The real problem with iOS 7 Design

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by Johnnnny, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Johnnnny macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007
    The first thing you see when you unlock your phone is the home screen, and to me that sets the tone of the redesign of the OS; the new color palette, the grid system, etc.

    When you present iOS as it is by default, stripped of any third party apps, I would say most reception has been favorable in terms of it being an improvement in design.

    The problem arises when you have third party icons showing up. Back in iOS 6, it was apparent that Apple didn't try hard to create a consistency in the colors, and there was no profound grid system for the designs. Short of developers using low resolution icons and/or simply creating horrid designs, iOS 7 was consistent in it's inconsistency.

    iOS 7, however, presents a very prominent array of specific colors throughout the OS, with the icons confined to a specific grid system to create a very profound consistency amongst the entire OS as it is by default.

    Here is a comparison to convey what I mean:

    This is a basic home screen with iOS 6.
    Clearly there is no grid system or any attempt at consistency which in and of itself creates a sense of consistency and therefore visual flow.

    This, on the other hand, is iOS 7.
    The default apps seem to be trying hard to create a visual flow with similar color shades and designs that fit the grid, but the third party apps break that visual flow in a horrible way that, I think, is what causes to make this example look like the "OS designed by a 10 year old".

    Here is an example of what I sincerely (and probably naively) hope happens within the first year of iOS 7.
    The example here shows co-operation amongst the third party developers in that they confine to the same palette/grid system that Apple used for their default apps and throughout the OS:

    All this said, however, reading through Apple's iOS 6 to iOS 7 transition guide clearly shows that they don't see this as an element that could completely put to waste their efforts towards creating a consistent operating system.

    Good design comes from consistency which creates a simple and unobtrusive visual flow, not from turning a blind eye to the fact that people will need to download third party apps and have easy access to them.
  2. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    Pretty cool! I see that the third screen looks amazing but at the same time I am ok with the second. I am sure that 3rd party apps already have icons that will be launched when iOS also launches.
  3. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    You meant "conform".

    Apple's design is "confining". So oddly, your statement still makes perfect sense, because their new design is extremely limiting.

    Personally, I can't wait to toss 10+ years of graphics design R&D and skill set building in the trash. I used to think it was bad these days with everyone calling themselves a "graphics designer" (or worse, a "UX designer"). I can only imagine what is going to happen when people figure out that anyone can design a vector icon with a single gradient.

    Formerly, Apple's bar was set so high only those with the proper skill set could attain similar results. Now they've lowered it so much anyone can do it. This is not good news for the quality of applications in the iOS ecosystem.

  4. liquidsuns macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2009
    I think the bottom screenshot looks super good. Except the Facebook icon.
  5. LoloBond macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2011
    you do realize that no developer can release new icon update till release?
  6. reservedegotist, Jul 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013

    reservedegotist macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2009
    Nothing will change from the backend. From the UI, it would be more consistent to provide an icon that's consistent with the minimalist approach iOS is taking, no?

    EDIT: Actually, you do have a point. Because this minimalist approach is also probably easier to work with, it lowers the barrier to entry and could mean more crappy apps.
  7. gr8tfly, Jul 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013

    gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Well said. Except, judging by many of the buttons in iOS 7, you don't even need to know how to apply that single gradient - just fill the rectangal with a day-glo solid color. And make sure that color is one that'll make someone looking at it all day feel relaxed and tranquil...:rolleyes:

    I might add that people were calling themselves "graphic designers" twenty years ago too. All they thought they needed was an install disc. Quite a lot of business came our way that needed saving from those "designers" (small studio i worked at from time to time - mostly as a distraction from s/w design).

    (Ret. s/w eng, w/ almost 30 years experience, including many UI designs. Also, oft times a pro graphic designer and photographer. Not saying I can or would have competed with what Apple has had in their arsenal. I hope to be proven very wrong on the use of the past tense, at least as far as iOS goes. So far, Mavericks and h/w seems safe.)
  8. Johnnnny, Jul 14, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013

    Johnnnny thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007

    I agree completely.

    My point is more specifically that throughout iOS 1-6, developers could make the best looking icon/app that they could imagine with no confinement, and the only factor of how well designed it was, was precisely how well designed it was. There was no confinement in the exterior design of the OS to conflict with.

    Now with iOS 7, both great looking and crap design will look almost equally as bad. Good design now is largely limited to how much the developer will choose to conform with Apples very specific palette and grid system.

    My point is that I have very high doubts that this will happen. I imagine that most developers will continue to care more about their own brand and care less about whether or not it looks consistent with iOS.

    Would you expect Facebook to change it's signature specific shade of blue to conform to Apple's specific blue now? Conversely, would it be reasonable for Google to stab itself in the back by redesigning a new YouTube icon (as shown above) specifically to conform to iOS 7's icon grid; and give up all that mindshare?

