Skeumorphism. That gave you a chill down your spine, didn’t it? We definitely heard this term in the last few years, especially with the cheesy lined paper that we saw within our iPhones with its previous iOSes. Skeumorphism dates back to the early 1980s. In 1984, Apple had introduced their first consumer GUI, where “folders” were manila folders and “trash” was represented by a trash icon. Contrary to popular belief, Skeumorphism was not a trend; it was a learning tool for those who were unfamiliar with computer interfaces. However, as personal computers are now becoming much more ubiquitous, users do not need to rely on the visual metaphors to understand the different functionalities.
Then in comes flat design. The term “flat design” has garnered more attention in the last year since Apple’s shift from its overly realistic UI to flat design with iOS 7. Flat design can still be skeumorphic. For example, the layout of the calculator in iOS 7 is still a calculator (yet flat), but does not require the realism (i.e. beveled buttons) to get the idea across to the user. Flat design embraces visual minimalism, eschewing extreme usage of beveled edges, textures, shadows, and gradients, and opting for more of a simplistic look with a focus on UI elements, typography, and color.
Flat design certainly supports the notion of “less is more,” and in turn focuses on user experience (something that I think we do quite well here at EchoUser). Designers are now returning to the Bauhaus-era basic fundamentals of “form follows function”. Flat design strips away all the ornamental elements and visual noise that are deemed unnecessary, focusing on the content instead. Instead of being fixated on whether or not the shadow on a box is realistic enough, designers can focus their time and effort on the usability of the product. We can even incorporate other elements, such as visceral interactions, animations, sound, and vibrations to create a more interesting and engaging experience.
Some may assume that flat design is easy. However, it definitely is not! Designers must spatially arrange elements appropriately, to use color and typography thoughtfully, and create a strong experience while keeping it simple. When using flat design, be sure to have a user-centric perspective as well to ensure a unified and holistic experience.
It’s November! What does this mean? Meaning that it’s that time of the year where the men look like clean-shaved babies in the beginning of the month, and creepy people by the end of it. We’re talking about MOVEMBER. For those who are not familiar, Movember is a global movement responsible for bringing attention and awareness to men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and male mental health. Did you know that men are 35% more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than a woman is to be diagnosed with breast cancer? NOW YOU KNOW.
This year at EchoUser, we have a group of Mo-Bros who will be growing out some gnarly lookin’ mustaches. Not only this, there will be some Mo-Sistas to be supporting them along the way. So ladies and gents, we would like to present to you… THE FANTASCHTICS.
Here are some of the reasons why the peeps at EchoUser are engaging in this intiative:
- “Because guys getting sick sucks and mustaches are awesome.”
- “Mustaches are magical and wild lady eyebrows too!”
- “Gandhi, Einstein, and Super Mario were doing it right.” …”Also, Ron Swanson.”
Please support this cause along with us by donating to us (and to also see the men grow some unsightly facial hair). Donations can be made to the following link: http://moteam.co/the-fanstaschtics All donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
We plan to take pictures of everybody’s progress every week, so check out our Facebook page to follow along on our fuzzy fun!
It’s our lucky 7th! It was EchoUser’s birthday today! Time has passed by quite quickly, hasn’t it? This year, we decided to celebrate by surprising our big heads, Mick and Aaron, with big heads. No, seriously. We got some wonderful portraits of Mick and Aaron and decided to blow them up. We also dressed up formally for the day. We’re a good looking bunch, aren’t we?
For more photos of our birthday shenanigans, check out our Facebook page!