"More modern" design in BIG SUR

As the discussions of BIG SUR have been making the Apple nerd podcast-o-sphere, the phrase of choice has been “more modern.” Having looked over the previews and some screenshots, I definitely get the choice of description - yet, in my mind, I can’t describe to myself in detail what “more modern” actually means.

I’m not a designer, so the question I’m posing is, “What makes a design modern, in 2020?”

Some have said that as design went to skeuomorphic to minimal and flat, the pendulum is moving back somewhat to a more three-dimensional ‘neumorphic’ design.

Not sure I buy it completely.


IMO, the design of BS is “younger”.

When I first saw BS in the keynote it triggered something. A feeling? Or a memory? Then it came to me while I was listening to Ep. 542. The colors and/or perhaps the shapes remind me of a baby shower, once a very common event at my previous employer. Or perhaps a two year old’s birthday party.

This isn’t necessarily a criticism of the design. I’m partially color blind which may have something to do with it. I wasn’t a fan of IOS 7 either but I’ll get used to it.

I also think the spacing of menubar elements and enlargement of icons does the housework to allow them to eventually be used as touch items.

In 2000 Steve Jobs showed of the OS X interface, saying, “We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.” Now the buttons are so good you’ll want to touch them.

1 Like

Buttons still a work in progress (hopefully!). Some interesting thread comments.

Am I wrong in thinking that many of these discussions become philosophical? Aren’t we ultimately talking about art? Who defines “modern”?


well since we won’t stick a framed print of the ui on the wall we’re not talking about art (ok, it’s not art even if we keep it on our monitors).

we’re talking about design (industrial design) and “modern” is defined by the history of design (a 1994 ui design might be useful, beautiful, functional but arguably it won’t be modern) and by the community of designers.

Design can become art, but it is in some way a byproduct, a part of the process, and not its main goal (an example).

Of course we can argue on what is the main goal of art, which is not art itself IMO, but this is a totally different topic.

One thing I haven’t heard said is that the new design would stop iOS/iPad OS apps from sticking out likely sore thumbs when they arrive on an AS Mac.

(I’ve heard lots of stuff about “touch” but I’m not convinced.)

In any case I’m saving my pennies and waiting for the hardware shoe to drop.

Hmm… I don’t think art is limited to what you can print and stick on your monitor. See “music”.

ok, it was an hyperbole, I thought the concept was clear enough :wink:

1 Like

Don’t tempt @ismh! :joy:

1 Like



Dang, remember to never use an hyperbole! :face_with_monocle::rage::upside_down_face:

BTW, that’s art because the purpose of it is art (meaning the purpose of printing and framing it). Art was a part of it when it was designed to be part of the ui, but not it’s main goal.

Moof! :wink:


Looks like someone either has poor attention to detail, or this icon was designed in zero-G.


It’s just! There’s! So much action! To pick a color! This was taken! In the heat of a great design moment!

(I’m trying…)

It’s almost as if the designer who updated the icon didn’t understand what gravity does to fluid.

Image on 2020-06-30 01.26.32 PM

1 Like

I could almost get the feeling that my feeble attempt at humour was a failure… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like