Posted by TJ on 1/29/2013Tags: Fun, iOS, LinkedImagining All Aluminium iOS 7

Skeuomorphism — the use of real world design in a digital context — has been a target lately. It’s also been lumped together with heavy design, or skin, to the point of being completely misunderstood. At the extreme, this “skeuomorphic” melange has been held up as an example of iOS being boring, outdated, and bereft of innovation. In more reasonably terms, it’s looked at as something that can be useful, but has perhaps been overused. I’ve gone on record as saying I think there are far more important things Apple needs to do in iOS 7 than wiping the world clean of skeuomorphism, both here on the site and in a podcast rant. But let’s imagine for a moment it is on the agenda. That Apple’s new head of all design, hardware and software, Jony Ive, was set to impose a new, unified, Aluminium theme. That, just like the Scarlet Witch in House of M, he whispered “No more Skeuomorphs.”

Instead of arguing in the abstract about how much better or worse it would be, let’s mock it up and see what could that look like…


I’m still of the opinion that it’s less about skeuomorphism or it’s opposite, digital authenticity, than it is about usability. In some cases, skeuomorphism helps make things discoverable, approachable, and engaging. In others, it just gets in the way.

I’m really pretty much in love with the mockup of Game Center. Yes, as pointed out, it’s a little more generic, but much, much easier on the eyes!

Also, I loved Stephen Hackett’s comments on Rene’s article:

The silver UI in Rene’s post can be found in iOS’s built-in Music and Maps app now. While I’m all for Apple getting rid of stitched leather and linen, remember what happened before Apple unified an OS so tightly?


Oh God.