The Rich Internet Experience
The "Uncanny Valley" Theory Doesn't Apply to Desktop UI
Creating Look & Feel That Transcends the Desktop Operating System
Apr. 2, 2008 02:45 PM
If you design an application that runs on Windows but doesn't look exactly like Windows, so the old argument goes, the effect will be unsettling for users. But sticking to the native look and feel (L&F) should not be the end-goal of designers.
The theory sounds pretty good. It certainly applies to anything that tries to look perfectly human but misses the mark. For example, the characters in the computer animated feature fill “The Polar Express” are often touted as an example of the “Uncanny Valley” because they were so close to looking real they were unsettling. This is also true of the characters in the more recent animated feature, “Beowulf”, which I thought were very weird looking and emotionally flat compared to real life actors. (See graphic on next page...)
This column appears exclusively at SYS-CON.com. Copyright © 2008 Richard Monson-Haefel.
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