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trparky
Android... get back here
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:4
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

2 recommendations

Flat UI design? WHY!?!?

Recently there has been some kind of movement towards a flat UI design. Personally I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. If you ask me, it’s hideous.

We worked for years on UI design to make people feel like the computer was more than just a tool, we made it feel like the computer was part of their life. Much of that was because we designed computers to be easier to use, easier to use programs, and user interfaces that felt like they weren’t just a part of a computer program but also felt like they were designed.

Now, it seems that we have all taken a giant step backwards and we’re all getting on the same bandwagon. It’s like we have fired all the artists and put the engineers in charge of UI design. Microsoft, Apple, hell even Android is getting in on the flat UI design. It’s hideous, I can’t stand this whole flat UI design. Has the whole computer industry gone mad?
--
Tom
Tom's Tech Blog


Old Computer
Premium
join:2002-04-12
France
I totally agree with you.
With the power of modern computers / Tablets / Phones, I think there is no point of the side.
In my personal opinion, it is the current fashion.. That's all

davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3
reply to trparky
Perhaps it unnecessarly drove up software and hardware costs. I have always gone in and reset Windows graphics to maximum performance. Most of the fancy graphics just eat up processor, RAM, and graphics capabilities that I need doing other things.

I imagine the battery life of a mobile device might be slightly extended by going with a flat UI.

There is also the need for easy readability under challenging light conditions. Flat UIs can help in that area.

It is similar to the use of color printing. Color printing is nice, but expensive. It can waste resources. 99% of my work is usable in black and white.

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:4
Vista required a stronger video card to use Aero than what the average was out at the time, but these days that's not really an issue even with onboard intel, or amd being standard, only antiquated hardware has issues. Before gpus tended to go unused except for gaming, now the onboard gpus can do some limited gaming too. Win 8 took out the transparency, and gave us even less customization than we had in earlier versions of windows that ran on far less than 1GiB of ram, besides that entirely fugly metro. I know it's said it's hard to get a real job with an art degree, but what retard did they hire? Less choices, and fugly?

Gamers who want the best performance out of their cards turn off gpu hardware acceleration in other software. Sure some people want a work of art, other want function over form, and it's mostly those who waste their gpu that find it most useful to keep older hardware more lively with it effectively being another processor making things faster when supported for things like youtube videos on processors that would choke if they had to do it solely.

Do we really need our gui to take up hundreds of MiB for eye candy? Not really, just as long as it's not hard on our eyes, functional, and hopefully easy to use without being dumbed down.

Most people don't even truly use most of 4GiB of memory, but some hold onto antiquated relics.... Win 7 on a single core processor, dreaming of better times, and if they're lucky a legacy agp video card.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to trparky
I. Love. Flat. Design.

It is efficient and simple. Things get to the point. Minimalism is elegant.

If you want to go back to the 1980s with a station wagon with the wood trim and other skeuomorphic horrors, please go ahead.

What is your concept of good design?
--
"If something about the human body disgusts you, complain to the manufacturer" - Lenny Bruce
What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.


trparky
Android... get back here
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:4
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

1 edit

3 recommendations


Windows 7 Notepad
 

Windows 8 Notepad
OK, here are two examples. The notepad program on Windows 8 and Windows 7. Which one is more esthetically pleasing? Which one looks nicer to look at? The one with some color and rounded corners or the one that's boring, blue, and with sharp corners?

If you ask me, the top one; the one from Windows 7 is better looking and nicer to look at especially if you spend much of your time in desktop land as versus fugly Metro.
--
Tom
Tom's Tech Blog


nwrickert
sand groper
Premium,MVM
join:2004-09-04
Geneva, IL
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Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
said by trparky:

OK, here are two examples. The notepad program on Windows 8 and Windows 7.

You labeled both "Windows 7".
said by trparky:

Which one is more esthetically pleasing? Which one looks nicer to look at? The one with some color and rounded corners or the one that's boring, blue, and with sharp corners?

If I am using Notepad, then I am looking at the space where I am typing in. I'm not wasting my time admiring the decorations.
--
AT&T Uverse; Buffalo WHR-300HP router (behind the 2wire gateway); openSuSE 13.1; KDE 4.11.5; firefox 27.0


csiemers

join:2000-09-16
Portland, OR
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

reply to trparky
When people are asking for better and better battery life, then by using a flat design is less processor intensive than drawing those 3-D affects. To me, I'd rather save battery than look at purely visual candy that serves no real purpose.
--
»www.caryontech.com


trparky
Android... get back here
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:4
But it looks hideous.


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4

1 recommendation

reply to trparky
I agree, I find the current state of graphical UI design with flat graphics on my awesome 23" wides-screen display horrendous. It is particularly glaring after spending my entire work day with Windows 7

As with everything else, Aero Glass should have been option for the Windows 8.x desktop. I finally installed WindowBlinds with some adequate (but not perfect!) alternatives.

Heck not even the "slightly" flattened iOS 7 from Apple is as "harsh" and the Modern UI approach.

