Three weeks ago, Scott Forstall, the Senior Vice President of Apple Software was fired from the company. And, Sir Jonathan Ive, who was taking care of Apple’s Hardware Design will take over his position. In his new position at Apple, Jonny Ive will be the head of ‘Human Interface’ in which he will be taking care of both Hardware and Software Design which was formerly headed by the legendary Steve Jobs. That’s Good News. But the Bad News is that Scott Forstall had been fired. Rumours say that Forstall had been fired from the company because he refused to sign the apology letter for the failure of Apple Maps.
As far as I have seen in the news articles that I have read, many have been talking in the sense Scott Forstall leaving Apple as a ‘Good Thing’. But, I would say ‘No’. They wrote that they did not like ‘Skeuomorphic Designs’ that Mr. Forstall had been creating in the iOS. I will come what Skeuomorphic Design later. They all have been writing like that they never ever liked or loved the Softwares that Apple had been creating under Scott Forstall’s Lead. He created the world’s best mobile operating system, iOS. It’s not just iOS, it’s ‘The iOS’.
Did not they like it and praising Apple for the same ? Did not they use Calendar feature of iOS which was using ‘Skeuomorphic Design’ ? Apple’s iPhone has been the best because of its Software and not just the hardware. I am not getting any philosophical here but it is a good thing to see the best side in everybody. If one product fails, does your reviews have to be so stinging ? It is a question that I am posing for the entire Interface Enthusiasts and Technology Appreciators.
So coming to ‘Skeuomorphic Design’, what is ‘Skeuomorph’ ? According to Wikipedia, A skeuomorph or skeuomorphism is a design element of a product that imitates design elements that were functionally necessary in the original product design, but which have become ornamental in the new design. We have read earlier in one of our class readings of CGT 512 (Once upon a time, remember ???), by Donald A. Norman about using age-old traditional representation for the new products. In Skeuomorph, it is simply the part of the design itself.
For example, Artificial Leather Grain on the Calendar Icon of iOS and in many other applications. I tried to research more on the question that whether a Skeuomorphic Design a Good thing or Bad. After hours of Google search, I can just say that it just depends on the context that we are using the design and the current mind set of the people. It’s not a question of ‘Why ?’ but ‘Who ?’. Being in this industry of creating software for people, we can never ignore the question – Who we are dealing with ? Like most of the answers, the answer is ‘It Depends …’. :).