“…when I’m talking to a voice recognition system, and it’s telling me to say “Yes” or “No.” I find that I’m saying “Yes” in this way that isn’t speaking to be understood by a human; I’m speaking to be understood by a machine. The machine is basically making a concession by allowing you to speak human, and you’re making concessions to speak in machine dialect.”—A conversation between Rob Walker and co-founder of Area/Code, Kevin Slavin
My hypothesis: those that grew up using computers daily are beginning to tire of external metaphors. Most of these people have spent more time in file directories than with actual files1. Computer UIs are more familiar to us than linen. Adding metaphors complicates our usage as opposed to aiding it, like it does for people who didn’t grow up as digital natives.
True, but I wonder - because a lot of these metaphors have existed throughout the PC era, aren’t they still helpful to young users? Just because I see an envelope icon and immediately think “email” or “messages” instead of processing it as a metaphor for snail mail doesn’t make the icon any less valid.
Skeuomorphing is a self-perpetuating design gesture. And while I personally feel that Apple overdoes it (iCal, Address Book…), it’s something that users do enjoy, and prevents our digital world from being such a cold/dead/austere place.
“Other lawyers also agree there may be room for another studio to ambush Warners’ attempt at a film adaptation of a story posted on Reddit. This problem comes up, they say, because many social community sites wants to encourage active sharing and thus maintain permissive licensing arrangements.”—
“The see-and-point principle states that users interact with the computer by pointing at the objects they can see on the screen. It’s as if we have thrown away a million years of evolution, lost our facility with expressive language, and been reduced to pointing at objects in the immediate environment. Mouse buttons and modifier keys give us a vocabulary equivalent to a few different grunts.”—The Anti-Mac User Interface - interesting article, surprisingly relevant 15 yrs after publication. Some of their ideas have been fulfilled. They pretty much predicted Siri, for example. Other stuff remains, at best, perennially doomed to the world of W3C/academia. Like semantic markup.