iOS 7 a slap in the face to graphics designers?

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by ScottishCaptain, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    I use the term "graphics designer" lightly here. A lot of people call themselves that (well, anyone can)- but in my experience few actually have the skills required to pull off truly innovative and awesome work. I am NOT saying I'm one of these people. I try my best, I think a lot of my work sucks, but I'm generally striving to improve my technique in any way I can.

    What I'm wondering is this.

    Is iOS 7 a slap in the face to the professional graphics designers out there?

    I know a lot of folks who pour their heart and souls into things like icon design, and produce some marvellously awesome stuff as a result. Full colour semi photo-realistic icons that look awe inspiring on the Retina display. Totally themed application user interfaces that actually work with the user and not against them, improving the end user experience tremendously and stylizing that app towards a specific developer.

    When I look at iOS 7, all I see is this: uniformity. Everything is the same. Everything is simple. What kind of technique would be required to recreate those new Apple icons? Relatively none, any monkey can fire up a vector editor and whip those out in under an hour.

    So what I wonder is if there is still room for innovation in iOS 7. I mean, really, how many ways can you make text and stuff fly around the screen with a whacky animation? How many ways can you convey a compass using only circles and lines? Have we completely forgotten about raster graphics and all the wonderful visual cues a textured interface can provide?

    It just seems like when you drive something down to that level of simplicity, it's a bit of an insult to all those people who worked so hard at creating the awesome artwork we've been living with for the past many years. We've got all this marvellous, wonderful technology- and we're going to use it to toss up a 90% white screen instead with some text that moves around. That's not technological advancement, that's de-evolution. We could have had that stuff years ago with half the required computational resources, yet we chose to build better and faster systems because the operating system demanded it.

    Anyone else feel the same way?

  2. zhandri Suspended

    Sep 4, 2012
    5 years from now: skeuomorphism comeback... "UUUUH look how detailed it is!!!!"

    that's just how it goes :rolleyes:
  3. guillemn macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2012
    Design is not how it looks, if how it works.

    With this only sentence I answer all your chapter...
  4. Wiesenlooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2010

    Guess what? When it comes to icons visual information IS the function.

  5. tymaster50 macrumors 68030


    Oct 3, 2012
    New Jersey
    wall of text to say things that everyone else has been saying lol
  6. abraxian macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Whilst fundamentally true, it is not either or, it's both. If something looks poor but works well, it is equally as poorly designed as something that looks good but operates poorly. Looking poor but working well reflects on iOS6, whilst something operating poorly is akin to the Android default build.
  7. mumph macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2013
    It's not the fact that they are 'simple', simple is good but these icons are very poor. Half of them dont even portray anything, without the word underneath you would have no clue as to what that icon was which defeats the object of having an icon.

    Stocks and Compass at a quick glance look exactly the same (a black square).

    I"m a designer myself and they are REALLY bad.
  8. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    The icons have issues with both function and aesthetics. Many of them have poor use of white space, they are inconsistent with each other (the different direction gradients for example) and overly simplistic. This thread perfectly outlines how just minor changes would make most of them far more appealing, while keeping the flatter appearance.
  9. efice32 macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2008
    Music City USA
    Professional graphic designer here (I can prove it, if anyone feels the need for me to). Personally, I think iOS 7 is a huge step in the right direction. There's not anything objectively "right" or "wrong" about skeuomorphism, it's just a matter of taste. There's a sector of the design community (myself included) that believes in honesty in design.

    One of Dieter Rams principles of good design is "Good design is honest." This means that the design doesn't claim or appear to be something that it isn't. The Calendar app in OSX ML is not a leather-stitched calendar with ripped out pages. It's just pixels. We all know that. By making it look like a physical object that it isn't, it's inherently disingenuous.

    Originally skeuomorphism was used to indicate functions. People weren't familiar with a digital calendar, so it was made to look like its real-world analog so it would be instantly understandable. Why do you think a computer "desktop" is called a desktop?

    The problem is, when you design something to look like its real-world analog, you limit yourself largely to the functions of that real-world analog. In iOS 6, look at Contacts on the iPad or the Reminders app. They're stuck looking like an address book and a notepad to the point that any features beyond what a physical address book or notepad can do becomes extremely difficult to implement in a natural way. By using fully committing to skeuomorphism, you limit the innovation possible in the app.

    For example, what if the compass app still looked like a physical compass? It'd be pretty hard to put the inclinometer in it like in iOS 7. Compasses don't have those, normally. It's not worth having its own app just for that. You can see the conundrum.

    Also, when you commit to skeuomorphism as en entire design philosophy, it invites laziness. Find my Friends is the most egregious example of this with it's faux leather and stitching. What is the real-world analog that Find my Friends is referencing? If anyone can legitimately answer that question, you deserve a job at Apple. The truth is, it's not designed after anything in the real world. It's a purely digital creation. So, if it's not helping the user understand the purpose of the app, why does it look like that? No one really knows except Forstall, but I would argue it's out of laziness. "Oh we need a new app? Let's just to the leather and stitching again."

    "Flat" (as people are calling it) is simpler. Not necessarily easier, but simpler. Simple isn't easy. iOS 7 is the groundwork for innovation in the future. iOS 6 felt like it was reaching the upper limits of what could be done with the previous UI design and rules. With iOS 7, it's just the beginning.

    This is all, of course, just my opinion and any of you are invited to disagree with it.
  10. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    HR 9038 A
    I actually love the design, it's minimalist and uniform. Designs don't have to be complicated or use all colors of a palette to be effective.

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