“Apple’s attack on skeuomorphism — the design ornamentation that has been likened to a ‘nasty intestinal disease you might get in the tropics’ (and perhaps even worse, to a ‘new Comic Sans’) — has finally become a colorful reality with Jony Ive’s unveiling of the new, flat iOS 7 interface,” John Maeda writes for Wired. “Much of the commentary approves of the changes to iOS 7, arguing that because skeuomorphism teaches by analogy, and an entire generation of users have now become familiar with the touchscreen interface, it’s time to remove the ‘training wheels’ — we no longer need skeuomorphism’s solution to a problem we no longer have.”

“The word ‘radical’ was even tossed around in a few notable places, suggesting that design battles around re-flattening interfaces and smoothing out shadows actually advance the future of technology and design in the digital age,” Maeda writes. “But I think limiting our discussion to what essentially boils down to a ‘do these pixels make me look fat’ question is a waste of energy. Instead, design should boldly go where no user or interface has gone before. More than ever, technology constraints have disappeared, and designers have their version of the mythical perpetual motion machine — a new medium where pixels are infinitely available and infinitely malleable. We should focus on setting them free.”

Maeda writes, “We’ll never get there, though, if we stick to the dangerously reductionist, technology-usability centric view of design that surfaced in the discussions about flat design versus skeuomorphism (and continues to surface in the comments about iOS 7)… Apple and other leaders in the design space should be thinking like the designers who are imagining a complete gesture-based operating system across an array of small and large display systems (like at Oblong).”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: While it makes for an eye-catching headline, Jony Ive’s Apple iOS 7 does not “hinder the future of design.”

We like headlines that are supported by facts or at least a well-designed premise. A discussion about flat design versus skeuomorphism isn’t a black hole that consumes everything, including “the future of design.”

Maeda’s basic point seems to be that, “In a hands-free, ‘eyes-free’ interface world,” Apple should be working on new interfaces. Who says they aren’t?