    I just don't see it happening, which is why I see a crappy iOS 7 experience for design-minded consumers ahead.
  9. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    I believe some apps have already started the process of making there app icons more like the Apple iOS 7 default ones. Drafts drastically changed their icon recently. Yahoo mail did too. It will happen over time. There are still a solid couple of months left.
  10. kmj2318 macrumors 68000


    Aug 22, 2007
    Naples, FL
    As much as I love iOS 7, I agree with this. in previous versions, proportions were just what they were, they didn't conform, and colors were just what they were, with no rigid system. When designing something to look like it exists in the real world, inconsistency makes sense. Real world objects are what they are, they don't relate to other objects. With the new grid system and restrained color palette in iOS 7, it will have to be adopted by all app icons for it to work.
  11. omgwut macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2006
    How did you get some of those icons in that last screenshot? I'm running iOS 7 beta 3 on my iPhone 4S and my iBooks and YouTube icons don't look like that.
  12. iHateMacs macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2008
    Coventry, UK
    Can APPS have different icons for different iOS versions? If developers all update to iOS7 style icons then the same problem will exist but for the older iOS users.

    I love the way the default icons fit well together and it's for this reason that I am leaving the first screen as is. At least that way I have ONE screen that is harmonious.
  13. adildacoolset macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2011
    Lusaka, Zambia(If you know where it is)
    I'm sure developers will update t to have a new look, as they don't want their app to look out of place. As of right now, Apple don't allow iOS 7 binary submissions.
  14. Bawstun macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2009
    Instagram's icon hasn't looked good since it first hit the App Store. It annoyed me even on iOS6, I can't WAIT until they make it flat. Please make it flat.
  15. Johnnnny thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007
    That's pretty much what I'm going to hope every single developer does. One non-flat icon, that doesn't match the grid or that doesn't sample its colors from the specific iOS 7 palette, will completely ruin the whole design.
  16. kockgunner macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    I'm interested in what third party apps will look like as well since many things are flattened. However I'm sure skeuomorphic apps will look at home just like it was ok that there were flat apps in iOS 6. There is no set way of doing things and it really depends on the context of the app.

    I used to hate Android phones because the icons looked like something I could do. Now, Apple's icons are simplified that I could do them too. However, the thing that matters most is how the whole interface communicates the liveliness of the OS and it's cohesiveness which I think was achieved. We live in an age of smart people where designers give free tutorials online and anyone can make iOS 6's icons as well. Just because something doesn't show off the Photoshop skills of the designer doesn't make the design any worse.
  17. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    App icons will no doubt change as apps are refreshed.

    I know the iOS SDK does stuff to your icon (the glass type effect), i thought it was at runtime but if the old icons look old on iOS7 then maybe it is at application build time.

    Given iOS7 isn't even out yet, I'd suggest giving it a little while until applications are updated.
  18. Armen macrumors 604


    Apr 30, 2013
    At least the design doesn't follow the latest Android OS where there is no rhyme or reason as to how icons look. Circles, squares, triangles and shapes that look like nothing else.. I'd rather use iOS 7 then this mess below.

  19. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    Then the design is already ruined :p.

    People who make a living producing non-flat professional icons aren't going to give up their livelihood just because Apple made a few questionable decisions. Over at Dribbble, when the iOS 7 thing initially hit everyone started drawing vector dog turds and a few of the more professional folks posted a bunch of stuff as usual but with comments along the lines of "just another guy who doesn't give a damn about flat design". That tells you how serious a lot of real graphics designers are taking this stuff.

    Personally, what irks me the most is that I want to spend days- even weeks building icons and graphical assets. That's how I feed myself and my family. Sure, I can continue to do what I do regardless of what Apple is doing and just replace their widget code with my own to preserve the UI theme continuity, but it doesn't feel right at all to be told that "you shouldn't spend nearly as much time and effort on your apps anymore".

    I love doing just that, but iOS 7 is a huge pooper in that it takes out a lot of heart and soul that goes into building great and unique apps. I suppose that could mean that I'll simply be able to complete more projects faster, but I don't want to do that. If I wanted to code up boring lifeless stuff I would have started developing for Windows ages ago.

  20. pedrofan macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2008
    The problem is that every icon seems to have a different creator separated by a wall of the other. And the color pallete is taken from a pastel version of candy crush saga.

    It looks so aggressive to me. The whites are aggressive, the fonts, the icons. UUgghh.

    I don't say that iOS6 was the best, but iOS7 looks worse. They can make something less puncky, and more homogeneous.

    I don't know wich is the real problem, but looking at this, Apple has a huge problem:

  21. DDustiNN macrumors 68000


    Jan 27, 2011
    This is hardly anything new. Even the current App Store icons are a jumbled mess.

    As I look through my home screens, there is no consistency. There are "glossy" icons, icons with borders, "flat" minimalist icons, super-busy picture icons, raised icons that look like buttons, sunburst icons, 8-bit pixel graphic icons... And that's not even including the stock apps.

    I think the OP is looking way too far into this "icon conspiracy". :rolleyes:
  22. Gogurt48 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2013
    I actually would like it better if icons could be any shape. It's been that way on the Mac and on PC's for years.
  23. MBX macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006
    The overall interface UI design is good. What bothers me are the huge icons and that the design team chose to do a rather generic looking vector style instead of giving it a more "classy" flat look.

    In some cases the icons make the iOS7 look very childish and cheapen the nice hardware design. I'm a bit surprised Jony Ive didn't make sure the icons fit the classy/ sleek look of iPhone hardware a bit more.
  24. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Why do you say this silliness?

    Are you claiming app developers can't choose their icons and that Apple makes them all or something. :confused:

    That is entirely false.

Share This Page