Throughout last 5 years or so, the web development went ahead supersonic speed. We now using advanced preprocessors, we can include one (1!) line of CDN and have the whole frameworks available, there is svg for you to make anything fileless.

But given all these possibilities, where exactly we are at the design of the web itself ? I'm talking about UI. That's right, interfaces.

Take bootstrap for example. A lot of its templates uses flat design now, but it's not just a matter of flat design. We simply declare buttons or anchors with simple class and we're done. But what about the design ? We are using parallax on the web for few years already. Parallax is the best example of how we are trying to simulate the real-life experience on the web, so our users understand and get around quickly without hesitation. We are making the web for them simple by coding it so the experience of browsing it feels as natural as it can go.

What I want to point out today is that there are methods going against this vision nowadays, happily sitting besides those well made.

I'm talking about this:

parrot design

We are adding perspective now. User understands it's a button by the shadow and probably will click it as well. It simulates real-life buttons with the pressing feeling. And that's just it. We have a page that is flat. We read an article of flat text on our flat 2d iPad screens and suddenly there is 3d button drawn on the page. What is going on here ? Even wierder thing is, when you think about it, putting shadows. Google's notorious Material design uses these fancy box shadows:

material design example

But on the page of news artice, we read the article itself, maybe check some ad and picture attached, when suddenly there is a material design button stepping from the document itself. Where the heck is the shadow coming from ? More importantly - where does the light, that makes the object drop the shadow, comes from ? Why is it usually top left position of the light when other elements of the page are just plain displayed as if they were on paper ?

I ask myself these questions a lot lately, when I think about the UX. It originated when my uncle asked me at the pub, while I was showing him a site on a phone, why there is a shadow on a 2d screen.

And it doesn't matter whether you have the explanation for it or not, when users are in doubt, regardless of the legit logic behind it, it's still a bad practice.

So, are we recreating the life experience for them or we are teaching them the new ways of how we do web ?


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