The Trend Against Skeuomorphic Textures and Effects in User Interface Design

John Gruber fireballs:

The trend away from skeuomorphic special effects in UI design is the beginning of the retina-resolution design era. Our designs no longer need to accommodate for crude pixels. Glossy/glassy surfaces, heavy-handed transparency, glaring drop shadows, embossed text, textured material surfaces — these hallmarks of modern UI graphic design style are (almost) never used in good print graphic design. They’re unnecessary in print, and, the higher the quality of the output and more heavy-handed the effect, the sillier such techniques look. They’re the aesthetic equivalent of screen-optimized typefaces like Lucida Grande and Verdana. They work on sub-retina displays because sub-retina displays are so crude. On retina displays, as with high quality print output, these techniques are revealed for what they truly are: an assortment of parlor tricks that fool our eyes into thinking we see something that looks good on a display that is technically incapable of rendering graphic design that truly looks good.

If you want to see the future of software UI design, look to the history of print design.

I mostly agree, but I would be carefull with relying on the print for guidence to future software UI designs. For one thing, print is not interactive, neither is used to get the job done in the same way software is.

I agree we are at the beginning of the swing in the opposite direction from skeuomorphism and I think we will overdo it, as we always do.

The evolution of design is sort of tacking against the wind.