Thursday, June 13, 2013

iOS 7, The Redesign: Flatter, Cooler, Cleaner, Whiter, Antiseptic?

Tim Cook says it's the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone, which falls into the category of typical Apple Hyperbole. But iOS 7 really does LOOK different. We knew the old skewomorphic designs were washed up, but where did that new color scheme come from? It's as if Jony Ive has recreated the Apple Rainbow logo, but this time in transparent hues that look like you could lick them right off of a retina display.

The new UI features greater use of transparency, new typography, new layouts, fewer actual buttons, more gestures, and an edge-to-edge view for embedded graphics. My first impression is positive, but I can only judge by Apple's official postings. It makes the old UI seem out-dated, though I wouldn't have said so if iOS 7 hadn't made this apparent.

On the other hand, lots of Tweets expressing distaste, disgust, and absolute abhorrence for the new design. About the lowest blows I've seen are the comparisons to Windows Phone, which clearly aren't intended to compliment Microsoft. Obviously, much of good UI design is a matter of personal preference, and there is always a large contingent of those who don't like change. I'm all for it, but this brings us to the laws of change, which are absolute.

Professor Walrus's First Law of Change Resistance:
Change is hard. Big change is harder. Major change is impossible.

Professor Walrus's Corollary to His First Law of Change Resistance:
The impossible takes some getting used to.

My old friend, Dikran of Mesopotamia, wrote a book called Blow it Up, which is as Machiavelli's The Prince was for the Medici of Florence for the Walruses of Savoonga; especially as our ice floes melt due to global warming! (Always nice to see Apple board member, Al Gore, enthusiastically attending another WWDC.)

What will the newly-designed UI do to Developer's app designs? We'll have until the Fall to find out. Meanwhile, as one tweet pointed out, we are Apple's beta testers.

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