Interface Design Trends: From Love to Hate

Original author: Arstechnika
  • Transfer
Buttons that do not look like buttons, MENU CAPITAL LETTERS and much more ...

Flat is becoming very popular. This development direction first appeared in the design of Microsoft Windows Phone 7. Large elements, buttons, bright colors without any texture or ornament - ideas that later spread to Windows 8, iOS 7, OS X Yosemite, Android L and all applications running on these platforms. Applications no longer tried to portray their content similar to real-world objects. The screen is not canvas or paper, so why should applications look realistic?

Thus, for many convenient things used by old interfaces, the new interfaces simply turned a blind eye. We ( team of authors Arstechnika - approx.) came together and developed several trends in the development of modern interfaces that enrage us. We are confident that you can easily add to this list, while we, in compiling it, tried to remain calm. If you hold back a bit of hatred for modern interfaces, do not hesitate to find her way out in the comments to the topic.

Buttons that look too plain like plain text

These small text lines below, written in red, are actually buttons.

One of the common UI elements introduced in iOS 7 is the button, which is not at all like a button. And Google is moving there with its Android L. Touch interfaces are usually quite easy to get started, but the new iOS trick - to highlight or not to highlight the text on which you can click - leads to the fact that I now poke on the screen much more often, while not achieving the result. And since the OS behaves inconsistently in what it considers to be a button, I can’t work out a reflex depending on a particular color or font style.

This issue was highlighted on the UX Critique blog some time ago . There it was noted, for example, that many of the elements of the iOS 7 interface are buttons that disguise themselves as plain text, or vice versa. One of the notes showsthe audio file editing screen, where the word Trim occurs twice: once as the command title, and second time as the button, and the difference is manifested only in a slight change in the font thickness:

To start poking a finger into the text, you need a certain habit because There is no constant color that distinguishes text buttons, but in the end you can come to terms with this. The worst is the lack of rules on how the OS should highlight the button that is clamped. Yes, I'm looking at you now, Shift button.

Density reduction

Modern operating systems are entirely dedicated to space, allowing the elements to "breathe" and be located at a strictly defined distance from each other, with the aim of optimizing for touch interfaces. This is good ... But all this is achieved at the cost of reducing the density of information. The above image is taken from the Android History article . It demonstrates how the Youtube app has evolved over time. On the one hand, the early versions look rather poor, and on the other, the later ones intervene on the screen only one and a half videos:

This trend is also found in other places. Tweetbot 3 shows by default less information on the screen compared to Tweetbot 2:

Folders in iOS 7 on iPad can display no more than 9 items, compared to 20 in previous versions (although folders in iOS 7 can hold an unlimited number of items on different screens, while in iOS 6 there were no items in the folder more than 20). See how the GMail application grew when it was brought into compliance with Google’s Material Design Guidelines and you’ll understand what I mean. In general, the new design looks prettier, but the number of elements on the screen is steadily decreasing even despite the fact that the screen sizes of smartphones begin to approach the size of tablets. Is there really no other way to make an application look beautiful without having to constantly use scrolling?

The Unnecessary Use of Transparency

While many solutions aim to reduce the density of information on the screen, there is another feature that Apple loves so much, which also complicates the understanding of information - translucency. It is worth noting that OS X started with many translucent elements, but over time, their number has greatly decreased, and transparency has been significantly reduced. Transparency creates visual clutter, making it more difficult to find the item you need now.

But Apple could never completely forget the translucency and this resulted in some cases of its return. In OS X Leopard, they made the menu bar transparent, which allowed the menu to shine through beautifully, revealing the desktop background. Everything would be fine, unless you use a dark pattern as the background, which makes the names of the menu items almost indistinguishable. As a result, the guys from Cupertino surrendered and allowed to turn off transparency.

Now transparency has returned and it is everywhere. Any window at the whim of developers can become translucent. Thus, users are now forced to rely on the mercy of developers who determine whether information in a window should be clearly visible or if it should be lost in the chaos of background elements that shine through the window.

Apple earned a reputation as a dictator because it made many decisions based on the opinions of OS developers. These decisions were made to ensure the visual integrity of the interface, because the company felt that the developers of the end applications, in the absence of control and the availability of capabilities, could make interface decisions that were hostile to end users. By making transparency optional, Apple gave carte blanche to application developers, as it were, saying “well, do not care, do what you want, we don’t care about your users”.

A menu written with CAPS LOCK held down A

menu invasion in ALL CAPITAL mode in modern applications and Microsoft OSs is THIS HORROR:

Microsoft could not have come up with anything worse, except perhaps displaying the menu in white on a white background. The Visual Studio design team made sour comments a couple of years ago on why all the uppercase menus are a good idea, which consists in repeated repetition of thoughts that “This makes the menu visually more different” and that “All other applications Microsoft are doing it. ”

No, well, you believe: "First of all, the use of capital letters in the menu is a strong distinguishing feature of modern applications in navigation and in the headers of Microsoft interfaces?" This is ridiculous. Of course there are waysfix the menu of some applications so that they appear in the correct case, but there is no general way to do this centrally. Like transparency, a menu written entirely in capital letters is a terrible design decision and significantly reduces usability.

Even worse, this trend is flowing into other operating systems. The attributed menu is the curse of the recent OneNote release for OS X. Such a menu doesn’t just violate the OS X design conventions, it takes them, drags them to the backyard, pours gasoline on it and sets it on fire.

Microsoft, what is the matter with you? Dismiss the employee who decided that ALL CAPITALS is a good idea.

Also popular now: