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Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails

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Oliver Peters
Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 2:06:57 am

Not sure if you guys have tapped into this, and it's a bit OT, but...

I logged in to the iCloud's web service tonight for my mail and noticed the new design roll-out, which has been "iOS7-ified". Man, is it butt-ugly!! Thin font and sky blue side pane. Looks like Windows Metro a bit, but MS did a MUCH better design job. Time to move to Gmail. The Gmail iPad app uses a similar thin motive, but much more stylish.

In any case, my point is that if "Mavericks" looks like this, Apple has taken a serious downturn in its design skills. This thin font, lollypop-colored UI is at complete odds with the aesthetic of the Tube or FCP X. I find this really odd, because it would tend to indicate a real schizophrenia on the inside.

The rumor is that Sir Jonny passed off icon design to marketing. If so, it must have been the folks responsible for the FCP X launch, because all I can say is YUCK!

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Lance Moody
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 2:56:36 am

Because good design (like comedy) is quantifiable.



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Bret Williams
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 2:58:52 am

You're just now cluing in to this? I agree 100%. I was one of those that thought skeumorphicism was childish until I started beta'ing iOS7. Made me realize that yeah, game center was the ugliest thing on the planet, and perhaps the contacts and calendar apps were going a little far, but all of that is what makes Apple Apple. I mean, they brought us the "desktop." Cant get more skeumorphic than that. All this stuff that seems a little goofy and unprofessional actually has purpose. The notes app for example. It used to be yellow lined paper with a handwritten font. Now, it's just yellow with a san serif font. Nothing about it says notes. I'm not immediately clued into what app I'm in. And mail and safari and itunes and every other app on the iphone are all starting to look exactly the same. There's no instant recognition. My other peeve is the lack of buttons in many places. I want to click a button that says back. I don't want to click a tiny word that says "< back." So, I like the new features in iOS7, but the whole iOS7 thing is fugly AND even more important, less intuitive for sure. The white and pastel is downright annoying too with a black phone. Notice they always show iOS 7 on a white phone OR a color phone with coordinated color background. Ive needs to stick to hardware. My only hope is that since the first public demo of iOS7 and the gold master, many things have been added back in that Jony had stripped out. I'm sure there is quite the controversy going on internally.


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John Davidson
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 3:16:48 am

[Bret Williams] "I'm not immediately clued into what app I'm in."

Try looking at the top left of your screen? :) I like the new look (surprise). I don't think Mavericks will get a significant visual overhaul until next year, but at least they got rid of that awful denim login screen background. interestingly, the iCloud page uses bokeh circles, very much like my favorite guilty pleasure from FCPX.

Since IOS 7 is coming out tomorrow and I have been beta testing it since it came out I suggest you guys try two things. Go into settings/accessibility and turn on "Larger Type" (I drag it about a bump to the right of center) and also turn on 'Bold Text". Leave 'reduce motion' and 'increase contrast' off. Increase contrast makes the backgrounds of notification center and control panel completely black with no opaque bleed through. What can I say, I dig a little see through action :).

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 3:55:32 am

[John Davidson] "the iCloud page uses bokeh circles"

That's funny. I didn't see those as bokeh because they are not out of focus anything, but now that you say it, I do see it. Actually, what they most remind me of are floaters in the vitreous humor.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 4:57:45 am

[John Davidson] " I suggest you guys try two things. Go into settings/accessibility and turn on "Larger Type" (I drag it about a bump to the right of center) and also turn on 'Bold Text". Leave 'reduce motion' and 'increase contrast' off."

I concur... I've been running it for a while too, and that's what also I'm telling everyone. Unsurprisingly, I like it too. :-) Although it takes a little getting used to. :-)

-------------------------------------------------------------


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 12:08:31 pm

[John Davidson] "Go into settings/accessibility and turn on "Larger Type""

Of course, I was talking about the iCloud webmail page. No such settings.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 12:04:48 pm

[Bret Williams] "You're just now cluing in to this? I agree 100%."

