I initially believed the new time picker of iOS 14 was a bug specific to the calendar app I use, until I started encountering it across apps. If you haven’t seen it yet, it looks like this. What.

I am pleased to find out I am not the only one frustrated by the behaviour of the back button in Photos or bewildered by where it would take me in Music. There’s a growing list of apps, developed directly by Apple, that would benefit from having proper navigation but have opted for an erratic and lazy back button:

The more common apps that have long featured back and forward buttons do not function in these peculiar ways. Web browsers do not; Finder doesn’t; neither does System Preferences. And, as I was writing this article, I was worried that it would be made obsolete by the forthcoming release of MacOS Big Sur, but everything is pretty much identical as of the latest beta. If the back buttons in the apps listed at the top of this post do not conform to the system standard in any way, the obvious question is something like: “why do these apps have a back button at all?”

In every instance, it seems to be a catch-all attempt to solve complex UI design problems. In Catalyst apps, it kind of works like the iOS system back button. In the App Store and in Music, it is a way to display web-based pages without having to implement a hierarchical navigation structure. In Photos, I suppose it is a way to reduce the amount of toolbars and buttons onscreen compared to iPhoto, and to make it conform closer to its iOS counterpart.

And they were very meticulous about it (via Benjan Mayo)

A museum of software interfaces.

Jack Wellborn:

The menu bar has been, and in my opinion remains, the best mechanism for providing familiarity, discoverability, and progressive disclosure in user interfaces on any platform. Even beyond the Mac, anyone who has clicked on a File menu in one platform has a pretty good shot at guessing where a Save command might be when provided a File menu somewhere else.

In Bob Burrough’s words (Burrough is the author of the demo):

An environmentally-lit interface takes information from the environment around the device and uses it to render physically-accurate things on the screen. It appears as if the lights around you are shining on the things on the screen. […]

This doesn’t mean you have to hold a flashlight over your phone to read the web in bed. What it means is, designers are empowered to use the design language of the physical world to design their interfaces. Gloss, glitter, glow-in-the-dark, or any other visual quality may be used. In the case of reading a website in a darkened room, the web designer may apply elegant backlighting or glow-in-the-dark treatments to maintain legibility. This is far superior to today’s method of making your phone act like a spotlight that shines in your face.

Matt Gemmel ha scritto un articolo dei più intelligenti che abbia letto sul design degli oggetti digitali, con particolare attenzione ad iOS. È una critica allo skeumorfismo, più sensata di tante lette fino ad oggi. È sbagliato avere come riferimento assoluto, nel disegnare un’interfaccia, la versione analogica di quello che si sta proponendo; si tratti di un calendario, una rubrica, un libro. Parlando di libri di carta e ebook noi dovremmo tenere a mente che sono entrambi design per un contenuto, rappresentazioni della stessa cosa e, di conseguenza, strutturare i secondi scordandoci dei primi; che sono sì venuti — da un punto di vista temporale — prima, ma non per questo devono influenzare la struttura degli ebook.

We forget that physical objects are also just specific embodiments – or presentations – of their content and function. A paperback book and an ebook file are two embodiments of the text they each contain; the ebook isn’t descended from the paperback. They’re siblings, from different media spheres, one of which happens to have been invented more recently. The biggest intellectual stumbling-block we’re facing is the fallacy that just because physical embodiments came first, they’re also somehow canonical. The publishing industry is choking itself to death with that assumption, despite readily available examples of innovative, digitally-native approaches

Semplifico: ciò che conta è il contenuto, e realizzare una struttura che sia quanto più fedele ad esso. Non è detto che ciò che funziona ed è intuitivo nel mondo di atomi, continui ad esserlo se portato su iOS:

The reality is that skeuomorphism enshrines and validates a failure of vision, and even worse, a failure to capitalise on the medium.