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Focused on apps, Apple's iOS 7 provides a sneak peak at new sharing icons

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Apple's upcoming iOS 7 introduces a bright, clean new visual appearance that strips away much of the shadowing and gloss that Apple introduced into the computing mainstream with iPhone six years ago, particularly evident in its new social sharing app icons.



Apple's design overhaul of iOS, orchestrated by its famed lead hardware designer Jonathan Ive, focuses on functional design expressed with the same clarity and precision that's been a driving force in developing the company's hardware.

It's an obvious departure from from the richly ornamented original appearance of the 2007 iPhone, which flaunted its industry leading support for sophisticated, hardware accelerated 2D graphics composition with layers of gloss above design element and layers of shadow below them.

The iPhone's appearance was derived from earlier work on OS X, which debuted in 2001 with similarly inspired layers in its translucent Aqua interface. The Mac's richly detailed icons grew increasingly nuanced to the point where the utilitarian System Preferences icon was represented by machined aluminum gears housed in a nonsensical contraption behind glass.

OS X icons large


The icon for TextEdit.app actually portrays a studio-lit mechanical pencil casting a drop shadow on a written note that includes the text of Apple's "here's to the crazy ones" manifesto featured in its 1997 Think Different campaign.

After a decade of fully exploiting iconic decadence to the point of exhausting it of its novelty, Apple is now pursuing a new direction where app icons return to being the expertly distilled, abstract representations of functionality they originated as on the first Macintosh, the designers of whom which coined the term "icon" as an allusion to representational images used in religious veneration.

"A better, more delightful experience overall"



Many elements of Apple's iOS 7 design deconstruction have generated controversy, with several critics expressing particular disapproval with the company's new first party app icons and even the concept of Ive's underlying grid system (below) and a "precise color palette."




Your browser does not support the video tag.


At the same time, several industry observers, including Instapaper developer Marco Arment, have also noted that iOS 7 will provide third party developers with a rare opportunity to stand out from the App Store crowd by adopting the refreshed design cues Apple employs.

It appears that designers from top social sharing networks are already onboard to move away from the glossy detail apparent in iOS 6 and embrace the refined new appearance of iOS 7.

iOS 7 sharing app icons


iOS 7's support for social sharing expands beyond Twitter and Facebook to add support for Vimeo video uploads and Flickr photos. Each service is now being represented by new, gloss-free icons within Setting's sharing configuration pages, even though the services haven't updated the appearance of their existing app icons yet (before and after, above).

A platform for developers vs Windows Everywhere



While often compared to the "flat" appearance of Microsoft's Windows Phone, iOS 7's isn't aiming at being flat.

Its new sharing interface, for example (below), is unique in that it contrasts color differentiated, branded web service icons, including the company's own iCloud, with utilitarian system tasks such as copying, printing, AirPlay or assigning a contact photo. The latter are assigned a monochromatic, generically abstract outline. The former are brands.

sharing


On Windows Phone, everything is apparently designed to look like an integrated part of the operating system, almost working more like component services rather than apps. Apple once tried selling developers on the idea of components with OpenDoc, an initiative that failed miserably in the mid 90s.

The Windows Phone versions of Facebook and Twitter apps, for example, look like strict implementations of Microsoft's Metro appearance, not like products independently designed by Facebook and Twitter with a focus on functionality.

WP sharing apps
Source: Windows Phone Super Fanboy


Additionally, Microsoft portrays its Windows Phones as having an interface dominated by a a single overall color and presenting most third party apps (even its own Internet Explorer, Xbox and Outlook brands) as simple white icons, focusing attention on the OS as a product rather than apps.

Windows Phone


Discount hardware not popular without support for apps



Similarly, Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb attempted to rein in its open source platform under a strict, cohesively uniform Holo UI implemented as an appearance skin, but both third party software and (particularly) hardware developers have resisted efforts to conform with undifferentiated support for "pure" Android as defined by Google.

Like Microsoft, Google has focused on Android's operating system, highlighting its Holo 3D shadow effects and gadgets that direct users to the company's own YouTube, Gmail, Picassa and Google Web Search services (below).

Android 3.0 Honeycomb more like Tablet PC than iPad


Apple's iOS has always focused attention on third party apps, encouraging developers to create rich and novel experiences with distinctive, professionally designed visuals and icons in order to stand out as individual accomplishments users want to buy.

The core value of apps was particularly highlighted at the release of iPad, which serves largely as a canvas for third party apps. Critics initially dismissed the new tablet as "just a big iPod touch," apparently unaware of the fact that the iPod touch was itself incredibly successful in expanding Apple's iOS app platform, particularly in the field of video games.