I wasn't talking about the general style of icons or iOS7. If you look at the actual mail pages on iCloud, icons there are thin outlines on a background. Readability is very low compared to other minimalist styles. Secondly if you flip over to Pages Beta, it retains the previous, more sophisticated style. Hopefully it stays that way, but this points to very inconsistent UI designs.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bret Williams
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:41:24 pm

Ah, but you are. Everything you see on the iCloud page is iOS7. EXCEPT pages and the other 2 iWork betas. Especially the thin icons. If you don't like the thin icons well every app on ios7 has that pasty no contrast gotta READ it to know what it is look.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:45:08 pm

[Bret Williams] "If you don't like the thin icons well every app on ios7 has that pasty no contrast gotta READ it to know what it is look."

Glad I still have a 1st gen iPad and a "dumb-phone" ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bret Williams
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 20, 2013 at 3:36:37 am

So annoyed I upgraded my iPad 3. Apparently it's too old to have the cool blur bgrnd in notification center and control center. Even though it's a whole 6 mo older than the current iPad. Makes you realize just how lame much of the ios7 interface is without the blur. Ios6 stood on its own. I loved the folders. Ios7 folders really suck. Inefficient, ugly, and not very communicative. The app switcher is even worse. Ugh.

But yet I'll be ordering my phone at 3am. But I deserve it. I'm living with a 4.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 20, 2013 at 5:07:14 pm

[Bret Williams] "Ios7 folders really suck. Inefficient, ugly, and not very communicative. The app switcher is even worse."

I'll give you the folders. Not a big fan of them, either. The grey is too grey.

But I find the app switcher, while not super pretty, is much more functional than iOS6, and much easier to close apps as well without all the shaking chiclets.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 3:05:26 am

[Oliver Peters] "I logged in to the iCloud's web service tonight for my mail and noticed the new design roll-out, which has been "iOS7-ified". Man, is it butt-ugly!! "

Just checked it out. It reminds me a bit of "Hello Kitty" without any actual cats. I don't hate it as much as you do, but it does feel sugary, and a lot like what I might expect from a pre-teen chat room or educational homepage. I keep thinking that if I click on one of those bubbles it will open an Easter Egg.

I guess it might work well with the new brightly colored phones. Maybe it will grow on me.


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Dave Jenkins
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 3:16:30 am

My eye went to the Pages, numbers & Keynote icons which is much more attractive in my opinion.

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
MacPro 3.2GHz Quad Core - AJA Kona LHe+
FCS 3 OS X 10.7.4
FCP X, Logic Pro, Squeeze, Filemaker 10.8.3


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Marcus Moore
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 3:46:13 am

No, Oliver- Mavericks isn't getting an iOS-style makeover. After 2 OS updates of integrating iOS features into OSX, Apple seems to have backed off and decided to go for feature synergy rather than any stylistic parity.

Mavericks still looks very much like Mountain Lion.

From what I've seen (we'll find out in practice tomorrow) I very much like iOS on the iPhone/iPad. It seems logical that they decided to carry over that aesthetic to the web interface specifically to create a "seamless" visual experience between what a user gets on their phone and using the web client, whether they're on a Mac or a Windows box.



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Justin Crowell
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 2:44:19 pm

[Marcus Moore] "After 2 OS updates of integrating iOS features into OSX"

FWIW, I absolutely HATE the additions that came with this. The whole new window pop-up effect (you guys know what I'm referring to?), which I disable in terminal immediately, drives me insane. Looks like they might have fixed the full-screen video "bug," in Mavericks, but I can't figure out why it was there in the first place. It's also one of those things that makes me nervous about FCPX (please, no flames, I'm actually excited about finally learning the software for real)--too much UI, not pared down enough. I really despise UI animations. I want stuff to be able to look as bare bones as possible. Makes me less distracted, and makes my work go faster.

Editor, Producer, DP
JustinCrowell.com


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Jim Hines
If you like IKEA
on Sep 18, 2013 at 12:28:05 pm

then you have to be excited about the new design. : )

Rock on!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 6:09:50 pm

Off the rails?

I kinda like it, but I am a schmuck.



The cartoonish iWork apps look out of place and puffy.



