Topic for the 6/2/13 #storyappchat: Skeuomorphic Design

#storyappchat topic badgeShould software try to mimic our real-world experiences?

Well, I’d guess that nobody wants to reinvent the wheel where the basics of reading English text are concerned. We read books from left to right, top to bottom, after all. But skeuomorphic design has been around for a while, and it is certainly something Apple bet heavily on years ago. The chrome buttons and scroll bars with their little fake highlights and shadows, the wood-paneled look of the bookshelf in iBooks, and the “analog” clock face (complete with rotating second hand) on the Dashboard of OSX are all examples of this.

Beginning with the release of Microsoft’s Metro OS, developers behind major operating systems are abandoning hyper-realistic user experiences. And that might not be a bad thing. Look for iOS 7 to follow this trend.

For those of us creating storybook apps, the move away from skeuomorphic interfaces has notable implications. Will realistic page turns, fake ‘gutters’ and bookmarking go away? Should they? What other design elements in apps and ebooks might be affected in the move away from visually realistic interfaces?

Let’s discuss this during the next #storyappchat, this Sunday (June 2) at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific, OK?

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