Apple has gone off the deep end with its skeuomorphic designs. Worse yet, the debate has become polarized. The polar opposite of excessive skeuomorphism is the so-called “flat design,” seen in Windows 8. A “flat” design is not only devoid of anything that mimics a physical object or material, but it also is devoid of texture, depth, and even color. If we go flat, we’re basically back to the 128K Mac of 1984.
According to the rumor mill, this year’s Apple OSs will dial down the excessive skeuomorphism, On last week’s Talk Show, I heard the delightful term “deforestallization” to refer to this effort. Since Scott Forstall has become Apple’s gardener, he’s been blamed for this particular excess. Let’s hope that this reform doesn’t result in jumping back to the other pole.
There is a middle ground. That’s true because Apple’s brand of skeuomorphism has gotten so extreme. Skeuomorphism in moderate doses is a good thing. And Apple has already used skeuomorphic designs well.