You are right about Gmail, though, especially on the iOS side. If you want to see how a layered touch app should work, they have a really good sense of what needs to happen.

Passing off design to marketing doesn't even make any sense. It's like passing engineering off to upholstery.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 6:40:42 pm

I just think they look threadbare. To me, they're bland AND uninspired. Doubtless, I'll get used to them. Maybe its because I'm a parent, and have seen--a decade ago--so many educational widgets that look like this that I'm finding it a little toxic. It doesn't feel at all new to me; it feels like 2004 kid-edtion design has taken over.

I prefer the iWork icons, but that's life in the big city.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 7:15:28 pm

[Chris Harlan] "I prefer the iWork icons, but that's life in the big city."

So you are a fan of the skeumorph?


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Chris Harlan
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:16:39 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "[Chris Harlan] "I prefer the iWork icons, but that's life in the big city."

So you are a fan of the skeumorph?
"


No! We already done danced this dance. Iconography and skeumorphism are separate concerns. Just because an icon has more detail or is more photorealistic or traditionally drawn doesn't make that icon any more or less skeumorphic than an icon with a more abstract representation. Skeumorphism has nothing to do with them.

My taste for the skeumorphic is mixed. Its at its worst when it actually gets in the way of computer use with fake old-timey toggle switches, but I don't mind a mixer looking like a mixer. Something like Notepad is mildly annoying, more because of the default script font than the look of a notepad, but I get by with it even though I don't like the look. I'm sure I'll feel the same about this new look after awhile. It ain't me, but, oh well.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 9:31:56 pm

[Chris Harlan] "My taste for the skeumorphic is mixed. "

Mine too.

I am already finding iOS7 to be much more pleasant. Everything has a purpose, it's not just eye candy to make you think you are holding a leather book, or pressing down a "button" on a flat object. There seems to be some gratuitous animation, but what else is new in Apple land?

[Chris Harlan] "more because of the default script font than the look of a notepad, but I get by with it even though I don't like the look."

Well, sure. We all do, although I like the "Clear" app for certain lists.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 10:04:12 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I am already finding iOS7 to be much more pleasant. Everything has a purpose, it's not just eye candy to make you think you are holding a leather book, or pressing down a "button" on a flat object. There seems to be some gratuitous animation, but what else is new in Apple land?
"


Today's the day, ain't it? Maybe I'll jump in with the iPad first and test the water.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 10:05:07 pm

Today, is in fact, the day!


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Chris Harlan
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 12:33:34 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Today, is in fact, the day!

"


It's not letting me download. I keep getting told that I need to update iTunes, but iTunes tells me I'm up to date and that there is nothing to download. I'm guessing the error messages are actually meaningless, and that the servers are clogged.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 12:49:33 am

[Chris Harlan] "It's not letting me download."

Servers were swamped today. Apple still doesn't have this cloud thing figured out.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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John Davidson
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 12:54:28 am

[Oliver Peters] "Servers were swamped today. Apple still doesn't have this cloud thing figured out.
"


Actually, they're selectively blocking all accounts that are on this thread.

Chris, google Apple iTunes Download and download/install iTunes that way. It'll work after that. Also might look into OTA updates - they're pretty great. Don't forget to turn on automatic app updates in the iTunes store preferences.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 12:56:03 am

[John Davidson] "Actually, they're selectively blocking all accounts that are on this thread."

As well they should! Wouldn't affect me anyway as I don't have anything that can run it.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 1:34:27 am

Downloading now. I repaired permissions. Somehow the installer thought it had downloaded and installed a version of iTunes that it hadn't.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 1:27:21 am

[Chris Harlan] "It's not letting me download. I keep getting told that I need to update iTunes, but iTunes tells me I'm up to date and that there is nothing to download. I'm guessing the error messages are actually meaningless, and that the servers are clogged."

Surprisingly, I had exactly no issues today on my phone and I was actually quite impressed as ios6 was hard to download and install.

My iPad is currently updating over the air (without computer assistance) and seems to be moving along just fine.

