“Skeuomorphism” and Personality Through Interface Design

Louie Mantia rarely vents his thoughts on design in a way other than via twitter. This recent essay of his is a refreshing change. He discusses “The S Word”, visual design and app interfaces. It’s a good read. This struck me:

More importantly, a visually distinctive app such as Game Center, Find My Friends, Podcasts, or iBooks helps you to remember which app you’re in. The colors, textures, and environment paint that picture instantly. (When I look at an Android phone, it’s often hard to remember which app I’m in because most default apps look the same and use the same colors and theme.)

I couldn’t agree more. The most memorable apps tend to be the ones with the most personality. I’m reminded of Dustin Curtis’ recent blog post:

I've settled pretty firmly in the camp of thinking that interfaces should mimic social creatures, that they should have personalities, and that I should be communicating with the interface[.]

Apps which are the most fun to use tend to be opinionated.

About App Icons

Louie Mantia writes passionately about iOS icons in this delicious article. He sums up thoughts I’ve had for a while, but have been unable to put into words:

I believe good app icons are most valuable for your customers, your everyday users, not first-time shoppers.

Make an icon valuable to someone who is looking for the app on their iPhone every single day. They’re your ideal customer.

A More Beautiful iTunes Icon

Not a fan of the iTunes 11 icon? 

Louie Mantia, creator of the previous iteration (one of my personal favourites), has thrown together a few gorgeous alternatives. My vote is for the dark orange edition — it neatly matches iOS and spices up the otherwise blue sea of icons in my dock.