A very good and reknown site about the international style.
Apart from the Swiss stuff, or the beginnings at the Bauhaus most people know about, the Ulm school of design is interesting for the holistic approach to design.
My personal feeling is that we're already leaving the reincanation of the international style (when it comes to UI), and are moving "back" into Art Nouveau or Jugendstil, digital with a analog touch (this will be huge with AR I think, because it blends both worlds). AR is the medium where skeumorphism will reinvent itself I think, it's natural and at home in that environment.
Sure, but after that it will make way once again for more symbolic interfaces with higher information density and more convenient interaction, just like every other pendulum swing since the invention of the computer mouse. A new, unfamiliar medium needs to borrow from established interfaces until it develops its own conventions, and skeumorphism is probably the easiest approach for this phase.
That's a really interesting point, and makes for a good general explanation of design trends over time. Did you come up with it yourself?
What I mean that this will be preferred over a virtual window floating in space.
I think responsive design and the variety of device sizes make Swiss design rather difficult. Swiss design is all about using a well defined grid (see Josef Müller-Brockmann). Responsive design, different device sizes, dynamic text size, accessibility features, etc. make this very difficult to implement. Not to mention limitations in technology and APIs (e.g. the difficulty in grid layouts before flexbox and grid).
I think that Swiss graphic design is more about whitespace, a limited amount of information density, where the grid is just a tool that helps with defining that space.
I was going to mention the water pumping station that looks like a house but the canal would need a really big house.
His argument that stuck with me is that what we value as the most beautiful things in nature such as meadow flowers and birds of paradise, is due to their decoration. Decoration's purpose is to seduce you. It is in decoration that we experience beauty, lust and love. Decoration is a path to the heights of human experience so we should take it seriously and not carelessly dismiss it.
I have never heard someone say the panama canal is beautiful. No image or emotion comes to mind besides the will of humanity to cut through a continent for money.
It has a lot of decorative stuff in the form of buildings down the sides.
Maybe if you wanted to prettify the Panama you could stick something like the Marina Bay Sands by it https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=marina+bay+sands&num=30&so...
It hasn’t got worse over time however - it was hideous then and is still awful - so I guess your point stands.
It's now deeply ingrained into my "visual muscle memory" that a terminal without Solarized just looks wrong to me. Even text editors look strange and jarring without those familiar and soothing colours.
It's interesting that the colours in that Swiss Style Color Picker (linked from the article) seem to be taken from a similar visual family of colours (shades? hues? I am not literate in colour's language).
Thank you! May your code be forever clean, and your backups forever valid :)
I've been using a custom RailsCasts-derived (no red!) color scheme for many years, here's a version for VS: https://studiostyl.es/schemes/kodkod
It may be a double-edged sword though; I'm now looking at Solarized with a much more critical eye.
Hydrangea is a somewhat similar theme I enjoy a lot more. https://github.com/yuttie/hydrangea-vim
Here's a bit of the St Cuthbert Gospel from 1315 years ago https://wiganlanebooks.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/st-c...
and somewhat similar in sublime text (Calydon light) https://packagecontrol.io/readmes/img/5621a2861cccff9b1d2d2b...
It's a mess, there are multiple terms that have precise meanings sometimes.
(That stems from my ongoing frustration with people mixing up terms in various IT arenas like trouble tickets or design documents. "The server is down" can mean a hundred different things depending on who is saying it, and spending time teasing out the true meaning of a bug report or Jira issue can be maddening!)
Look at a book from 500 years ago compared to a book today. While the underlying tech is completely changed, the fundamental principles of book-user interaction remain the same.
A lamp in the 1920’s had a screw bulb and a switch.
The piano has kept 88 keys and 3 pedals for centuries.
The asdf keyboard layout will never change.
When it comes to website design, we see some standardization happening across the industry for what a website ought to be. I expect the homogenization will continue as websites get measured for business results and find local optima for solving the various problems.
The bayonet mount is alive in most of the English-speaking world (except for North America). It has been mostly phased out in France but it can still be found.
> The asdf keyboard layout will never change.
I wish more people knew that the asdf keyboard layout isn't something universal. I can't play games that use the wasd keys without allowing remapping because of that.