Besides the fun new sounds, Control Center is my favorite new feature. Multitasking is pretty cool too. And I just found out that the Weather app shows lightening during thunderstorms. Sounds cheesy. It might be, but it looks cool.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 7:21:37 pm

Design goes thru cycles. It's clear we've moved into a minimalistic phase where software design is concerned.

While I don't think that the general design of Apple's Pro apps (FCP, Motion, Logic) are terribly skeuomorphic (except in some obvious places in Logic), it will be interesting to see if this minimalistic aesthetic filters down. While I'd like to see some some of the "de-chroming" found in element of LogicX, I don't think we'll see anything too radical this year. I think the dev team has much bigger fish to fry than UI.



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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 7:26:14 pm

Just to be sure we are all talking about the same thing. Look at these two grabs of Mail versus Pages on iCloud. Mail is barely readable. Note the ultra-thin text and outline icons. It violates everything about good design for legibility. It's not just that it's not skeumorphic, but rather that it's the complete antithesis.





- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Gustavo Bermudas
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 7:55:44 pm

I agree, it's terrible. Is this Johnny Ive's unapologetic design?
It was a mistake to put him in charge of IOS design in my opinion


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:02:41 pm

It's as if this was approached as print design. It's not. It's video design and all the same rules apply.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:04:45 pm

[Oliver Peters] "It's as if this was approached as print design. It's not. It's video design and all the same rules apply.
"


Wait. iCloud is video design?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:06:22 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Wait. iCloud is video design?"

Any graphic design for a computer display is video design.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:18:26 pm

I don't think "video" design and web page (graphic) design are the same thing.

Web pages are more like interactive print pages, and less like video. They can contain video, but they aren't video.

The 2D nature of flat design makes much more sense than some sort of faux 3D, which is why GMail's app works so well. Things live on top and behind, and don't simlulate above and below. It's a flat screen and I can't reach in to it.

Also, what "rules" of video design need to be adhered to?

You will hate Gmail, then. It's about as flat as can be:



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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:37:46 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't think "video" design and web page (graphic) design are the same thing."

Yes they are. I'm only talking about readability and how the eye reacts to thinness of lines, color and contrast. That's all. This is even more true with Apple's awful glossy screens.

[Jeremy Garchow] "You will hate Gmail, then. It's about as flat as can be:"

I like aspects of Gmail. Flat isn't the problem. iCloud Mail before the update was also flat. But also more useable. For example you can design a flat icon as a flat solid object dark against a light background. Or you can design it as a thin white outline. The former is more readable than the latter.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:53:38 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Yes they are. I'm only talking about readability and how the eye reacts to thinness of lines, color and contrast. That's all. This is even more true with Apple's awful glossy screens."

Ok, but that is not "video" design vs print design.

You are talking about legibility.

In your screen grabs, Pages is harder to discern to me. I can look at the Mail page and know exactly what to do.

A flatter, brighter background will help with glossy screens rather than trying to separate icons and other elements from a background with shadows and leather.

It is the dark background that highlights any reflection.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:53:32 pm

I, and I'm sure many web designers, would disagree.

Hi DPI screen are essentially print now- so pessimistically, application/web design is at least 50/50 print/video, but I think things have leaned FAR closer to print as resolution has eliminated many design barriers.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:03:40 pm

[Oliver Peters] " Note the ultra-thin text and outline icons. It violates everything about good design for legibility. "

Funny. As I look at your screengrabs in the browser, I can read and see Mail much easier than Pages


[Oliver Peters] "It's not just that it's not skeumorphic, but rather that it's the complete antithesis."

I find it so much more clear.

Pages is a nightmare. floating windows should be damned to floating hell.

Gmail, (again) does windows right, in that you can minimize a newly composed email instead of having to try and tab through windows or tabs.

I'm a fan of the flatter design, though, always have been.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:05:28 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Funny. As I look at your screengrabs in the browser, I can read and see Mail much easier than Pages"

Time to start happy hour later in the day then ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Gustavo Bermudas
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:15:44 pm

You have to go to that page and see it in your browser, it's Windows. I guess if we have to move to Windows it won't be that hard after all if this trend continues.

