A little rant after seeing the WWDC keynote. My gut reaction to iOS 7. Not on the regular blog since it's something temporary - I'll have to use the OS and await its release for the final verdict.
I loved the OSX announcements, the Mac pro announcements. I liked the car demo. Overall I am excited, except about the visual direction of iOS.
We can all agree the rich Corinthian leather was a bit too much. But then, iOS 7 takes things a bit too much in the other direction. It feels like some of the changes have been made for the sake of change.
Bad: no visual distinction/contrast problems
I think the biggest problem is the lack of clear visual distinction between areas. Take this for example:
The title bar is white, the tab bar is white. If I blur my eyes, I don't see the distinct areas. In trying to go more minimal, things become less clear.
So "done" is a button and the segmented control are 3 buttons - why don't they look alike?
What if I want to put some text in my bottom bar in a UI? How do I make it clear that the text is not a button? Hint: it's not possible using this style of UI design.
It used to be that everything on iOS that was a button was a round rect with a distinct background.
Now there are round buttons, buttons without a background, buttons that look like the old buttons, buttons in a square area.
Is this supposed to be pretty? Round buttons, 3 sliders, I count 4 different button styles on the same "screen" (or 6 if you include the app icons behind the notification center)
And most of it sits on ugly rainbow puke, again.
The translucent background looks like what you make in Photoshop when you're playing with filters for the first time.
In this case, what's the button and what's the label? They are 2 distinct elements but about the same font size. I guess wel'll get used to it but it doesn't seem right.
What are the 5 dots on the top left? reception bars? not really clear. Change for the sake of change.
Also, Why put light and regular text next about the same size next to each other? Different things should look different. This is design 101.
Bad: design for touch
They didn't bother to fix the small touch area on closing notifications.
I hope you can swipe notifications away now like in Android. In general notifications don't seem to have improved much.
Once again check out the rainbow puke in the background. Ugh!
Bad: icon design gone downhill
The Safari icon went from something beautiful to this:
Every icon has been hit with the ugly minimalist stick.
Some of the icon design is terrible. These icons look like something I would do in a few minutes... as a temporary stand in. And I am not a professional icon designer.
Who designed this icon? Why did you need to round the glyph? Music notes aren't rounded. Change for the sake of change.
Bad: UI consistency
Why suddenly center text in a field?
What the fuck?
The camera app. Why change the typography in 1 app to nod at old Polaroids, including a red button to take a picture? Remember, all of that while they are doing a move away from skeuomorphism.
I think the role of a vendor is to set a consistent tone across all apps to set an example for app makers. Now they're just going design-wild with their own apps.
The rounded corners are either extreme or not there:
48px roundrect? Terrible.
Bad: blindly following design trends
Hey look we copied the Android particles:
We made every font so thin you can't really see what's going on.
Just because you have high dpi screens doesn't mean light fonts suddenly becomes legible. Why not stick to regular fonts or make special "book" versions? Books and magazines are not printed in light/thin fonts just because their resolution is 1200dpi?
Bad: rainbow puke
The claim is that you can see more since the keyboard is translucent but all I see is an ugly mess of pastel gradients.
I wonder if the contrasting color is calculated on the fly here:
Siri: meet the Rainbow puke again.
Bad: icons covering people
Really Apple? Icons on people's heads? HAS YOUR VISUAL DESIGNER LOST THEIR SENSE OF TASTE?
This is advertising design 101: never cover someone's face with anything.
This is what my non-design friends do (put their kids/lover/dog as background) and it's terrible. They can do as they please but Apple, you are supposed to set an example.
iOS up to 6 for me was a clear example for me of an interface done right. It was a clear design that created harmony with a limited vocabulary of UI elements. Everything that was tappable was clearly so.
iOS 7 seems like on inconsistent mess. Some of the basic design rules are violated. I feel some visual designers at Apple need to pick up their Non Designer's Design Book again and read about contrast and colour.
@iA sums it up:
Can't say anything before using iOS7 for real—but if it feels from close like it looks from a distance, Apple has given up its pole position— iA Inc. (@iA) June 10, 2013
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