Skeuomorphs? We don’t need no stinking skeuomorphs…
Propellerhead’s deceptively simple new music creation app Figure takes a very different tack than Apple’s GarageBand in its approach to synth UI. While there is much to appreciate in GarageBand’s expansive capabilities, I have often felt that the team erred on the side of aesthetics at the expense of usability. The primary offender in this category is their implementation of physical knob skeuomorphs, which are a constant source of frustration for me.
Figure, on the other hand, gives us subtle visual cues to the “knobs” controlling the rhythm of each piece of the drum machine without a dogmatic adherence to the physical behavior of a knob. The Figure knobs are delightfully simple to manipulate by dragging up and down, and the knob expands to make the rhythmic value visible while manipulating the control.
This is beautiful work that I hope Apple’s designers will take note of.