A little less than a month ago, Apple announced and made available its public release of the latest iOS update for their iPhones and iPads. I am aware that a lot has already been said about its new features, perks and probably more so than anything else, about the look and feel of its new user interface. Now allow me to say that I myself happen to be a fervent apple consumer, I own and love many apple products and do not see myself changing them any time soon. However, this time around I find myself a bit frustrated and let-down and I wanted to explain why.
Why does it matter?
Most of us would agree that the new push for a minimal and clean flat design is a very good thing. It seems that finally the design community has come to a much organised, clean and intuitive standard not only in the digital realm but also in print. The problem with the new iOS7 design is that it is setting the bar too low. Just because you get rid of shadows and glossy surfaces, use thin lines and fonts does not mean you can call it flat design. Virtually anyone with a computer could use Helvetica Neue on a white background and draw a stick figure for an icon. However, that does not make it a flat design. In fact, there is a lot more to consider before you can even call it a design. Flat design should not be a reason to lower the bar but on the contrary it should give you many reasons to raise it.
It is almost an insult to good designers
When iOS7 was released, we watched as the team from apple went on stage one by one and gave their praises to the perfectly and beautifully designed operating system (insert irony here). Well that was an insult to those who work very hard to create good design and eye-pleasing user interfaces. Has apple forgotten about the good use of white space? Perhaps padding and margins are no longer an important aspect of proper layout design? Should font sizes not be carefully chosen so long as you are using font of light weight? Should flat design always rely on the concept that the background should always be white?
The rest of the world also matters
If we go beyond the look and feel of this master piece, we can find that iOS has much bigger problems. We live in a global society that is always connected and iOS is one important window where the world gets plugged-in. However, it seems that apple has forgotten that iOS7 should not only look good and be functional in English but also in other languages, unless of course everyone around the world is up-to-speed with their English reading skills, but I am not as optimistic as apple seems to be.
Unfortunately that is not all
Let us be optimistic and hope that apple will get their act together, let’s wait and see if they realise and learn from their mistakes and don’t get too carried away by their previous years of success. Innovation in technology is important, today more than ever, but we should not forget that good aesthetics and attention to detail are also very important for innovation and usability.
At last, for your viewing pleasure (or not), I leave you with more iOS gold.