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Discussion on: I am also an art historian. Ask Me Anything!

stel profile image
St3l Ask Me Anything

Well, those questions are very interesting ! Unfortunately, I'm not a web designer and my knowledge in design is limited.

Nonetheless, I took some time to think about the second question (the first one is beyond my knowledge).

UX is very specific to our devices and it is difficult to find something in art history that could help to improve UX (maybe it can be interesting to ask to a craftsman ?).
What I have seen is that the UI has already borrowed lots of things to art history, starting with colors and the way to highlight important element. But it has to adapt to its constraints (screens size, touch...).

The difficulty to think art history for UI is the fact that UI must to be thought with UX. But art is thought for being admired (except for contemporary art, which is something I didn't studied). It can gives you a different way to think a subject. Like ancient greek art whose painters of vases were trying to put scenes into restricted shapes (circles shapes when they were painting inside a cup).
(Sorry if my english is not good - it's difficult for me to write about a complexe subject in english - I hope my answer is understandable)

dmfay profile image
Dian Fay

My thought was that there's still a history of UI design -- from one-line-at-a-time teletype feeds to curses-based interfaces allowing text to be placed and altered anywhere on a screen, then the advent of the GUI enabling interactive elements which have over time become antialiased, rounded, skeuomorphic, flattened, and so on. There could be entire books written about the evolution of typefaces in the screen era alone (there probably have been, but I don't know if my interest in that specific area would hold out that long). Art historians have had to develop vocabularies and theories to talk about the evolution of styles and movements and techniques; there's obviously some conceptual overlap, and given that art history has been around longer I was curious to see if anyone's gotten into exploring it :)

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stel profile image
St3l Ask Me Anything

Yes, there is some conceptual overlap... but as far as I know it, there is no studies in art history about it. Maybe in the future, art history will exploring it, but UI design is young and with the youngest themes or disciplines lots of art historians are reluctant to study it like actual art. Maybe in 50, 100 years there will be lots of studies in art history about UI design...