I remember reading the Steve Jobs biography, and there is a part at the end where Bill Gates says something like (paraphrasing) "At the end we were both Steve and I right, open model works and closed models also work, but only if Steve is at the helm"


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 10:33:03 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "floating windows should be damned to floating hell."

honestly? you think single brick interfaces are the way forward?

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 12:59:18 am

It's certainly a way forward, yes.

Gmail on a computer browser (sorry to keep harping on that example) does this so well.
I can compose an email, forgot that I needed a link or email address, or whatever, I can minimize the current email and it stays on top, but out of the way. I then find what I need, wherever that may be, and then click on the still available newly composed email and it pops up ready to email. Even the compose window is efficient as the names of the fields (To:, CC: subject, etc) are replaced as soon as you add text to them (hard to explain in a forum post). The icons are clean an simple. I don't have to look for a weird inkwell when looking to create a document.

And yes, it is rather brickish.

It keeps the forward facing task (composing an email) on top (not above or behind) until don't need it, at which point I cancel it or save as a draft.

Autodesk Smoke with a Wacom does a great job of having crap loads of control in familiar places with very minimal floating windows. It is decidedly not brickish.

Pr/Ae does, too. And even fcpx, although I'm sure you'll disagree. I'm not saying X's interface is perfect, it could use some more control, but the idea is there, and the recent updates give even more keyboard shortcut control to reveal and hide panels and tools as needed.

I really don't like windows. Mostly, I think, from media 100. They were a constant pain. I don't like them in the Finder either. I find it very inefficient to have what I need hiding behind what I don't and the only way I can get it it is to cycle through other windows via keyboard, or move a window out of the way to reveal what I want.

I'm ready for the digital age to progress. ;)


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 1:03:40 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I'm ready for the digital age to progress. ;)"

Or just change for the sake of changing ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 1:08:59 am

Just becuase something changes doesn't mean there's a "schism"!

Some things might actually work better.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 1:31:09 am

This is an either or proposition- and I don't think the answer can be that black and white.

I think the two argument, "Change for the sake of change", and "Afraid of change" are two sides of the same coin. And of course it's probable that the truth lies somewhere in between.



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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 1:40:11 am

[Marcus Moore] "I think the two argument, "Change for the sake of change", and "Afraid of change" are two sides of the same coin. And of course it's probable that the truth lies somewhere in between."

With all due respect that's a BS answer. There's very little justification for these design changes, except two reasons: 1) a different regime is in charge and they have a different design philosophy; and 2) it's hard to roll out a new OS and have people buy into its "improvements" unless there's something cosmetic to taut.

I'm not saying iOS7 isn't better. But it always makes it an easier sell when the interface looks different. Right now thin fonts are the current fashion. Adobe did the same in their CC icons. More minor, of course, but a similar direction.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Marcus Moore
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 1:52:08 am

Oliver, you're asking for justification of art. Art is influenced by culture, the time in which it's produced, the people that made it- all sort of factors.

Apple has proven more than most its willing to stick doggedly to it's perceptions on design and the market. If Apple was that malleable we'd have a $299 Mac laptop and a 5" iPhone by now.

If Apple doesn't do anything it's falling behind, if Apple changes things it's confusing people. If Apple doesn't make a low cost phone it's leaving money on the table. If they make a low cost phone they're beaten up for reduced profits due to lower margins on their devices.

I haven't spent enough time with iOS7 to say whether or not it's better than before- but as someone else posted it's really a matter of living with something for a while, then go back and take a look at the old thing and see how you feel.

Different looks different. And that freaks people out.



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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 2:08:25 am

[Marcus Moore] "Oliver, you're asking for justification of art. Art is influenced by culture, the time in which it's produced, the people that made it- all sort of factors"

Agreed, but we are talking about a corporate environment. Ive is only allowed to practice his "art" because he deservedly has ascended to the reigns. Had Forstall still been there, the "art" would have gone in a different direction. Equal justifications available either way. History is written by the victors.

[Marcus Moore] "Apple has proven more than most its willing to stick doggedly to it's perceptions on design and the market"

And what are those perceptions? They seem to be different with every piece of software.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Marcus Moore
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 2:31:06 am

[Oliver Peters] "And what are those perceptions? They seem to be different with every piece of software."

