Apples iOS 7 redesign

It’s been everywhere this week. Apples’ new iOS 7 design has sparked much discussion in the web design world and the interwebs are rife with comments, critique, moans and admiration for the new iOS design. Designing iOS apps as we do here at kc web design kent means we have a vested interest in what happens with Apple products. A huge redesign of the core interface means a lot of changes for app designers in the future so its something that everyone in the industry is watching.

The new design is a radical step forward away from the current iOS design and pretty much everything about iOS7 is different from whats come before. Over the past few years there have been lots of moans and grumbles from the design community about the over-use of skeuomorphic design elements in iOS and OSX. Far too much leather, linen and stitching. So it goes as no surprise that when Jony Ive took over the team for iOS UI design people thought things would change. And so they have! iOS 7 is completely different.

On the whole I think the look and feel of the new iOS is good. It has given it a new lease of life which was badly needed as the original feel was becoming dated. But, even though its still in beta there are things that are still very wrong from a design perspective. The true beauty of a design is how it interacts so until we can get our hands on a useable device it’s very hard to give a proper opinion and I’m sure it will be gorgeous to use once it’s on the phone. We shouldn’t be judging the new iOS purely on the way it looks but that is a big part of the new design. I think it’s getting such a bad wrap from the design community because it’s such a radical change but things do change and they have to change to stay fresh and exciting and I think iOS7 is definitely fresh and exciting. It still has fundamental flaws though.

The art of creating wonderfully complex iOS icons has turned into it’s own art form over the last few years but Apple have changed that now with the new look flat app icons. The new look app icons are very flat, with no gloss or shadow and some of the default app icons have horrendously bad gradients. I’d like to see them with far more subtle gradients or no gradients at all to be honest. The other problem with the new iOS design is the font. It looks like Helvetica Neue Light which kind of works but doesn’t offer up its own unique style to the user interface. Surely Apple could create their own unique iOS7 font that would give it a unique identity and really shout ‘this is iOS7!’.

Overall I do like it. Apps will change and adapt to the new UI design and here at kc web design kent we’ll be looking differently at any new apps we design now for iOS. If I designed an app now I’d use some of the new UI design but incorporate some of the old style as well. Hopefully it will evolve over the coming months and by Autumn Apple will have ironed out these inconsistencies and iOS7 will be a lovely new UI. Lets hope Apple listen and adapt and keep iOS at the forefront of mobile devices.

Paul Ledbrook

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