Bit of a self-serving post, but also a reflection of my thoughts from a few years ago.
I blogged a while back about my aversion to Apple’s glossy, pixel perfect design aesthetic, that “everything glows so brightly. It’s…inhuman….It’s too slick, too sterile, detached from reality. “
And maybe in respond I wrote that unlike print design which exists in physical form and inherently imperfect, and imperfectly real. Digital design needs to mimic the the flaws of the physical world to emotionally connect with the user.
"…our digital age, perfection is within reach. The perfect circle is just a click and drag away. The pen tool doesn’t bleed on the grain of the page. The eraser tool doesn’t scatter debris or leave nasty scars…
The challenge for us now is to combat this digital precision. To recreate bleeding ink with the pen tool. To free-hand a circle. To make design human again.”
So here we are in 2012, and everywhere you look, webpages resembles physical paper, torn edges and all. And apps are laced with linen, and wood textures. And everything is grainy and scratchy.
The physical world has come to past in the digital world.
I think it has been done to an excess. Skeuomorph of physical things in digital design has be come an unthinking gimmick that dominates the current landscape.
Where I hoped that small physical details would resonate with users, but unstrained, those devices actually hinder function. And design is always, to me, more about function than form.