i'd like to know if there are resources or background knowledge on the new tendency to smooth the lines/outlines and add gradients and shadows to information graphics. For example, on the new version of Microsoft Office for OSX, the default graphs show smooth lines, shadows and gradients everywhere (a pain to manage in illustrator, but otherwise attractive).
Those graphics are no more graphically simple (few colors, sharp contrasts), but perhaps visually simple (visual perception) ?
There's some connection with cognitive studies of visual perception, but i'd like to know if some graphical design experience, empirism, books or web resources are talking about this, thanks :)
My question is about documentation and resources supporting this tendancy. Explanation and support of this change of style, if you want to use this point of view.
I'm trying to explain the reasons of this change, and looking for scientific or empiristic answers. For example, are those graphics more readable ? More aesthetic ? Or simply there because it's now possible to add those fancy gradients, shadows and smooth outlines (with software and hardware progress) ?