I’d been seeing posts about the “flat design movement” for some time, mind you. But I’m not a designer (nor fashionable in any sense of the word), so I was not obligated to care, and I just thought it would pass. No such luck.
Tired of carrying heavy stuff around, I just bought a svelte little MacBook Air. The joy of that New Computer Smell is tempered by the fact that it came from the factory with OS X 10.10, Yosemite (at least they don’t name operating systems after cats any more).
I understand some of the objection to skeuomorphism; do we really need shiny chrome interfaces, or detailed stitching on realistic leather calendar backgrounds? Probably not. That sort of stuff had inspired a cottage industry of how-to videos featuring 127-step tutorials on how to make blobby blue glass buttons.
Look at the poor Finder icon:
The Emperor’s New Flat Design. Sheesh. A 4th-grader could do this with ducky scissors.
Prediction: There will be a backlash against this boring elementary school approach. But it will be taken too far, adding haptic feedback and sound effects. Soon, scrolling through a directory will be accompanied by a jittery feeling and screeching brrrrrrrrippppp! sound. Buttons will click with a pronounced snick. Close a window, and you’ll hear something like the old Star Trek sssffffp door close effect. Select a range of text in InDesign, and it will feel like you’re dragging your mouse across corduroy.
I can hardly wait.