“Apple is expected to debut a revamped iOS on Monday, featuring a ‘flatter’ design that, if not done properly, could be a step backward in usability, a pair of user interface (UI) experts said,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld. “‘Totally flat design, like in Windows 8, is a terrible usability mistake because it removes the users’ ability to see at a glance where they can click,’ said Jakob Nielsen, a usability guru with nearly 80 U.S. patents to his name. Nielsen, co-founder of the consulting firm Nielsen Norman Group, was formerly a top-level engineer with Sun Microsystems and has a Ph.D in human-computer interaction. ‘The actionable elements on the screen have to be called out in some way.'”
“A ‘flat’ UI isn’t inherently better than what replaces it, argued Bruce ‘Tog’ Tognazzini, also a co-founder of Nielsen Norman Group,” Keizer reports. “‘The long and short of it is that [flat design] is simply a design aesthetic and/or ideology,’ Tognazzini said, calling flat a fad, not necessarily a bad one, that inevitably will be replaced. ‘I have nothing against either skeuomorphic design done right nor flat design done right. It was weird when they were blended together, and Apple had managed to do both of them wrong.'”
Keizer reports, “Tognazzini spent 14 years at Apple, where he founded the Human Interface Group — the team that Ive now leads — and acted as the Cupertino, Calif., company’s evangelist for Human Interface.”
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