Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Eulogy for Skeuomorphism


Yesterday, at the World Wide Developer's Conference in San Francisco, Apple unveiled its new mobile operating system, iOS 7, as well as the newest iteration of its desktop OS, Mavericks, named after a surf beach in Northern California. In Apple's new mobile vision, colors are brighter, typefaces lighter, movement more nuanced and dimensional. Apple CEO Tim Cook called it the "biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone."

These new operating systems are revolutionary for many reasons, but mostly because they've both shucked a design element that has defined the way users interact with their computers for as long as there have been graphical user interfaces—which is to say from the very first click. This element is called skeuomorphism, and despite the insane and possibly unfamiliar word, it was, until this morning, an indelible part of your digital life. 

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