Gratuitous Decoration in Apple Software

I am into how things look on a computer. It was one of the factors in shifting over to a Mac. The hardware is so elegant. The software is usually fine too. Apple websites are good. But they have gone rilly wird with the Contacts and the Calendar on iPad & now on the Mac. I don’t use either much on the Mac as I have a use Google calendar & contacts on the browser, but the decorations are horrendous to my eye. How can they do this in the midst of such a strong aesthetic. They must have sat around and talked about it, what did they say. Perhaps it was a compromise to get rid of animated ducks or background music, or fur.

Here is someone who agrees.

I say that flat is the new black; that 2D is the new avant-garde; that a surface doesn’t have to be ashamed of being a surface. Technology users of the world, unite: you have nothing to lose but your bas-relief buttons. Let us march forwards together, spurning chrome, into a cleaner, lighter future.

Thats from:

http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2011/02/against-chrome-a-manifesto.html

Perhaps the most absurd and brainachingly stupid example of needless chrome I am aware of, the most terrifying villain on the loose in this episode of Chromewatch, comes from — oh, hello again, Apple!

Ibooks

This is the iBooks app. Notice how lovingly the designers have made it look like you are in the middle of reading a physical book by drawing a little pseudo-3D evocation, down each vertical side, of the pages you have read and the pages you have still to read. What do you think this looks like when you are on page 2 of a book, or 2 pages from the end? I’ll tell you what it looks like: exactly the same. It still looks like you are right in the middle. That’s correct: because of the sentimental and unnecessary chrome, the app ends up lying to you about where you are in the text you’re reading.

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