This week, and propitiated by Scott Forstall’s exit from Apple, we’ve been bombarded about the impending UI changes that will supposedly be making way into iOS and OS X to go back to basics –or should I say, Bahaus?–from skeuomorphic user interfaces.

The way I see it, it’s all about the design language. I think that both skeuomorphic and Bahaus–I’ll use that term since I could not find a proper antonym–have a place in user interface design.  Both have extremes, too.  In iOS I only get into Game Center by accident, while in Windows 8, with its formerly-known-as-Metro design language, I get dizzy with live tiles or swiping too much on endless grids with a uniform look.

Design languages are there to provide the 80% of what a solution can be, whether those design languages are for user interface, application frameworks, design patterns or your favorite design category. However, design languages that are too rigid, while bringing consistency and uniformity, can also stifle creativity.

Perhaps hermit crabs are skeuomorphic. Or peackocks.


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