You do realize how difficult it is for Apple could institute a single, coherent design philosophy across so many parallel application and operating system divisions? Does development of FCPX wait for design philosophy to be handed down for this year? OSX development?

If iOS7's design principals hold any weight or longevity, it could be years before we see them interpreted across all of Apple's products and services. That's not incongruity. It's just the pace of development.



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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 2:39:26 am

[Marcus Moore] "You do realize how difficult it is for Apple could institute a single, coherent design philosophy across so many parallel application and operating system divisions?"

Sure. But unlike other companies, Apple actually employs UI designers that work across divisions to keep the skinning consistent. So the UI for FCP X isn't designed by ProApps department engineers from what I understand. Other than how it has to interact with the technical side - Core Image, GPU usage, etc.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 2:42:35 am

[Oliver Peters] "And what are those perceptions? They seem to be different with every piece of software."

The schism! :)

But does everything have to be the same? And if they aren't the same, why is it a problem?

iOS and fcpx are completely different as they should be.

Does Acrobat check in with After Effects to inform PDF creation? Perhaps on a cursory level, but probably not much.

Fcpx already has "Tags". Mavericks also has "Tags". They will probably operate differently. The OS and FCPX interfaces are different.

Using Adobe again, even though there are some similarities, the mask tools in Photoshop are different than After Effects.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 2:52:13 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "But does everything have to be the same? And if they aren't the same, why is it a problem?"

I don't have a problem with it and I hope they don't become the same. But this is Apple we are talking about. The company that eliminates user customization in favor of the one right way. ;-) OS skins, anyone?

[Jeremy Garchow] "Does Acrobat check in with After Effects to inform PDF creation?"

Huh? That makes no sense in the context of a UI discussion.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Using Adobe again, even though there are some similarities, the mask tools in Photoshop are different than After Effects."

But, UI design IS being unified within the CC apps.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 3:12:08 am

[Oliver Peters] "Huh? That makes no sense in the context of a UI discussion."

You said there's a schism.

Adobe Acrobat and Adobe After Effects probably don't check in with each other to match UIs, probably similar to how all of Apple can't match UIs across all software.


[Oliver Peters] "But, UI design IS being unified within the CC apps."

A bit. There is certainly some visual cohesion, but they still work very differently across each app even if the buttons look the same. And then there's Speedgrade. :)


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Bill Davis
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:54:56 pm

My 2 cents after a day or so for the new look to sink in.

Maybe the thin type and pastels can be seen as a "because we finally CAN" exhaultation from Ive and co?

Bye bye 8bit color and needing to make EVERY line weight and font shadow bold enough to handle a crappy legacy SD raster, now we CAN use subtle color gradients and retina resolutions.

So why not give Apples new technical realities a visual expression?

X still looks like X to me when I'm using it, so the new colors are just in view for email, and web surfing and finder stuff, so as long as I can read and respond to the visual cues, I can get my work done.

The rest is aesthetics.

And I can be flexible about that.

And at least Apple's new livery is 180 degree rejection of what I've always considered to be the miserable RED design ethic!

Goth black with pulsing red with claws and struts and evil imagry of scary everything, everywhere like it exploded out of an R Giger convention - meet Apple. Lighter and airier and clean and happy and positive.

For the gruff and sweaty editors of yesteryear with yellow grease pencil peelings underfoot and an asethetic honed on blocky Ampex designs - this is foreign territory fur sure!

Lets see if it grows ON us - or not. At least if the new Apple livery touched me on the shoulder - I wouldn't shriek. And that's something!

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 9:02:21 pm

[Bill Davis] "X still looks like X to me when I'm using it, so the new colors are just in view for email, and web surfing and finder stuff, so as long as I can read and respond to the visual cues, I can get my work done."

My original point is that there now appears to be a definite design schism within Apple. Had X been released now (or in the near future) you would never have had the UI it now has. That "look" is a vestige of the Final Cut Server UI design team.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 9:46:28 pm

If Ive remains in charge of human user interface design - and who thinks he isn't going to - given what he represents to the company they can't take that back, it's hard not to see skeuomorphism, right down to all glows, bevels and drop shadows getting exterminated - apple will have to back this across the line - if they don't, they can't expect third parties to. My iphone is overloaded with updates to toe the iOS line.

