Another piece from my every-month interface graphics practice.
Update: I'm just playing with colors and graphics, don't perceive it as finished UI for app.
8 months ago
@Kamil Khadeyev great love it.
This is an interface that should have never be ported on to graphical displays. It's a crime towards humanity :P
My arguments :
• This recommends the user to click the digits using the mouse when the entries could be made at least 3x faster with the keyboard.
• MC, M+, M-, MR they don't provide any clue as to what their functions are. (Terrible Discoverability)
• C button clears the whole screen without even prompting the user if it should be cleared off. (Poor Affordance)
As a physical device, these buttons were the best solution the original designers could come up with. Both Microsoft and Apple made a mistake when they blindly ported this design on to the screen without any design decisions that would make it a better interface on screen.
For a better design solution, see Soulver
I have nothing against if you use this as a practice design. The colours you have used is lovely. But as a user interface design, this is a terrible failure. And as designers, I think we should stop the propagation of such terrible interfaces and start building a new world ;)
@Prathyush okay (._. )
@Kamil Khadeyev Rather than just bluntly criticising the design, I will definitely come up with a better interface some time soon and post it as a rebound.
@Prathyush I must defend the man as he stated "... my every-month interface graphics practice." I think he's partial to the aesthetics versus the job the interface is performing.
The problem isn't the "propagation of such terrible interfaces", it's values. Defeating choices through blatant criticism is (a) uninviting as it doesn't call for a discussion; (b) doesn't bother to investigate *why* the designer made those choices.
"I will definitely come up with a better interface ..." is a pretentious statement and implies that you would rather propose your own solution than help make the world a better place by educating those in our industry to make better choices. Values, my friend.
@Kamil Khadeyev I think you intended to make the standard calculator app more appealing visually and in that, I think you succeeded.
I really like the contrast -> BG-Calc
@Dalton Woods Never in my comments did I mention that I'm not open for a discussion. Anyone's free to join in ; I wholeheartedly welcome it.
I don't see the point in investigating the *why*s when the premise is wrong. This is an inferior user interface pattern that has been copied over and over from right from 1970s to 2012. And any attempt at redesigning it, I think is futile.
By proposing my own solution, it would be my humble attempt at showing how the current problems could be solved. Rather than going about criticising everyone, I believe actions talk louder. By rebuilding a calculator interface, I am showing how I think the choices should have been made. That's how I intend to educate those in our industry.
@Kamil Khadeyev is a great designer and this could spawn umpteen inspired redesigns of the calculator as we have seen time and over on Dribbble. That I think would be like painting a house in different shades when the foundation is not strong. If people like us don't make a decision as to end the dubious trends in user interface designing, I don't see who will.
so smooth, love it!
On the contrary, I've never had any problem with the Windows or Mac calculators I've been using since 3.11 / OS 9 - it isn't hard to realize through expected trial and error that you can switch between clicking the numbers or using your keyboard as input methods. But even if we were to argue the UX of porting skeumorphic designs to screens, this shot isn't the place for that argument because Kamil was simply skinning a pre-existing method rather than attempting a new one. I'm all for critiques and concerns, but your argument is akin to someone posting a rendering of a Camaro and you coming in saying the design is fundamentally awful and how dare someone promote such terrible industrial design.
I'd also argue Soulver's approach isn't any better because it's expecting just as much input from the user, if not more, to generate the calculation. It's also $12 for an unfamiliar interface vs free for one that people already understand, even if it is old and not as friendly as it could be if someone put some more thought into it (sort of like the save icon debate). It's also a bad example because it's assuming people want to treat their calculators like programming software instead of a simple input device. Just my opinion.
This is - as far as GUI is concerned - elegant, straight-forward and if it isn't already, it would be really easy to remake in CSS.
@Mandy McClausky May be I am dumb, but it took me 2 years after starting to use computers to realize that calculator interface accepted keyboard entries. I am betting that there is a considerable population, who still haven't realized that keyboard entry is possible. Expected trial and error just never happens for some, when you suggest that this button is clickable in the interface. Keyboard entry is just one of my worries. Not sure if you have realised, clicking C on the calculator clears the input and there is no way you can retrieve an entry. Not even in 2012. Not providing any affordance to the user is a serious design concern. Please, don't even start to justify the design. It's definitely an inferior skeuomorphic import.
