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02 August 2013

Apple Having a Hard Time Turning Back on Skeuomorphic Design

Here at FS Studio, we have been playing with the latest Beta of iOS 7 and there’s a lot to like.  They are starting to tweak the design a little to combat the initial starkness of the ultra-Flat UI design direction.  The thing that jumped out at me was the re-introduction of some skeuomorphic elements.  There are some that work and some that definitely don’t work.  Personally I prefer a semi-Flat UI design over a strictly flat design.  Things like a very subtle shadow or a slight embossment, that works for me.  Check out some of these elements that have popped up:

The Good

Skeuomorphic UI Design Switch:

This is nice a subtle and introduces a little fun into the UX/User Interface.  They have a nice little animation as the switch animates.  It invites you to touch it.


This is a very subtle treatment of drop-shadow which can make proud elements that you want to highlight or bring to slight prominence.


This is similar to the subtle drop-shadow effect, it helps cue the user into the functionality and implies functionality.  This is one of the issues with a strictly flat design is that distinguishing functional interactive elements from non-interactive elements.


The Ugly


This just seems a little ham-handed and is a hold over to the pre iOS7 design.  I’m not saying that you can’t have texture in a semi-flat treatment, but flat is all about style and polish.  If you haven’t noticed already the keyword is subtle.