Monday April 11, 2011

Realism in User Interfaces

via Joshua Johnson on Design Shack

I think this holds the key to pulling off realistic interfaces the right way. Problems arise when designers begin with trendy metaphors and the result is a UI that is both inefficient and ineffective. Usability is sacrificed in the name of pretty pictures. However, when you start with a simple and solid foundation, structured with usability in mind, you can gradually add in style

I’ve heard a lot of ranting against realism in interfaces. iBooks is the poster child for, “That’s ugly! This is why we should only use simple colors and lines!”

Joshua offers a more thorough critique of realism and makes a great case for using realism when it works. My favorite quote:

The problem arises when attacking trends merely becomes a trend itself, without proper analysis of what is and isn’t best from a user’s perspective. Designers should be critiqued and trends should be properly identified, but we have to make sure we don’t build hard and fast rules based in preference rather than logic.