Realmac’s Clear todo app:
Matt Rix’s Scorekeeper XL:
Both of these apps forgo Apple’s aggressive skeuomorph aesthetic. They aren’t trying to be something they’re not…They are applications running on a pocket computer. They shrink, shift, and expand. All while beeping and booping in a delightfully digital way.
Clear focuses exclusively on gesture interactions. Such as the pull apart motion to create a new item. This seems far to obtuse to intuit. I assume there will be some sort of tutorial on first launch. That seems heavy for an app that’s pushing simplicity. Maybe that’s alright though? Maybe that’s the price you pay when working with an emerging vocabulary?
Scorekeeper has a similar visual aesthetic, but focused on buttons (however visually abstracted out they may be). On first launch it feels un-familiar. Even with the large simple icons, you need a moment to decide if you’re supposed to tap them. Are those boxes headings? Or are they actions? There’s also a moment of re-adjustment each time the screen re-organizes. It doesn’t take long to figure out though. Once you do, it’s a lot of fun to use.
They’re both a very interesting start… There’s a lot of room for a more refined visual style. And I believe it’s possible to increase affordance without falling down a skeumorphism hole.
I think I’ll start digging through the Metro Design Language docs to see what lessons can be learned from Microsoft’s research into an “authentically digital” UI.