You'd have to figure this new iOS is going to come "back to the mac" just like previous elements did with Lion?
There was a greater financial risk to apple pulling the design rug out from under iOS than there is doing the same with OSX?
iOS is basically the premier operating system in revenue terms. There's no way Apple aren't going to enforce the aesthetic logic through every last inch of OSX over time. Every screen and default app in an apple store in 18 months probably has to look like a really nice cousin of iOS - presumably that means farewell to the 3D dock, the 3D bin, all that stuff getting dumped. among other things. It has to. Otherwise they're not really backing it - goes to FCPX and the other Apple sold apps too you'd have to reckon.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Bill Davis
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 18, 2013 at 9:53:54 pm

Absolutely agree. It represents where The Pro Apps design sense was 2.5 to 3 years ago when they were likely doing the UI layout work.

And yep, i agree it would likely look different if designed today.

Then again, we the few foolish and bold early adopters wouldn't have got a nice jump on things if they'd held it in development longer to grt things "righter."

So it's early flaws, design or otherwise, kinda now seem positive more than negative to me in hindsight!

Who knew the the sound of all the constant yelling would end up being the sound of opportunity knocking!

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Michael Hadley
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 2:06:22 am

I have massive and sincere respect for your post-production expertise. BUT...

Had no problem downloading i07 to my phone around 4pm EST. Have been playing with it a bit. Not earth shattering but at first blush: me likey.

Early days (early hours?) and it seems like a definite improvement. And regardless of the somewhat twee aesthetic, from a functional perspective, it seems better through out. And even seems to run a bit peppier on my 5.

I'll know if I really like it better in a few days but first impressions are definitely positive. Sorry it's not working for you.

One thing is undeniable: Apple spent a huge amount of time working on every scintilla of the new iOS. You may not like it but you can appreciate the effort. Plus: IT'S FREE!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 2:13:40 am

[Michael Hadley] "Had no problem downloading i07 to my phone around 4pm EST. Have been playing with it a bit. Not earth shattering but at first blush: me likey. "

That's cool. Remember though that my original post dealt with what I consider - and still consider - bad design in iCloud Mail. Bad - because readability decreased from the previous version with more or less the same layout. That merely extends to iOS7, because that's where the design aesthetic came from.

FWIW - I'm OK with the iOS7-inspired Calendar and Contacts in iCloud. In general, I'd rather Apple spent its time fixing iCloud before they glitz up the face of it.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Michael Hadley
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 2:28:07 am

True. True. Then the thread kind of veered off into a general dump onto Ive and iOS7. It's all good. Chacun a son gout.

FWIW, since I got an iPhone in 2011, I never use iCloud. I've either got everything on my laptop, my desktop or, wonderfully, in my hand on the go via the iPhone. Rare's the time I could even see wanting to use a browser to log in to iCloud.com. I just see it as a data backup that I never use but nice to have in case.

That said, I just took a look at its iOS-ification. Seems okay. But I just realized one HUGE benefit: the iWork suite is now FREE. Free!

BTW--love your blog and print articles. Keep 'em coming!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 2:34:15 am

[Michael Hadley] "Rare's the time I could even see wanting to use a browser to log in to iCloud.com."

Understood. It becomes very important to me, because as a freelancer, it gives me an option for communication and sometimes file transfers on machines that I don't own. I no longer drag the laptop to jobs, opting instead for the iPad to get e-mail and surf the web.

[Michael Hadley] "BTW--love your blog and print articles. Keep 'em coming!"

Thanks.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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T. Payton
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 19, 2013 at 5:26:37 pm

As a graphic designer I must say that I'm not in complete agreement with the direction Apple took in iOS 7, the icon margins especially. We just dissected some of the elements with my fellow creative director a few minutes ago. Much of it looks amateurish. However, design is very subjective. We were given a few general rules by "our designer" on what is pleasing. Balance. Symmetry. Clear Focus. Variety. Contrast. The rest is fair game and very much dependent on the cultural norms of design.

