Long Live Skeumorphism
Not gratuitous skeumorphism, I'm referencing a point that Oliver P made in the Lightworks thread regarding his preference for a Focusrite filter's GUI vs a Logic filter's GUI, and David L's preference for "flat and minimal"
If an interface makes something innately more understandable and immediate for a user then it's a successful interface.
If an interface makes for a more pleasant creative experience, it's a successful interface.
We're not robots and we're not digital, we're people increasingly doing things digitally that we many of us used to do in an actual 3D environment.
Many, not all creative people thrive on their creative environment - their creative space both literally and figuratively.
I've spent a lot of time and money making the creative people around me feel inspired.
I've designed and built elaborate creative environments for us to work that have nothing to do with the work itself - from historically renovating a 19th century facility or building a replica one room schoolhouse complete with steeple for meetings and presentations..
At the very essence of creativity is what inspires and conducts it. If I plug a Strat into an overdrive pedal, I love that it looks exactly like it looked when I was onstage looking down at the stomp box below me. I love that my Focusrite compressor looks just like it did in my 24 track analog room and works that way.
It's so important to me that a few years ago when MOTU came out with their newest upgrade and changed the GUI to an almost unusable bright white everything, I took a couple of days to figure out how to get inside the design package and create my own mixer and controls complete with appropriately colored segmented VU meters, real faders and pan knobs etc. and color combinations that set off the important data the way a well constructed console would.
Motu certainly realized the importance when another MOTU member began offering a range of new GUIs to users, and one of their big additions in the next upgrade was the first user selectable GUIs with a broad choice of design and color schemes.
At the heart of it all, we produce creative products and as such, our creative environments and interfaces can have profound impact on our work. I say, take a "whatever makes you happy while you create" approach to the design of all things.
[Jim Giberti] "At the heart of it all, we produce creative products and as such, our creative environments and interfaces can have profound impact on our work. I say, take a "whatever makes you happy while you create" approach to the design of all things."
Jim, on this we agree!
And for the record David, I like the look of the Lightworks GUI and I tend to design clean and simple as often as not.
I'm fairly flexible in what I find creatively appealing - probably from being a creative director and having to write and produce to the circumstances for so long.
I like that it's opened a lot more doors than it's closed over the years and it's really helped me mature and appreciate a much broader palate of creativity.
I'm still really opinionated but I have an ever growing appreciation for a lot of things that I used to dismiss or ignore.
So there's hope for me yet.
[Jim Giberti] "We're not robots and we're not digital, we're people increasingly doing things digitally that we many of us used to do in an actual 3D environment."
Well then, as an audio guy, and since we were all discussing Reaper a while ago... I think you'll like this:
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~
That's a great interface, sort of Neveish.
It makes sense that If you already know how to fly, you really want your cockpit laid out as you expect.
If you're just learning to fly then I suppose it could be designed any number of ways, but I tend to think that gear like this evolved over time from people with very big brains for really good reasons.
That's not to say that innovation isn't critical.
But we've had enormous innovation and evolution in the audio world and yet this model still holds strong even with the all digital underpinnings.
There are audio things I wish that FCPX did like MOTU and visa versa.
Of course the downside to Skeuomorphism is that you have to have had experience with an analog mixing board, or a stomp box, or a tape deck to understand what you're looking at. For those who have never used a mixing board with sliders, or EQ knobs, it can be just as daunting as working by the numbers. When you add to that the fact that interface elements rarely incorporate numeric input or feedback for accurately setting a value, there's a tradeoff between what looks right, and what works right. Personally, I prefer to view the digital model as analog metaphor, but I've been in the music and computer businesses since Clapton was a pup...
Interestingly enough, Apple, one of the leading proponents of Skeuomorphism in their software design during the Jobs years, is trending away from it, now that Scott Forstall, a leading proponent of the practice, is gone, the software team may be changing the tune. We live in interesting times...
[Joseph W. Bourke] "Interestingly enough, Apple, one of the leading proponents of Skeuomorphism in their software design during the Jobs years, is trending away from it, now that Scott Forstall, a leading proponent of the practice, is gone, the software team may be changing the tune."
I'm not sure that's really true. Aperture, Motion and FCP X, which were designed by Apple under the Jobs watch, weren't/aren't terribly skeumorphic. I would say they are toning it down a lot. Going away from it is what Microsoft has done with Windows 8. If you look at a pseudo-3D shaded UI bar, like in FCP X, isn't that still slightly skeumorphic? Or the dock in OS X? I think they've just stepped away from the outer edges of it, like faux leather.
Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
[Oliver Peters] " I think they've just stepped away from the outer edges of it, like faux leather.
I was so looking forward to the new Sony F55 in Naugahyde.
It's interesting to think about the ways software/web GUI design follows popular design trends and vice-versa. When I was at a Hearst owned television station - this was back around 2005, they commissioned a large-scale study on website usability and on-air graphics design, and found out that the viewer/user much preferred a simple version, somewhat flat looking, easy to read, and easy to navigate. Dumbed-down, they called it, at least internally...
It took them away from the cluttered Bloomberg look which seemed to be everywhere, filled with drop-shadows, 3D, moving elements, lots of clutter, and brought it back to the "flat" look, which seems to be everywhere in both on-air looks as well as animation. The flat, printy looking vector animations seem to be all the rage - but, of course, wait until next week...
Wow... beautiful! Thanks for the link! Wish this guy could do something with Sony Vegas...
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