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18 May 2014

Window Panes versus Tiles

A lot of web and application designers follow the Windows 8 paradigm that uses flat, borderless tiles.


Change for the sake of change

I don't believe in change for the sake of change. "Change is good" only when the changes are good. When you want to go north and your bearing is 20 degrees, change is good when somebody says, "Let's turn left 10 degrees." But when somebody says, "Let's turn left 180 degrees," change is foolish. Good change is good. Change for the sake of following a fad out of Redmond is dumb.

Stepping backwards - Why not go all the way back to MS-DOS?

Flat, borderless tiles are boring; but that is subjective. Objectively, borders, especially three-dimensionally shaded borders, provide strong geometric shapes. By guiding the eye, they provide actual functionality.

Forward into ambiguity

The paradigm of imitating our three-dimensional world made GUIs more intuitive. The new trend makes graphics ambiguous: Is it a non-functioning picture or a functioning button -- make that, membrane switch? You shouldn't have to waste time experimenting to find out what's functional and what isn't.

Will it be up or down?

For notepads, tiles make some sense. Compared to PCs and laptops, notepads and smart phones have small screens and low processing power. The simplicity of tiles has its advantages.

Some day, notepads may outnumber PCs to such a degree that PC users will want the consistent look and feel.

On the other hand, notepads will gain in image resolution and processing power. Maybe the designers will return to the higher standard, and this ugly fad from Redmond will go away.

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