In recent years, the field of User Interface (UI) design has undergone a transformation from Skeuomorphic Design to Flat Design.
Back in 2007 when the first-generation iPhone was released, UI was designed with skeuomorphism in mind. At that time, computational power was not as advanced as it is now, making it difficult to achieve realistic representations. The meticulous detailing of UI elements on iOS was quite impressive.
By 2013, achieving realism was no longer a challenge, and users gradually accepted virtual UI elements. Combined with aesthetic fatigue from skeuomorphic design, minimalistic design resurged in popularity. Compared to skeuomorphic design, it lacks many details and was even considered unattractive when it first emerged, but now it has become mainstream.
Comparing the UI of iOS 6 and iOS 7, we can see how flat design was first comprehensively applied to iOS.
With the development of VR and AR, there is a possibility that realistic design may regain popularity in the future. Alternatively, a new style that combines virtual elements with the physical world through technology might emerge and be readily embraced.
However, the changes in UI preferences are driven by various other factors. Regardless of the reasons, shifts in trends and concepts do not happen without reason; every phenomenon has its underlying logic and causes.
Anyone who delves into history will discover:
Each new idea is usually based on the old ideas of its predecessors. Once a new idea is proposed, it immediately faces contrasting ideas, creating a state of tension between these opposing thoughts. Yet, this tension can be alleviated when someone introduces an idea that combines the strengths of both conflicting thoughts.
Hegel referred to this phenomenon as a dialectical process.