Dribbble is a congregation of the best designers in the world. I see this to be the best platform to criticise, be criticised, argue, discuss and learn about design. My comments are only oriented at understanding more about design. So, your Camaro analogy doesn't apply to our case. Posting a render of a Camaro is done by the 3D artist who have no control over the industrial side (If he was in the ID side, he is liable to be criticized to IMO). But here, we are the ones who are in total control of the design. We could handle the interaction as well as visual side of things.
I seriously doubt if you have used Soulver from that comments. After a learning curve, Soulver lets you to be far more productive than the dumb interface of the calculator. In a calculator, you are restricted to punch in your numbers, clear the calculations. MR, M+ your results, so on.
As far as GUI concerned, I still stand with my opinion that this is not an elegant design.
P.S : Making something easy to remake in CSS does not validate it's design.
@Prathyush Two seconds on your Twitter shows you insulting people's work, so I'm not going to bother digging a hole with someone that is just out to pick fights over subjectivity and the basics of a standardized calculator. There is a time and a place for criticism on Dribbble. Your post was not a criticism, it was an attempt at trying to undermine the OP's work by insinuating you can do better at something he wasn't even trying to do.
By the by, your PS is unnecessary. Not only is that not what I was implying, but it shows that you're just here to try to prove people wrong.
@Mandy McClausky Don't you think it's a bit brash to judge people without understanding what's going on. What you saw on twitter was me critiquing something that bashed whole of Dribbble and valuable time that people spend on designs : http://twitter.com/sdw/status/245261185727987713
Sure that site is hilarious and the designs are sort of poor, but it's too shaudenfreude-esque to critique without respect the valuable time and effort that has gone into making those designs and shame them publicly. They could be writing detailed critiques with pointers on why those designs are wrong. Anyway, that's a different story.
Let's discuss the matter at hand. Your last comment only critiques 'me' rather than disproving any of the points that I have raised against the basics of the calculator. Subjectivity is not the case here. It's about easing of communication between the user and product and let's focus towards that, rather than picking on each other's ego.
I'm not in anyway, undermining OP's work. You can re-check the original comment to see if there's any place where I deride his work. Only thing that I said was 'lovely colors' which is a complement. I was picking not on his work but rather the foundation on which it rests, the UI pattern that he has took up to remake is an inferior one.
OP is without doubt one of the best visual artists around and I don't think I stand a make anyone doubt that.
@Prathyush Clearing without a prompt to confirm the action (or some "undo" feature) is for expediency, not that I advocate the loss of data entry, but complicating the UI to support something so marginally transactional in most cases is unnecessary. There are a myriad of use-cases that have to be accommodated for – more rigorous calculations should be left to something like Soulver to place emphasis on arithmetic of that sort.
You are also ignoring touch-based devices, where the work argued above could be form-fitted and aligned with those interactions. Remember design is contextual.
Also, your comments aren't oriented to help others understand design. You mentioned how clearing is unfriendly, click-based entry is inferior to keyboard-based and the calculator is fundamentally dumb. Never once did you propose a solution.
At this point, you'll have to instantiate your claim of providing a better calculator interface than the one above.
"But here, we are the ones who are in total control of the design." Um. What?
@Dalton Woods "Instantiating" a solution for an interface that has been around for decades would not be an easy task for me. I would definitely be searching for a design solution and for that cause will be the next few months/years.
@Prathyush Candidly, I admire your passion for design. However, the tonal approach you take toward your peers is unattractive at best.
Let's be universally sympathetic to the growth process and discover more encouraging ways to communicate our strong opinions, whether substantiated or not.
I'd be delighted to check out your solution if the opportunity presents itself.
nice work mate.. :)
Awesome work, dude.
p.s. holy shit, comments like fuckin' novel (:
I really like this, Kamil! Only thing I noticed is the outer stroke, I think it should be a bit darker where the shadow underneath the calc is, so that it doesn't look blurred!
Totally agree with @Prathyush
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