If I am using Notepad, then I am looking at the space where I am typing in. I'm not wasting my time admiring the decorations.

And some of us are more visually oriented. Given that I spend 8-12 hours a day with a device of some sort in front of me, I want it to be "pretty".

If you want to go back to the 1980s with a station wagon with the wood trim and other skeuomorphic horrors, please go ahead.

Windows 7 doesn't do that as far I can tell.
--
♬ Dragon of good fortune struggles with the trickster Fox ♬


Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1
reply to trparky
I disagree. Give me solid basic color. It's an application, not an entertainment device.

I'll take the Windows 8 notepad anyday... if I used Windows.

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:4

1 recommendation

reply to trparky
I'm not going to presume, but have you used linux? Many of the guis available are quite grey, it's like a return to 9x, or 2k. They also use memory closer to the amounts of 9x, and 2k also, otherwise less. With no swap usage my linux can load in less than 256MiB of memory, but opening a popular browser you've just used say 100 MB right there alone.

I don't mind flat as long as it's not fugly, and I changed my bars in win 8 to grey since I didn't care for colors you might also see on neon hot pants on my titlebars.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


trparky
Android... get back here
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:4
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
Yes, I've used Linux in the past for experimentation. I've used Linux Mint (with the Mate desktop). It too looks very... bland. I always chalked it up to the fact that most Linux distro projects don't have enough cash on hand to hire a team of UI developers and artists.
--
Tom
Tom's Tech Blog

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:4
Click for full size
XP with Zune theme
I really don't want to get into the entirety of it, but linux is not a gui centric os, however does have many gui and effects packages options that can reach the level of religious debates. Most of the distros want their live cd to work on most systems, but their effects packages will use your gpu also. Some even notify at the lack of 3d support for effects, and have two versions 2d and 3d.

I think that xp's gui is better than Win 8 overall, and it was a nice balance even if some people called it eye candy over 2k. Then again some people will still love their transparency with Vista/Win 7. Depends if you're a form over function, or function over form person.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
said by BlitzenZeus:

some people will still love their transparency with Vista/Win 7. Depends if your form over function, or function over form person.

Except that a) the two are not mutually exclusive and b) the "form" of Windows 7 areo/transparency never got in the way of its "function".
--
♬ Dragon of good fortune struggles with the trickster Fox ♬

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:4
Yes, they were just secondary effects that could be disabled.


anonomeX

@comcast.net
reply to davidhoffman
Yep, your most efficient UI on the way: text-based.


DownTheShore
RIP tmpchaos
Premium
join:2003-12-02
Beautiful NJ
kudos:14
reply to trparky
I don't mind the flat UI - it's easier to see.

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to trparky
Because it's frankly just bizarre to make virtual constructs look like the old physical designs which were needed before.

A switch is three-dimensional because it exists in the real world.

If you need a computer UI to turn something on and off, there's no need to have it be 3-D, much less (ugh) a picture of a physical switch.

I'm getting deja-vu. Back in the 80s, I used a UI (DECwindows XUI) that was pretty well thought out. Then OSF Motif came along, with pretty 3-D effects, and everything switched to that, despite its shortcomings for consistency, etc.

Probably the biggest trigger for the current flat vogue is that Steve Jobs is dead. Jobs was a big fan of pointless imitation of the real world, and everyone else was a big fan of pointless imitation of Jobs. Ives doesn't approve, so he's doing something different.

With respect to the Notepad example: that's a perfect example. The actual useful piece of Notepad, the text surface, is flat just like it needs to be. What is the meaning of a 3-D surround? That seems pretty semi-arsed to me: one part has depth, the other doesn't. Sure, you can explain it as a picture in a frame, or something like that, but I don't buy it.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
reply to trparky
UI should be standard (so everyone around knows how it could be used) and functional. Not ambiguous and/or "innovative". Attraction is not a main property of any UI. UI stands for User Interface, remember?

Here is example of bad UI - latest Thunderbird (TB) v24. Developers tried to make its frame unique and perhaps "attractive" to some... But they clearly don't know what they are doing. Just couple of points what I mean:
• The new window frame doesn't have title - you don't know what the app running this window or if you know it's TB, there is no info what it's doing (what mail box is opened, what account is used, etc, nothing)
• Common UI has a requirement - if window is active (focused), then its title is highlighted (color is clearly different from windows running in background). Obviously developers of TB do not know that... There is no way to see, if TB is in focus or not, except to try to use its hotkeys (and expect it reacts accordingly) or analyzing its [X] (Close) button...
• Here is example of Tab on the main window. Do you see it there? I don't. But nevertheless it's here.


And what is tiny arrow pointing down? Isn't it should be obvious and clear what it is for? (it is a button, BTW) Should I thoroughly search the frame for perhaps yet another hidden UI feature there?..

It's User Interface, for god sake. Keep it simple and clear for us, its users...
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:4
Click for full size
Well they pulled it off in Firefox, I even made it more compact by putting my tabs in the titlebar.

