too many cooks ....
I was going to keep this one brief, but i cant. I'm seeing Microsoft sending different signals..
'You remember those rounded corners and shadows ? well here at Microsoft we got rid of the idea of pseudo 3d depth and texture on the desktop and instead gave you an infantile desktop with flat tiles, UI elements so sharp you could cut your finger on them, and bulky, shadowless window elements"
Contrast that to this 'New desktop utilising 3D' etc - read the blurb and spot the difference.
and it seems to me that UI designers are just about out of ideas, Win, Mac & Linux, all dumbing down the UI at the same time the underlying OS gets more complex and pervasive.
the desktop metaphor works, because
a) it makes sense, some humans are not spacially aware.
b) most of us have been using it for 20 years or more
c) monitors and mice limit the actual input we can have to the PC
d) 'more' is 'less', and such horseplay just gets in the way
OS's across the board are turning into appliance operating systems. dammit, They're NOT appliances. Sorry. it has to be said maybe portable tablets are, but leave the damn desktop alone eh folks.
Now, maybe i'm using flawed reasoning, but which is it be Microsoft ?
- such contrarianism (to me at least) smells like UI designers are lost or maybe it's an internal battle of two differing idealogies inside the company, but every OS seems to be in fear of someone wanting to paint their own ideas on it, and not everyone works the same, but we're humans, and we've adapted to what we have quite well. Lets change it then. er..
Maybe, and this is my harsh favourite (and it's not just pointed towards UI folks at MS either) the 'designers' were needing to keep themselves in jobs, so they have to come up with something to justify their positions, and MS have, another old idea, recycled, and it didn't take off last time.
Apple has been ditching it's skeuomorphism for a few years now and is letting it's minimalistic design ethic dribble down and dictate the actual UI by hiding things from it's users. So much for 'Think Different'
The thing is, user interface is largely dictated by the hardware it's running on, we've got windows, icons, mice and pointers because *it makes sense* to try to drastically change the desktop paradigm may be a noble effort, but ask Alan Kay and the folks at Xerox PARC about why OS' look the way they do.
is it just to show off ? living in a cumbersome environment looks as comfortable having to wear that heavy multicoloured jumper Aunt Flo knitted you for xmas ..
An OS should get *out of your way* and let you get doing stuff you want. it's an Operating System, it's used to run programs and manage hardware & provides an interface to it all. simple, It's is not an end in itself, deliberately hiding stuff is bloody stupid, as it's against the whole idea of what an operating system is for, Yes, UI elements should be on every window, yes, shadows giving 3d desktop depth and and helps with window stacking and recognition in a useful visually pleasing 'environment'.
The GL desktop cube stuff that was compiz and with it's wobbly jelly-windows was a lot of *fun* on Linux several years ago, but i bet no-one hardly uses it, it adds little and is only cool to show to someone who has never seen it before, maybe the desktop switching on cubes was not too bad, but wasn't needed, i bet most users switched most the eye candy off too after a while of playing with it. I did, It got in the way, If you eat ice cream everyday, it gets very boring and makes you ill..