When Jony Ive was tapped to head all of Apple’s human interface design I was very excited about the possibility of a post-skeuomorphic Apple. I do not think we will see a drastic aesthetic shift from one year to the next, but if the Braun-esque minimalism Ive favors with hardware is any indication, it will happen, perhaps gradually, at some point. I wonder what that future will look like.
Apple’s two biggest software competitors are Microsoft and Google. Both have differentiated themselves from Apple’s software design by focusing on more-or-less minimal interfaces. Microsoft’s Metro interface is a clear counterpoint to what their design group sees as Apple’s shortsighted attachment to gaudy textures. Google has only recently come to their own design language, a halfway point between Apple’s dimensionality and Microsoft’s flat panes.
If Apple were to position themselves in this post-skeuomorphic field how would they claim their own place? I don’t think that they’re too late, but I am curious. The thought of software that compliments Apple’s beautiful hardware better than faux leather and notebook paper is exciting. There is an opportunity to create a truly modern interface while avoiding the discoverability weaknesses of Windows and Android. I hope to see it soon.