In our previous article – kc web design kent – Why I hate iOS7 – I spoke about the reasons why I didn’t like iOS7. Since that article there have been many more reasons not to like iOS7 and its many inconsistencies. Text padding and spacing still really plagues the OS in some very odd places such as when the wi-fi icon disappears and is replaced with the GPRS text. On my O2-UK network the GPRS text is almost overlapping the time. Buttons that would normally have had a border to even them out symmetrically now look very strange and misaligned. In the Messages app you sometimes get the Messages and Contact buttons (Can we still call them buttons? Aren’t they are now just text links?) on either side with a long phone number in the middle with no proper spacing between them so they all seem to merge into one long line of text. At least buttons with edges would have had a visible divider between each bit of text…anyway, before I get on to another stream of iOS7 bashing…
Why I LOVE iOS 7
Yes, I know it seems a bit strange to have one article called “kc web design kent – Why I hate iOS7” and another one called “kc web design kent – Why I LOVE iOS 7” but that’s just what iOS7 seems to be doing to people. Most, if not all, of my iOS7 hates come from a design and UI perspective. Because I am a web designer and UI designer I am being very over critical (Something Apple should have been as well!) on the design side but as with so many Apple products, design IS very important.
After using iOS7 for a few weeks at kc web design kent I am beginning to really like it (design gripes aside) and it’s the overall feel that’s really starting to grab me. In general use iOS7 on my iPhone 4s feels pretty quick and some of the new interactions are very, very nice. The OS feels sharp and quick but fluid and easy to whizz around. Everything feels in the right place (if not looking quite right) and there’s a fluidity and continuity to it that iOS6 didn’t have. Going back to iOS6 now feels a little clunky, like everything is a bit too solid and boxed. There is a lot I miss from the old OS but iOS7 has a lot to like. It’s not there yet though and I’d like to see some of the design and UI niggles fixed in the next big release, but overall, yes, I do LOVE iOS7!
That just leaves one more question though…what is iOS7 like on the new iPhone 5s? Where’s my wallet…
I hate iOS 7. There, I said it!
There’s been a lot of talk about iOS7 over the past few months and last week it finally launched. Lots of people won’t update yet but working in the web design and iOS design industry you kind of have to. So I did. To be honest I find it messy and cheap looking. The famous gradient icons just don’t seem to work in places especially on the dock with certain colours. The dock – annoyingly (why can’t we choose a colour for the dock?) – takes on an automated colour based on your wallpaper image and sometimes that colour clashes badly with the icon gradients making them blend into the background and look really nasty. On my iPhone only dark backgrounds seem to work well. Anything in a mid tone fights with the icon colours too much. And those folder icons are the same, they take on an automated colour that just doesn’t seem to work and they look a mess. With all the emphasis on nice transparent layers in iOS7 I would have thought that some transparency on the folder and dock backgrounds would have looked very nice.
Another thing that adds to the messy feel of the app screens is the padding around app names. A lot – far too many for my liking – of the app names on my iPhone touch each other. It’s as if there’s not enough padding on the grid and names are overflowing into each other. Now come on, any web designer knows that padding should be set so that grids flow nicely and text names don’t touch or overlap. On every project we do at kc web design kent its one of the THE most basic things to get right.
The icons on my phone look really inconsistent because many apps haven’t updated their icons to the new style. I guess this is only a matter of time and once developers update their icons it will feel more consistent but it shows that the new iOS7 isn’t very forgiving. Because of its very unique style anything that doesn’t use that style now looks out of place. Surely the iOS should facilitate a certain amount of freedom and not dictate what looks good. The old iOS6 seemed to deal with this a lot better and the vast array of different styled icons still looked ok on the screen.
And fonts, oh those fonts. I don’t actually mind the Helvetica Neue, it looks quite nice, but in some places the size is too small and the weight is very light. On some apps the icons at the bottom have text underneath and they’re barley readable. So many people I know that wear glasses find them unreadable. Again, this is basic design stuff and Apple should have got this right.
I know these seem minor gripes but as a web designer at kc web design kent I have to deal with and make sure these types of design rules are done right every day, and I make sure they are. Apple, with all that man power and money, could surely do the same. At kc web design kent I’m looking forward to working on our next iOS app design project so that I can play around with the new styles.
Lets hope some updates appear over the coming months that fix these teething problems. And on a brighter note, lets not forget that iOS7 is a huge update and a massive leap forward for the worlds leading mobile OS. When I think back to the first iOS it was revolutionary, but it had a lot of issues too. It took a few years and a few iOS updates for it to feel like a proper iOS and I feel iOS7 is the same. It’ll mature and grow over the next few years.
Being so busy at kc web design kent doesn’t leave much time for relaxing but when I do I love to watch films. Big screen, big sound, bliss. For a while now I’ve been looking at how to improve my media centre and get a setup that allows me to watch HD movies whenever I want, stream catch-up services and view my own media and music.
There are a LOT of devices out there that try to be full on media centers – small ones, big ones, expensive ones and truly terrible ones! Because of my day job as a designer at kc web design kent any system I buy has to be user friendly with a great UI design which seems to rule out 90% of the list. Why are home media interfaces so bad? All they need to do is connect with the user and make it easy to find things – sounds simple yet most companies get this wrong. Of the few that get this right, their media centers never quite hit the mark, there’s always one component I need missing. Living and working at kc web designer in the uk I want uk catchup tv such as BBC iplayer and 4OD as well watching films from LoveFilm but there are very few systems out there that allow all of this. Most seem to have Netflix but in the uk there offering is pretty dire.
I’m still considering an apple tv but until they allow apps on it then iplayer and lovefilm are a dream. Recently Google released the Chromecast. At first glance it seems to simple to be worth looking at. After looking at how it works and the potential for add-ons then it might become a contender. It’s such a simple idea – and a cheap one looking at the £23 price tag – that it just might work and take the market by storm. Google have had 2 other attempts at this market so time will tell but at the moment it looks interesting and at this price is not going to break the bank to try it. It might also be an interesting way of showing showing a simple stats page in the browser on the TV in the office at kc web design kent. Who knows what interesting third party apps will be created by the community!
I don’t think the perfect media centre is out there just yet but things are changing and google might just push apple into changing the apple tv for the better.
kc web design kent were contacted by the lovely John and Jane from Yohondo a few months ago about designing the user interface for their new iPad app. Yohondo have spent the last 12 – 18 months designing and building a skeleton app that will completely change the way people learn graded music lessons. A huge amount of research and testing had gone into the app and kc web design kent were offered the task of creating and designing a beautiful user interface for the iPad app that would help bring all that research together into a good looking, usable app.
kc web design kent designed a completely new user interface that uniquely combine the research by Yohondo with an intuitive and user-friendly design. Ease of use was paramount in the design process as well as creating a user interface that compliments the user flow and actions throughout the app. The Yohondo ipad app is aimed at a younger audience, as well as adults, and so small elements of gameification were built into the design to create an experience that kept users coming back and help with progression through the lessons.
The iPad user interface design that kc web design kent have created is unique in this market place and was designed to fully compliment the hard work undertaken by Yohondo in building a world class iPad app. The app will be completed over the coming months and launched in the summer so watch out for it in the app store. Next on the list will be a brand new website for Yohondo design and built by kc web design kent.