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