Apple, Big Sur, and the rise of Neumorphism

From last week, InputMag with an interesting take on the move from skeuomorphism to flat design, followed by macOS Big Sur’s push into a new kind of design, dubbed neumorphism.

Take the discussion flying around Twitter about Big Sur’s icons with a grain of salt. This is a new design wave, and the rules are still being written, broken, and rewritten.

Some design elements break reality (shadows that are just wrong or that fight other shadows with inconsistent lighting patterns). Will Apple work on lining all those shadows up? Will they let icons be art, give designers a free hand?

I’ve always felt that the design pendulum swung too far to the flat side, offering fewer clues to users (Is the switch on or off? Hard to tell.) I’m looking forward to seeing what designers do with neumorphism, but hoping for a consistently lit, nuanced touch.