If you know me you’ll already know my opinions about the new iOS7 and at the risk of alienating myself from family and friends on certain social media platforms I thought it might be better to blog about this to the world, as apposed to putting them to sleep with my rants!
Having downloaded iOS7 recently I was shocked at how bad it was! I hear users having mixed opinions about it. Personally I really dislike if for many reasons and I hear a higher proportion of dislikers than likers to be honest. Some of the comments I’ve already heard are “I hate it!”, “It looks like a Tonker toy design”, “it reminds me of a VTech product”. Personally I think it looks like a rejected iteration of a Google app but, Google got it right in the end! There has always been a status symbol behind most Apple products due to their expense and seriously iPhone users need to get over that “Apple Status Syndrome” and be honest about this user interface – I’m sorry iOS7 got it’s UI design all wrong this time!
Now, due to the industry I’m in, I’ve kind of grown up with Apple products since the early 90’s and over all I have to say I’ve been a pretty loyal fan. What makes Apple so unique is the ease of use and intuitive nature of it’s software and products. Once you get over the expense the experience of using one of their products soon makes you feel like a technical god, dipping in and out of system setups, controlling preferences, fine tuning an application to your own personal workflow, yes even a child could use it without screwing it up!
So whats wrong with iOS7? Well, I’m a designer and a developer so I like to see things that look nice as well as function well and because I’m not Mashable or in bed with Apple I’m going to be honest about the UI from here on in.
Ok so the gestures, before iOS7 it was obvious what was a doing element and what was an information element. For some reason the designers seem to have done away with simple subliminal call to actions that suggest to the user “touch this it’s a doing thing” now it’s just a text element which can look very confusing in my opinion to the user.
The icons look like they’re unfinished cad elements, thinly drawn and almost decorative rather than actionable! In some cases they appear as a very light colours on a white background making them even harder to subliminally register that they are ‘doing elements’.
Simply spacing elements and lining them up to make an object look like a whole thing is text book design theory. Simple geometric alignment works and really bugs the hell out of me if I see something that isn’t quite right. In this example the number pad is way out there breaking all kinds of spacing and alignment rules – this looks like an example of a ‘how not to do it’ exercise! I can’t believe this got approved?!
The calendar has been really screwed up in my opinion. Before you simply had the current day and a convenient list of items for that day under a grid of dates, now its a mass of months and tiny tiny dates where somewhere there’s an indication of what day it is, if you put your glasses on! Once you find the month you need to touch to get a larger view of it, there’s one gesture that isn’t obvious! Touch for a second time to get the details – now I guess that gesture is obvious but two touches to get what before was zero touches? What’s that all about!
The other things I think are wrong are that the font is too thin in places and white out on a colour is going to have accessibility issues. Now this might not have been on the priority list granted but it’s still important in my opinion, it’s too light and airy in places but that’s just a personal thing, I prefer bold and confident – eg: look at me I’m a functional thing for doing things, I’m not a girly floral light hearted magazine to browse through with a cup of coffee!
Ok so, I’m no Steve Jobs but without a doubt there is no way he would have approved this weak and thin design. What I am though is a designer and there are some things known as disciplines that designers adhere to to help them make things look nice and work well. For me the new iOS7 doesn’t conform to any of these disciplines, it’s inconsistent and weak in places! Users are saying we’ll get used to it and that might be true but I’m sure as hell going to rant about it if it makes me feel better!