Originally Posted by Shameer Mulji
are you sure he designed the iPhoto app?
Stage 1: denial.
"Q: How do you know you’ve succeeded?
A :It’s a very strange thing for a designer to say, but one of the things that really irritates me in products is when I’m aware of designers wagging their tails in my face.
Our goal is simple objects, objects that you can’t imagine any other way. Simplicity is not the absence of clutter. Get it right, and you become closer and more focused on the object. For instance, the iPhoto app we created for the new iPad, it completely consumes you and you forget you are using an iPad."
When he says 'we', he could just be referring to a team at Apple he wasn't involved with but he wouldn't say that about the app if he wasn't happy with it. He has at the very least used the app himself and been impressed by it but it sounds very much like he was involved with it.
That is not to say that he couldn't improve on the style but to assume that all of skeuomorphism is bad because it was associated with Fortsall who the media portrays as the villain is simplistic. People always have to put things into neat little boxes:
- Forstall, bad
- Ive, good
- Forstall, skeuomorphism
- Ive, minimalism
- Forstall, out
- skeuomorphism, out
It doesn't work like that. Garageband makes the iPad mimic the actual instruments. Ive will not remove the Piano keys nor the pictures of the drums. Under that assumption, there's no reason to assume he will remove the design traits of a calendar from the calendar app. At best, the unnecessary and tasteless designs will go.
His primary role is in hardware design though and as people have said, we can't assume that the transition will go smoothly. While the core design principles can stay the same, the way they are applied isn't.
"The differences between the two teams may present challenges for Ive as he tries to rally employees behind his design vision. Following the news of Forstall’s departure, some engineers are questioning Ive’s ability to lead software design, according to a former senior Apple developer who has been in touch with his colleagues.
This person compares the switch to Michael Jordan’s ill- fated move from professional basketball to minor-league baseball. While both sports require good eyesight and athletic ability, they entail starkly different skills."
If you have minimalist software and minimalist hardware, where is your focus? If Ive's idea is for the hardware to disappear and the software to consume your attention, they can't be designed the same way.
We can't judge his ability or inability until we see what changes come about and it won't be made clear that it was Ive's involvement that led to it. If we see an immediate change (like the TV UI), then we can be sure the transition had something to do with it. I think any improvements will be gradual.