(A great example of how our culture effects us is my when my son was in 3th grade and leaned I was a designer. He said with great enthusiasm, "So dad, you draw things and get the laminated too!". To him a piece of artwork was only done when it was laminated.)

Overall however, design is about logical thought and a reason for why something is done the way it is. Sometimes us designers try to do something new and, while it looks great to us, may be a complete disaster to others. That may be the case for some of the design elements for iOS 7. But Apple is now bringing to the masses design trends that were already bubbling. Shadows were overused, as were feathered edges. Embossing is defiantly out. White and airy is all the rage. Photography is also playing a much more prominent role in design as is non photorealistic illustration. (Look at the Vimeo home page. Or Google Chrome start page. Can you say flat!)

I agree too that Microsoft did a very good job with "metro" and they were very good at creating something wasn't a rip off of iOS, which Android was. With that said, I have to hand it to Apple for putting out iOS 7 the way they did. A very bold move. You can bet that there were and are MANY naysayers at Apple, picking apart the design. Because Apple is full of designers.

(BTW. I think you could apply this thought to FCPX as well. Apple was very bold to put it out there with the simplified interface and dark design. Now when something like Logic X, or Resolve 10 released that minimal black design looks very pro. I'll bet we see the same thing in the next few years with the "flat" design that we see in iOS 7.)

Also, I happen to be working on a trade show both for a new iPhone app and trying to keep with the iOS 7 flat design is very difficult. It is driving me crazy in fact.

Just my 2 cents. Great thread topic.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 20, 2013 at 1:19:58 am

[T. Payton] "I agree too that Microsoft did a very good job with "metro" and they were very good at creating something wasn't a rip off of iOS, which Android was. With that said, I have to hand it to Apple for putting out iOS 7 the way they did. A very bold move. You can bet that there were and are MANY naysayers at Apple, picking apart the design. Because Apple is full of designers. "

Ironically, Apple is coming to this flat design trend rather late in the game. Not only Windows, but also Canonical with Ubuntu have been there for a while. In the video world, Quantel has ALWAYS used the flat design look. So too have Autodesk, The Foundry and even Adobe.

I think the Apple approach isn't totally about flatness, but also the re-introduction of color. They've been on the dark, grey, metallic, sophisticated design style for quite awhile - hardware and software. iOS7 and other things point to Ive trying to return Apple back to the candy-colored first gen iMac era mentality. More "playful", I guess.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 20, 2013 at 6:43:07 am

[Oliver Peters] " iOS7 and other things point to Ive trying to return Apple back to the candy-colored first gen iMac era mentality. More "playful", I guess.
"


And most obvious among those other things would be the 5C.


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Burt Hazard
Re: Apple's aesthetic skills went off the rails
on Sep 20, 2013 at 6:16:13 pm

Actually I guess I'm sort of mixed on Apple's new design strategy as well. I don't know how long it took me to tweak the settings in Mountain Lion to tame that kitty to make it behave more like Snow Leopard (actually I do have a Snow Leopard partition on my MacBook Pro as well, but that is mainly due to discovering that I still had a couple of PPC apps like FXHome's VisionLab Studio). As for the "Dark Linen" BG, don't even get me started on that travesty. Every time I open up Motion 5 (which otherwise I love) that BG in the Canvas irritates me beyond belief even I suppose it is a stupid little detail. I even downloaded the Logonix app to change the BG of the login screen.

[Bret Williams] "I mean, they brought us the "desktop." "

That's true of course, well with Steve "borrowing" the "paperless office" paradigm from Xerox PARC. And it is true that "classic" FCP is slightly skeuomorphic with its "burnished aluminum" panels and scrubber wheel, etc. I guess I wouldn't mind so much if Apple just gave you a choice, i.e. if in Mavericks you could toggle the "skins" of the Calendar and Notes apps to either "computer streamlined" or "steam-punk retro" or whatever.

Having said all that I'm sick of my dumb-phone and am seriously thinking of purchasing one of the new candy-flavored iPhones, either the Blueberry or the Lime one.



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