Friday, July 13, 2012

Interfaces : New and old

With the introduction and success of the new Windows metro UI, a lot of debate has been spurred on between the different approaches to designing digital Interfaces. Apple's designs are skeumorphic, they try to imitate and reflect the apparent 3Dness of the real world with textures, shadows and such devices.
Windows has come up with a design based on pure typography, information design and ease of use, inspired from the stark functionality of airport signage. It's almost Bauhaus-esque. Personally, I think it's a winner.
What is the need of imitating real life in the interface, when it's clearly digital? That time is long gone when we were unfamiliar with digital tools and needed a sort of bridge to get us to feel more comfortable with a device and its UI. However, as with everything in design, context is of utmost importance. Skeumorphism maybe be getting old now, but it still has its pros.

What really grabs my eye when I roam the internet these days is the rising interest in the analog interfaces of  yore. I remember my mom mentioning that she wanted a DSLR like mine because she loves the sound that the shutter makes when a photo is clicked. It seemed more authentic, old school and has a certain  characteristic to it. The tiny click of a digital camera is simply not that much fun.
On one hand I see that newer laptops are striving to make their interactions more silent and unobtrusive, and on the other I see an app designed just for the purpose of making your laptop keys sound like a typewriter's.

The feeling of getting a hand written letter from someone you care, can never be replaced by the structured emails of today. It is perhaps this emotion that drives us to look into the past, reminiscing about our old devices and trying to integrate those interactions in the objects we own now..

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

All these highs and lows,
And you're never really sure
What you do it for
Well do you even want to know?
You put on quite a show...

~ Smoke and mirrors, Gotye

Monday, June 18, 2012

Amorphous and organic,
Like a giant evolving cloud of cotton
So wonderfully grey, 
So painfully close,
Tainting the things it touches,
Making them whole.
It's something to revel in,
Something to celebrate.
Wait, watch, try, suspend
It will always catch the bait.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Design and the Internet

I'm an internet junkie, I admit it. Sometimes, I don't realize where the day has gone, just because I have been too busy reading blogs,news,tweets,RSS feeds or watching videos.I should have a tool to regulate my time spent on the www. There has to be a point where it gets counter-productive.

It's the sheer glossiness and design of media content, all packed up in pretty little boxes that makes me sit in some kind of a stupor, ogling at the screen for hours on end. I become a sponge, soaking in everything the curators/bloggers out there want me to,sometimes making them writhe in pleasure if I happen to like,share or tweet a link a  my social media network.( It shows up on the stats, you see). 

Reflecting on it, it makes me wonder if most content on the internet today is like that well made 3 minute ad video; amazingly edited and presented, slick and communicating so much in the blink of an eye. These product/service/idea explanation videos are in a league of their own, meant to dazzle and mesmerize.But consider this,  do youtube views and facebook likes truly reflect the quality and importance of a project? I do believe that design is meant for the people, so their opinion should matter.What annoys me sometimes is the ridiculously low percentage of actual intelligent critical debate and discourse on a topic in comparison to the flash news sort of approach.

The internet and social media are great, I love them.When it starts to dictate terms about what is good and what is not, is when I feel slightly uneasy. It's like trusting an organic, unknown collective consciousness and not my own.