> The bayonet mount is alive in most of the English-speaking world (except for North America). It has been mostly phased out in France but it can still be found.
And right now we're at a time where LEDs are rolled out everywhere, giving much more free hands to lamp designers.
The market and lamp designers have done this already with LED desk lamps and many formerly standard fittings.
This is not progress, and is both environmentally and financially abusive.
So a light with integrated LEDs can have a lifetime that's much longer than one with replaceable bulbs.
Additionally, the total complexity is a lot lower for lights with integrated LEDs. It's just not true that lights without replaceable bulbs are less environmentally friendly -- in many cases it's the opposite.
preferrably soldered on a big metal part
An obvious solution to which would be soldering the LED to a metal connector that mates with a heatsink. We could call it an "LED bulb".
Of the assorted LED bulbs, fittings and sealed LED only products I've so far owned few have got to even 20% of claimed life before colour temperature or brightness has become pitiful. The only exceptions thus far are in my monitors (not exactly room level illumination), and in a few year old torch - but that has usage in hundreds rather than tens of thousands of hours.
So it looks like we really need some replaceable LEDs. Manufacturers would, of course, prefer to sell another desk lamp or kitchen fitting when the LED inevitably deteriorates.
You'd think so, but houses still have bayonet fittings so LED bulbs are standardizing on those (or on screw fittings, I guess, in parts of the world that use those.)
GU10 fittings do seem popular with the smaller bulbs, though. LEDs can get away with using these for higher output bulbs because they're so much more efficient.
However the trend shows that flexibility of directly building in long living LEDs is increasing.
Out of curiosity I was just searching for desk lamps on Amazon and first two pages were all LED-bases, which makes sense, since those are all design elements (sometimes of better, sometimes worse designs) where LED gives lot's of freedom.
Looking for ceiling lights gives a few classic connectors, but also lots of LED.
(This might be accelerated since I'm in EU, which banned classic lightbulbs for energy reasons ... over alternatives which are a waste issue)
Aftertouch adds pressure sensors. The most advanced form of the keyboard interface at the moment would probably be the ROLI seaboard .
I do expect that the 88 key piano will be a staple of music for a long, long time, but I'm not sure I would call it's interface timeless seeing as it's still being modified and adapted to this day.
> The most advanced form of the keyboard interface at the moment would probably be the ROLI seaboard.
Arguably. Some like that it brings new possibilities, others highlight that it comes at a price.
Just like some would call Macbook Pro's Touchbar the most advanced laptop keyboard interface and some wouldn't.
I can see the argument for the keyboard being a timeless UI because it's lasted mostly unchanged for about 600 years now.
I can also see the argument that 600 years isn't that long in the scheme of musical instruments. We've found ancient flutes from at least 30,000 years ago. The lyre, popular in ancient Greece, is not that different from a modern harp. Lutes are thought to have been present in Mesopotamia around 3000 BC.
Site note - I was surprised to learn that Bach lived before the piano became popular and apparently did not endorse the instrument until a few years before his death . He would be familiar with the interface from earlier instruments, though.
Well, if we went back further, we might get to codices or even scrolls, which are fundamentally different from books in their user interaction.
"never say never" will always be more right than "never".
I'd take this bet in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, we might be dead before I prove you wrong, so I wouldn't get to collect my winnings.
Funny thing is that the same experience is conveyed through skeuomorphic interfaces more often than not. /rambling_off
The position of an electrical switch is not designed to signal the status of what it controls.
Source: I was an electrician apprentice in my teens.
Edit: wiki (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiway_switching)
Wouldn’t the right affordance (at least for multiway switches) be a button, then? Especially with an indicator LED in the that is lit by drawing from line voltage, thus showing whether the completed system is on or off.
So each switch-button is still connected in series; all the LED indicator faces on the switches are powered by line voltage of the circuit; and so, when the circuit is completed, all the switches become lit; and when any switch is toggled, the circuit is broken, and so no LED is then receiving power.
Maybe a bit more complicated; there are moving parts required to index the action. But doable without extra wiring or centralized control.
