MacOS Big Sur is Flat Design Gone Crazy

Flat design is being taken to extremes causing loss of usability. Being trendy has become more important than being functional.

Icons with too many details obscuring the central message
Apple Keynote toolbar icons back in 2017. Clearly visible outlines. Similar looking shapes referring to very different actions have distinct colors. E.g. compare “Play” and “Rehearse”
Icons doing very different things have similar silhouette and color choices.
An ocean of gray sameness. Where is the distinction? Where are the colors that make distinct icons pop out?

What has led to this Malady?

Perfection in design is not achieved when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900–1944)

iOS home screen actively uses colors to distinguish App icons.

Have We Forgotten Classic UI Design?

Haiku Operating System, a derivative of the BeOS Operating system released in the mid 90s, intended as a replacement for macOS.
Example of Skeumorphism. The iBook App looked like it had a real book shelf made of wood. Seriously!?
Skeuomorphic vs Flat Design

Proxy Icon Missing in Action

The proxy icon is not just decoration. You can actually interact with it. It represent the file you are currently showing. You can use it much like any other Finder icon.
Proxy icon in MacOS 9 (Icon next to “colors”)

Geek dad, living in Oslo, Norway with passion for UX, Julia programming, science, teaching, reading and writing.

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