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234

It's a shame no one has mentioned the impact of the Mac OS X "Aqua" interface on all this. Aqua was the name Apple gave to the user interface style it introduced in Mac OS X. It changed the Mac's software from looking like this: …to looking like this: Here's Steve Jobs introducing it for the first time at MacWorld San Francisco 2000. As he says: ...


150

It's a big part of Skeuomorphism vs flat design, a debate about which Sacha Greif has a good writeup. Skeuomorphism like gloss, reflections and textures make things look like “real” objects, but all the fancy can increase cognitive load, and gives an unfortunate “samey” feel. The majority of iOS icons have the same or similar gloss effect on their icons, ...


44

Circular buttons can work well when an icon is all that's needed inside. A good example of this is Path. Their single icon buttons are circular and work well. However, to fit a word in the button, like 'Register', the button would have to be as tall as it is wide, taking up a lot of valuable space and creating a huge button. If using completely circular ...


37

This largely a question of design trends, but there are some UX aspects to it. Glossy icons and buttons were (arguably) mostly used to show affordance. It was also then used almost religiously in all Apple designs. Even today, most iOS icons are glossy by default. People don't neet to be shown some gloss or gradient to know that they can interact with ...


34

Don't use meaningless imagery just for decorative purposes. They'll get ignored, it's clutter, it needs to be downloaded by the end-user which means the site will be slower to load... There are numerous reasons not to use such images when they don't have any purpose. However I think you are overlooking one option: Typography. Good typography can be ...


25

Another option is to use a semi-transparent layer on top of the images for text which allows you to control the colour and hue of all the images so you can have a more consistent looking portfolio (if desired). The Verge uses a lot of colour gradients which may of may not be to your taste, but it can be an effective way of combining both text whilst being ...


21

The answer is largely historical. In early HTML, there were no native circles or even squares with rounded corners, and the only way that you could have them was to use images. And at a time when speed mattered a lot (think 2000+ times slower than a connection today), most websites avoided images as much as possible. So, if you wanted to make a button, ...


19

The arrows on scrollbars are a functional element. If you click on them they move the screen up or down. Clicking on the area between the arrows and the position marker usually moves the screen up or down a page at a time. They are therefore not redundant as nothing else behaves in the same way. Whether or not they are needed is a different issue. While ...


14

No, skeuomorphism, as a UI tool, is used as much today as it always has been. What has changed are visual design trends. Though related to skeuomorphism, it isn't the same thing. The term skeuomorph isn't a well defined term. I'm going to borrow the image from Trevor's deleted answer (which, BTW, I think is a very valid answer) Where I usually find ...


10

To find an alternative that solves the problems with the Pinterest layout, step one is identifying what specifically the problem with the Pinterest layout is. The big design compromise with the pinterest layout and your example is lack of *heirarchy* - relying entirely on the imagery in equally-weighted items to catch the eye. This underlies your problem ...


8

Mac OS X scrollbars has no these arrows (at least by default) for a couple of years already. And it seems like most of the users are OK with this. But, for Mac OS X it's a system-wide change and every (almost) app is affected by it so everything behaves the same way. Actually, I don't see any reason to drop these arrows off (except for the rare design ...


8

Might be a bit of a tangent, but this trend reminds me of the BBC announcing their new "digital" logo back in 1997. The big reasons they gave at the time were that the move from glossy to a simpler matt logo allowed the logo to work better at multiple resolutions and on multiple devices. It also compressed better which was a big deal with their website in ...


6

It's an age old balance between form and function. UX is trying to balance the two. You want something which is visually pleasing and "looks good" but also want something that conveys information quickly and efficiently and is easy to use. The Photoshop icon is really the best example. Sure the Feather looks cool, but what does that tell someone about ...


5

You're all forgetting ACCESSIBILITY! Various physical conditions can make scrolling or dragging really difficult. Clicking is a comparatively simple action to do. Buttons help.


5

These all have their own uses, it depends on what content you have and how you want users to find content that determins which should be used. Using all of them will certianly be confusing, as all of these are variations on the same theme. Highest Rating If voting or reviewing is important to your content, this is a great way to go. However it's also ...


5

First, to my knowledge, there are no standards here (at least no formal ones). The de-facto standards we have (like the 960px one) come about because of manufacturers more-or-less standardising hardware screen resolutions (lately with the help of VESA). Microsoft recently posted their telemetry data in this area for Windows 7 users: Image from Building ...


5

Question's a bit too broad. There are sites devoted to this like http://www.useit.com/ (Jacob Nielsen) and books like Rocket Surgery Made Easy (Steve Krug). And it depends on the site/web application purpose - is it a blog? a store? a web service? And there are lots of specific answers on usability questions posted on this site addressing common issues. If ...


5

One word... Resolution We have only recently been able to see fonts as they appear in print, and so the design trends which have been prevalent in high print design/typography make more sense in the digital space now. Look at print design, specifically high-end work, now... show me the drop shadows, and gloss, generally, it's not there, it doesn't test ...


5

I can only speak from my own observations. People buy tablets and use them on the go. Internet on the go costs extra money depending on country and provider. Heavy websites load slower. Good designers think about how to keep performance and loading times low and conclude to move away from heavy bling bling buttons. Besides, Skeumorph designs have reached a ...


4

In my view, horizontal scrolling as such is even less accepted today. With responsiveness on the rise (RWD & A List Apart article from 2010), pages with regular horizontal scrolling appear to have "flawed designs" that force the browser to show horizontal scrollbars. This is even less acceptable as it was 5 to 10 years ago. In addition to that, ...


4

For browser based UIs it's marginally more efficient and much more cross-browser compliant to build these 'flat' designs i.e. no drop shadows, bevels, gradients, rounded corners etc etc This doesn't make a a great deal of difference on a desktop / broadband / modern browser but on mobile devices where connections are slower, screens are smaller and browser ...


4

Why the sudden change? Broadly speaking, it is not a sudden change. Specific to MS, it is a bit of a sudden change. It's a design trend. Graphic design and UI design, like design in general follows aesthetic trends. In the case of MS's examples, as many have noted, Windows 8/Metro is being designed as a significant departure from their previous ...


3

Attitudes have changed mainly because of: Horizontal Scroll on Tablet Ability of the mouse to scroll more easily through advanced coding Increased importance of Chinese language websites ONE: Tablets have broken the barrier so it doesn't seem strange anymore. Consider image carrousels that are featured on websites or any type of slider. The user has to ...


3

Ignore all of that and research 'responsive design'. The reasons: screen sizes are getting more varied by the day...both larger AND smaller screen sizes are rarely the actual issue...it's browser viewport sizes that actually matter


3

It boils down to the User, the Task and the Environment. In the past when horizontal scrolling was "bad practice" the conditions were this: Environment - A browser on a PC or laptop. Scrolling via a trackpad or a mouse. It's really awkward scrolling with a mouse horizontally. As we all know. Now this is changing rapidly because the environment of ...



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