Luke W continues the discussion of the iPad’s interface guidelines and heightened realism, with some nice side-by-side examples of the real-life things that the iPad digitizes.
I think this heightened realism on the iPad is a reflection of how new it is. Like the early computer interface using real life metaphors of the desktop to help people understand how to use it, the iPad places a leather-textured flap on the left pane of the notepad so you understand how the sectioned interface works. The page curl and flip animation helps people understand how to use the touch screen interface to “turn the page”, by reacting to a gesture we would use on a similar “interface” (made of bound paper) in real life.
I believe, as touch screen interfaces become more common, this realism stuff will be scaled back. We can reference real life things, but keep the reference light, adding beauty but not bloat.
There is a period of learning where the interface is allowed to be a little overbearing. This stuff is training wheels. It makes the interface a little bulky and slower moving, in a way, and that’s okay for now, for the iPad.
I don’t believe the future will be made up of digital interfaces that look and act exactly like their physical counterparts. How limiting that would be!