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    Affordances and Metaphors Revisited: Testing Flat vs. Skeuomorph Design with Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants

    HCI 2018

    Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2018)

    Belfast, UK, 4 - 6 July 2018


    David Oswald



    The arguments about skeuomorph versus flat design have so far been based on comparatively lit-tle evidence and were largely dominated by strong opinions voiced in informal online media. This paper presents an a/b-study to assess the strengths and weaknesses of these design approaches with the distinct user groups applying them. First results gave no clear indications of which ap-proach could be considered the best. Surprisingly, however, older and inexperienced users experi-enced more problems using “naturalistic” skeuomorph interfaces than abstract flat interfaces. As a result, the concept of skeuomorph design enabling the use of real-world knowledge to enhance novice user’s learnability is cast into doubt.


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