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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru] - editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Skeuomorphism

How about something different than politics or articles threats to America? Okay! Here you go - an article about Skeumorphism!

Kerby Anderson
by Kerby Anderson, Point of View: Is it time to get rid of skeuomorphism? Before you could answer that question, you would probably like me to give you a definition for that word. A skeuomorph is a design on an object that resembles another object. If you are a car aficionado, think of the simulated wood grain on some of earlier model stations wagons. If you like pottery, think of the imitation rivets that make it look like a metal pot.

My focus in this column is not on cars or pots. I want to talk about the interface in computer applications. In order to introduce new computer users to an application, software designers used graphic images that mimicked the real world. You place documents and other articles in file folders. You take notes in notebooks. Your calendar displays days in an animated function that allows you to flip the calendar. Your eBook collection sits on a wooden shelf in your computer’s book section. You play cards on a felt poker table.

The argument in favor of skeuomorphism originally was compelling. People unfamiliar with computers would find it easy to use these computer applications because visually they were similar to what they were doing in the real world. They were taking notes in notebooks. They were putting books on a shelf. They were playing cards on a card table. All of this took place on a computer screen that looked like desktop. Using skeuomorphism made sense because it was easy for the user and intuitive.

The question today is whether they are necessary. Most people have been using computers for many years. Even children grow up learning computers at a young age and probably do not need these visual devices to know how to use a computer and its applications. In fact, in our computerized world they might not even understand some of these interfaces.

We may like the look of books on a wooden bookshelf or the look of taking notes on a leather-bound notebook. That is fine if we want to nostalgic. Let’s also acknowledge that we don’t need them. A simple, clean interface might be enough.

Tags: Skeuomorphism, Kerby Anderson, Point of View To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 3:18 PM - Post Link

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