
+James Karaganis good point, and i would agree. But do you feel your's (and my) opinion account for the majority of users? I don't think so. For example if you or I don't like how a certain app is working (lets say there is a problem with the clock app) we'd search for a third party alternative that meets our needs. A generic (majority) user doesn't care about ascetics (IMO) and would probably skip (the clock app for this example) altogether
Ascetics probably wouldn't even use an iPhone, what with all the abstinence from pleasure and whatnot.
sometimes the slinky looks tired. where did you find this veronica?
the slinky is a model for what fat people should do.
Isn't "skeuomorphism" exactly what Apple products are based on? I mean, the whole point is to evoke a sense of emotion and familiarity with the user - getting under their skin, so to speak. It works really well, it's just not the most efficient path to functionality.

In fact, without any elements of design and/or "skeuomorphism" we might as well just have the military design everything.
I was just talking about this last night. When Apple gets it right, you are in love with your device. When they fail, you're infuriated. Same as my dog. Classic example: refusing to timestamp all but the last SMS.
Well another classic example of what typically imbued by Apple and its general fan base - which is elitism and a high degree of snobbery.

#justsayin #nothingnegativeonlytruth
I don't like how the author put words in Ivy's mouth, but I do agree that skeumorphism weighs down an otherwise friendly, though outdated, UI. I don't need my notepad app to look like a physical notepad to make reminders effectively. It actually just ends up getting in the way.
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