I like they removed the traditional Win 8 titlebar, and my browser wastes less space on the desktop this way. The firefox menu button shows what application is it, and uses less space.

I have a feeling you just need to right click the top, and uncheck the menu bar option. I had to do that on xp, and linux to get the firefox menu button to appear.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


anonomeX

@comcast.net
reply to OZO
That whole "Australis" tab concept/design of "disappearing" the inactive tabs is both bad and stupid. The time when you most need to see a tab is when it isn't the one that's active but when you're looking for another tab that you want to be active (meaning the one you're on is the one you don't need to see). This only indicates to me that every other change that's part of Australis is just as stupid.


JTM1051
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-08
Moorpark, CA
kudos:1
reply to trparky
I agree on the new flat UI. I have Win 7, but when I bought my PC from Dell MS Office 2010 was not available, had to get Office 2013 and I dislike the appearance of new flat UI.

I guess it makes it easier for M$ to have Windows 8 run on multiple device types; i.e., tablets, phones, etc.


OverBurn

join:2004-02-21
Greenwood, IN
reply to trparky
said by trparky:

OK, here are two examples. The notepad program on Windows 8 and Windows 7. Which one is more esthetically pleasing? Which one looks nicer to look at? The one with some color and rounded corners or the one that's boring, blue, and with sharp corners?

If you ask me, the top one; the one from Windows 7 is better looking and nicer to look at especially if you spend much of your time in desktop land as versus fugly Metro.

One of the many reasons I despise Win8.


Ctrl Alt Del
Premium
join:2002-02-18
kudos:1
reply to trparky
The titlebar text (the "Untitled - Notepad" part) is a bigger font and much easier to read in Windows 8. The Windows 7 titlebar is both smaller and uses a terrible blur behind the text for contrast. That's flair for the sake of flair at the expense of useability.
--
less talk, more music


Link Logger
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-29
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
reply to trparky
Don't blame this on engineers, GUI design has become the exclusive domain of so called hottie tottie designers. Engineers can give you reasons for doing what they do, most designers I've met can't give you a reason beyond it 'looks good to them'. Now I have met some legitimate designers who understand human physiology, ergonomics and cognitive psychology etc, but most are just whacked out sociopathic bad artists who's work resembles random drawing by a three year old monkey and we have put these guys in charge of design, wow the inmates really are running the asylum now. Yep we have now entered the age of 'works on my machine' has been replaced by 'looks good to me'.

Now flat design can make sense in that it is meant to draw your eye/attention to the areas in which you are working and reduce distractions. Take the use of color for example, if a designer understands the structure of a human eye and the placement density of rods and cones and their role in color perception, then they tend to reduce the use colors in non-work areas in order to help your eye focus on work. When I meet a so called designer and they can't explain this to me in detail, its get out of my office time as then I know they are just an untrained bad artist trying to pass themselves off as a designer.

Blake
--
Vendor: Author of Link Logger which is a traffic analysis and firewall logging tool


Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to OverBurn
just use classic shell with the windows 7 button

»www.askvg.com/download-classic-s ··· ndows-8/

Windows 8.1 is not the boogy man.

--
"If something about the human body disgusts you, complain to the manufacturer" - Lenny Bruce
What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:4

2 recommendations

Classic shell doesn't solve all the problems, that's just the start menu, but we also shouldn't need 3rd party to fix their glaring issues.

You can only customize the titlebar background color, or their high contrast themes actually break applications while still only offering a few limited options to customize. Nothing like all the options available even back in 9x.

I recall Steve said something along the lines of "You'll get used to it", but that's like living near a paper factory. You might not notice the smell when indoors after a while, but it still blasts you in the face when you step outside.

You can't even change the titlebar text to white, and the background to black without the buggy high contrast themes or 3rd party.

You can also bug out the gui using the high contrast themes, and create a transparent titlebar, however it will ghost all over your desktop. This problem existed in 8.0, and still exists in 8.1
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


sivran
Vive Vivaldi
Premium
join:2003-09-15
Irving, TX
kudos:1
reply to OZO
said by OZO:

if window is active (focused), then its title is highlighted (color is clearly different from windows running in background). Obviously developers of TB know that...

FTFY. Your own screenshot shows the active tab being a different color than the background tab.
--
Oh, Opera, what have you done?


OverBurn

join:2004-02-21
Greenwood, IN
reply to BlitzenZeus
said by BlitzenZeus:

Classic shell doesn't solve all the problems, that's just the start menu, but we also shouldn't need 3rd party to fix their glaring issues.

You can only customize the titlebar background color, or their high contrast themes actually break applications while still only offering a few limited options to customize. Nothing like all the options available even back in 9x.

I recall Steve said something along the lines of "You'll get used to it", but that's like living near a paper factory. You might not notice the smell when indoors after a while, but it still blasts you in the face when you step outside.

You can't even change the titlebar text to white, and the background to black without the buggy high contrast themes or 3rd party.

You can also bug out the gui using the high contrast themes, and create a transparent titlebar, however it will ghost all over your desktop. This problem existed in 8.0, and still exists in 8.1

What he said.