Single-switch is commonly installed with the top-pressed-in meaning “on”. For multiway-switch the position is not a status indicator. Both types of switches can be present in multiple places around the house. Thus, position of “a switch” is not an indicator.
Example: my living room light panel (Vancouver, build circa. 2005). All lights are on in both pictures: http://imgur.com/8CTZOHZ
For a very long time I had the opinion because the German plugs are reversible they are inferior in design however what I learned is that it encouraged safer device design because it both line and neutral are not exposed on devices as a result.
Similar rules apply to bulbs: since you generally cannot tell safely if a a switch is on or off it encouraged the installation of RCDs and mandatory wiring plans that let you switch off parts of the installation.
I haven’t looked up the electric code to see whether it is a requirement, but it definitely is considered best practice. I’d suspect other countries, too, to have some sort of preference, whether codified or not.
Down is off, up is on. Alternatively - press on the down part to switch off, press at the top part to switch on.
Source: Me, danish electrician.
Star Trek is not anymore what it used to be.
It's however not because of some objective universal criteria but instead that no other solution has been needed which made it worth changing that standard.
Intuition is learned within the confines of the culture that understand the reference.
The desktop metaphor isn't timeless it's just one that society has invested enough time that it becomes shared understanding
In that sense, it's not different than a language where no specific word or sentence or meaning is objective in itself but rather points to something that "everyone" understands.
UI is culture. And what made culture is timeless? The undergraduate discussion group might hit on Shakespeare, the Pyramids, the King James Bible, or Portal II. In the end there's no common ground except that the value of culture itself is context-sensitive.
Anyway, it's all a red herring because "timeless" in this article is misused; the author just means "classic"
A ledger from the 1700s:
I think there are some UIs that almost perfectly fit the function; and they are the candidates for timelessness.
I think there are some limitation as to how you can lay stuff out and what the human brain is happy with. It's not all culture.
Like with a lot of sites with flashy weird shit I use a reader view extension to make it look like books and pages have looked for centuries. Not so much because its the fashion but it's just clearer that way.
But you have to choose some shape for them to be; why is square the default/baseline, and round the modification (the one with 'something added')? You could equally well say to, "just use round corners, keep it functional, not decorative—we austere users of the internet don't require any flashy straight-edged ornamentation."
I'm sure someone can give me an argument about how the straight edges make it easier for the eyes to associate aligned items or something like that, but if you're just slightly rounding some rectangles, not using ovals or something, the difference will be negligible.
The problem isn't introducing aesthetic qualities for their own sake—it's only a problem when you exchange something with a concrete purpose because you give higher value to the purely aesthetic thing.
(The quote uses the term 'decorate,' which ordinarily I think is a good choice, since in the case of decorations, you're adding content, which can lead to useless clutter—but! my opening argument here is basically that choosing round over square is not decorative in that sense.)
So, I'm left with the feeling that the quote really just comes down to justifying the newer bandwagon.
The round corners were serving a very important purpose: to signify that this UI element is a button as opposed to a random square div. Now it's become very hard to tell what's a button and what's not on many websites.
It do wonder how much CPU power, electricity and carbon emissions have gone into rounded corners over the years, only to have square rectangles came back into fashion.
The longer something has been considered good design, the longer it is likely to remain good design.
If a design has been good for 100 years, it'll probably be good for another 100 years.
If a design has only been good for a year or two, you should expect that it'll have a much shorter lifespan.
As in we are not special. If we know nothing about the lifetime of an object, we on average can expect to show up precisely halfway into the thing.
Bicycles come to mind.
* Hacker News (duh)
* c2 wiki
* Wikipedia (it changes, but thankfully not radically)
I would have added Reddit, but alas. Seeing how they plan to change to that... other thing makes me really sad.
But an upvote gives you an [unvote] button, a downvote gives you an [undown] button.
My 80 column terminal does not need horizontal scrolling on wide code. Why does my browser need it?
It's not a coincidence that all those pages could as good work with minimal CSS. That's why I would like to see a pure HTML cross-platform web browser. With nice proportional fonts and good support for media. It could even try to do some more complex typesetting. So links/lynx and other console browser do not cut it. Dillo AFAIK is no longer developed and it's not available on mobile.
