Skeuomorphism: Alex Lindsey schools Mike Elgan and Leo LaPorte on MacBreak Weekly

If you want a beautiful lesson in debate and how to win a discussion or debate, listen to the 7/23/12 MacBreak Weekly Podcast. Usually, Leo tries to set a stage of jovial tech tabloid-tainment amongst the panels he chairs. Totally trashy and Leo likes it that way. But something odd occurred at about 1h 30m into the latest MBW podcast.

Mike Elgan and Leo were riffing on how Apple's foray into skeuomorphism was odd and crazy. Elgan went so far as to say MS Metro and Apple iOS/OS X were going the total opposite direction, where Metro was objectively beautiful and functional because it was modeled after street signage. (I'm of the total opposite opinion as everything about Metro is stark and cold while being both information light and poorly displayed). Leo of courses tries to riff along the same "Apple doing something crazy with skeuomorphism" idea. Yes, stitched leather and the Podcast app was mentioned multiple times.

Then Alex Lindsay speaks up and to my surprise, just destroyed Leo's and Mike's riff on skeuomorphism. Didn't know Alex had it in him. He must have kept it in for awhile. Both Leo and Mike were taken aback. Leo tried to continue Alex's point, which was in total opposition to what he was doing before. Mike tried to move the goal posts on what skeuomorphism means in response to Leo's attempt at continuation, but really didn't get anywhere.

So, how did Alex do this? He provided data! He relteid his experience of being a GUI designer in the 90s. And yes, skeuomorphism is not new, and in their app UI designs, they would do user testing of this or that feature. They didn't know if this or that design would work best and would user testing. In the user testing, users vastly preferred skeuomorphic UI designs on the order of something like 80%. Alex kept on saying that it wasn't even close.

Heh. I would have love to hear the after show discussion, if any on it. It's a nice remember that 99% of the bloggers and journalists out there really don't know anything.