Friday, November 8, 2013

Apple's over-minimalism

Here's a short exchange from this post.

M Johnston wrote:
“Apple has been getting into the habit of obscuring functionality for the sake of aesthetics, and that’s not good design. So let’s hope that this is a short-lived trend.”

I answered:
I couldn’t agree more, I have thought that myself more than once. It’s really frustrating that they can’t see the wrongness of it.
In fact, the whole idea of iOS7’s design is “well, now people have gotten used to smartphones, we don’t need to show what’s a button anymore.”

The trend is not new. In the old OS, there used to be lines in the top of the active window. Those were grip lines. Up through the early stages of OSX, these got more and more line pinstripes, and eventually disappeared totally.

And how about mice with a cord so short it can’t reach around a small laptop!? But it sure looks more tidy!

I think Ive and Jobs are/were over-infatuated with minimalism, at least a little bit. I’m a minimalist myself (I keep my desktop totally free 80% of the time), but it’s important to know where to stop. Where you hurt functionality is the limit.

I refined the design of my web sites (made it all myself) for years (it only took years because I have no real training as designer). But then I couldn't go further without getting "fancy", and "fancy" hurt things like readability or navigation. There are quite narrow limits on the web because of all the different devices it needs to work on. So I just stopped, my artistic sense would just have to bite its metaphorical tongue, because it had reached a hard limit.
It's not regrettable, much. Form must follow function. Fine art is only free where there is no real function.

An example. How would you ever know that you 
can tap in those areas to go to the playing app? I suppose the title is meant to be the button, but it's just quite hard to hit it, both on the iPhone and iPad.

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