I hate the recent trend with adding those obnoxious position:fixed or sticky bars at the top. All this fight to reduce browser chrome (from which Chrome takes it's name) has given web-designers more space to waste. It's horrible when one has: a wide-screen monitor, a small monitor, not full-screen window, a smartphone, a smartphone with a virtual keyboard visible. So pretty much always...
On this hypothetical HTML-only browser it wouldn't obscure the content. Just as all those newsletter, cookies and GDPR consent overlays.
I assume you are not using Firefox? Then you should, because it has Reader View mode, which removes all the JS BS, but leaves the text and the figures in. Not sure about <audio> and <video>, but it's a real blessing. I don't know how Chrome people go without it.
More info here: https://blog.mozilla.org/firefox/reader-view/.
Also I like the idea of a small, simple and lightning fast package. It would just work and would have a miniscule attack surface. At least comparing with all other browsers.
* ia.net and some of their work
Timeless design is one that exposes the nature of the tool and helps use it to achieve its purpose, with no superfluous elements added.
Also, styling your own thoughts as quotes makes them more convincing and tweetable!
A good example of this is twitters design
> There's no such thing as timeless design, because it's too dependent on its context, but one can shoot for longevity.
E.g. Obviously, there is no such thing perfectly timeless, as the only universal constant is that things change over time. But one can minimize dependence on current context, and attempt to tap into the slower changing, more fundamental aspects of today's world. In this respect, the artist shares some similarity with the scientist.
Changing UI in gnome world, and linux world in general is a real problem. Why can't stuff just stay where I rememeber it is!
Mac OS does quite well in this area, at least compared to windows and linux. It still maintains familiar menus, while the look and feel still looks modern.
Modern Windows menu UX is most certainly is not constistent, but Ubuntu linux is. In contrast i do feel MacOS looks very old fashioned for a long time.
Even though the unity desktop elements remain the same, unity still relies on gnome apps, like nautilus. I don't think I need to state the problems with gnome apps, you can read more about that here:
What we consider timeless in other desogn disciplines are patterns that emerged throughout many centuries of cultural transformation.
Digital UI is not only much much younger, it also enables sheer endless variation of any functional pattern, arbitrary design.
I would argue much of the UX patterns we established so far, be it the button or a slideshow, windows & menus, all these UI conventions are barebone concepts that already are timeless - and when it comes to styling, looks, it's very well possible to design in a way that is already timeless, it's just paint. And some of today's design schools will become timeless in time
It's horrible, it takes like 1/4th of the screen horizontally, with majority of the space taken by the blank spots.
I don't know why people nowadays make everything look awful so it looks "the same" on all devices.
Please don't do that. It makes it more difficult to estimate the length of the text, it's irritating since you need to scroll constantly and it looks bad.
Also, about blank spots: do you mean in between the sections of text? Maybe is an issue with the [goddamn] lazy-load graphics?
EDIT: you are right, it's the AMP version which makes it like that, without /amp it looks like normal web page.
It doesn't have to be boring either. A principle of Wired in the early 90s was to be outrageous and loud. Clashing colors and unreadable type completely aligned with their principles - and it was great.
When new technology comes around, you evolve if it allows you to get closer to your principles.
Look at fashion – as full of fads as anything. Yet there are timeless items: well constructed denim; simple and unadorned. A basic, nicely cut tee-shirt. A simple black dress. Oxfords, Vans. Why are they timeless? Because they align with principles that are unchanging: Simple, honest, functional, versatile, easy to maintain.
And if your fashion principle is to stand out, then yea, each individual item of clothing will not be timeless. But the principle will be.
Same applies to design in any medium.
What am I missing here? The latest guidelines for Material Design and iOS have round corner buttons.
The best example I can think of is Letters and Numbers. We have been using them for a long time to communicate and interact with each other.
Arguably they serve a purpose; easier on the eyes when you have groups of elements.
One of the other devs at work has regularly pointed out issues with our prior designers' work, when he couldn't tell what was what.
(80% of her work is in getting positioning right; this is the sort of thing that new mothers used to learn by having lots of public and family examples to follow.)
˚With apologies for the literal objectification.