Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Glyph Buttons vs Text Buttons

Aesthetics vs Metaphors
Vidit Bhargava

Skeuomorphism in UI is defined as something that uses real life 'metaphors' to help people get familiar with a completely new interface, its that part of the design which is meant to convey confidence to the user, that what he is deleting will go into a sort of digital trash-can, that an app is a digital notepad of sorts where you can write things, its the interface to on which hinges the app's usability.  its a part of design more than it is of the aesthetic.

Flat Aesthetic: Its not an interface, its just a method of conveying an interface. There is nothing like Flat UI. It is only Flat Aesthetics that we talk about when we talk of Flat UI. Flat Aesthetics are a way of conveying skeuomorphic or non-skeuomorphic elements.

Glyph Buttons VS Text Buttons
A graphical user interface (GUI) was designed in the early 1980s to help the humans get familiar with a computer. A command line interface couldn't achieve that. Skeuomorphic elements like a trash can were put on the screen to tell people where to put their discarded files, a pencil generally denoted an option to edit, a ticking clock meant you had to wait. The same happens when we design an interface for a touch-screen. We need to convey our message to the user and for that sometimes, the use of metaphors is necessary. 

Buttons on a computer screen are so much more different than buttons on a touch screen. A touch screen is usually controlled by our hands (which are less precise in pointing than our hands) while we use point and click devices like a mouse on a computer screen which are more precise. Using a text button on a computer screen can be helpful because pointing at a text button on a website with a mouse becomes much faster than pointing at a glyph button on a website. Things get reversed on a touch-screen, our fingers occupy a larger area, they need larger buttons and for that a glyph button is much better. Its like the Serif vs Sans Serif Debate, Sans Serif is much better on a computer screen while Serif is much better on a printed paper. The same's with Glyph buttons and text buttons.

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