Google's own efforts to deploy iPad-like tablets using Android, first with 2011's Honeycomb, then with 2012's Nexus 7 reboot plagued with hardware and software issues and most recently with a refreshed version finally equipped with functional solid state storage management technology, have focused on PC-style specifications and, more recently, low prices.

However, asTime observed last week, "Compared to iPad, Tablet Apps Are Still Android?s Weak Point."
post #2 of 49
A bit short for a feature – and somehow there isn't much on 'sharing buttons' as promised in the header.
And when you remember Steve Jobs quote 'We made the buttons so nice, you want to lick them.' I can see why people find the new UI controversial. I'm not sure whether people feel compelled to lick the buttons in the new UI.
post #3 of 49
Another big article to justify ugly home screen icons.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 49
New UI isn't really that beautiful like old UI but it is still million times better than Android and WP UI.
post #5 of 49

Much of today's world is focused on appearances with little or no regard for "what's inside." What's inside is either severely hidden and withdrawn, or even non-existent. Such is the plight of myriad companies attempting to copy-cat themselves to success, riding on the coat tails of the "original".

 

Though Apple has admittedly spent a lot of time and effort on its own appearances over the years, at the same time and more importantly, it's spent much more time on design in its truest sense: form, function, and purpose.

 

Steve Jobs said way back at the outset of OS X that Apple was betting its future on it. I think they've held true to that commitment, even to and through iOS.

 

I remember watching Steve sit down in a comfortable chair on stage to demonstrate the new iPad. I believe he said something like, "It BECOMES the app!", referring to its relative simplicity.

 

I've been using iOS 7 on my phone and iPad for a while now, and though I happen to like its simpler appearance, what I'm really impressed with is how it WORKS. Its simpler appearance really does get out of the way of the apps. And the Apple apps themselves even get out of the way of their CONTENT.

 

We have yet to see what more will develop and appear in this beta phase, but I'm very optimistic that Apple will achieve its goal of a much improved and more compelling, useful, and enjoyable mobile system.

 

I'm also looking forward to Mavericks with similar optimism!

Daniel Swanson

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Daniel Swanson

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post #6 of 49

iOS 7 is going to be so awesome. A true minimalist design philosophy will take some time to get used to by some (a lot of people do not like change), but in the end this is the way forward for Apple, and people will begin to love it sooner rather than later.

post #7 of 49
Yea for removing the gloss. I hate that glossy look. I can't wait for Apple TV to be rid of it.
post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Another big article to justify ugly home screen icons.

Part of the problem I keep seeing with iOS 7's home screen is all the icons are bigger than their iOS 6 counterparts.

To me that seems counterintuitive with their goal of highlighting a users background no matter how much parallax is going on.

If the icons were the same size as iOS 6's they would look less ugly and garish.
post #9 of 49

I haven't been following this very closely, but it looks fine to me from the video.  Can someone please explain what was controversial about the new icons and the grid system?

post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

A bit short for a feature – and somehow there isn't much on 'sharing buttons' as promised in the header.

Agreed.

Is more like a concise icons manifesto or something
post #11 of 49

Anyone who use iOS 7: after a few weeks, are you annoyed by the candy-color?

post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie View Post

iOS 7 is going to be so awesome. A true minimalist design philosophy will take some time to get used to by some (a lot of people do not like change), but in the end this is the way forward for Apple, and people will begin to love it sooner rather than later.

I agree a lot of people are going to love iOS 7.

I love the new features and the overall look has been getting better with each beta. By the time the GM is released we're going to have a fresh new OS that truly is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonX View Post

I haven't been following this very closely, but it looks fine to me from the video.  Can someone please explain what was controversial about the new icons and the grid system?

Icon-gate was the initial reaction from some in the tech and design communities after Apple unveiled the new 1st party icons.

Some of the drama has since subsided but reactions were all over the map when iOS 7 was first unveiled.

Some people prefer the detailed icons from iOS 6, some people didnt like the colors, some people didnt think iOS 7's icons were minimalist enough!

More proof they can't make everyone happy. When they're accused of a stale OS they change it an people complain they don't like it. It's like they can't win.
post #13 of 49

Bit short for a feature and virtually every bit of the comparison with windows phone is wrong. The author clearly hasn't read and of Microsoft's design guidelines for apps. At no point does it say "flat", or that apps must looks like the os or have plane tiles.

post #14 of 49
Quit quibbling. This is an Apple site. I personally could not care less what MS does or doesn't do with their crappy products.

Daniel Swanson

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Daniel Swanson

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post #15 of 49

Those screenshots of Twitter and Facebook aren't the latest versions. The current versions look nothing like either of those screenshots.

iPod touch 8 GB (2nd gen), iPod shuffle (2nd gen), iPod shuffle (4th gen)
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iPod touch 8 GB (2nd gen), iPod shuffle (2nd gen), iPod shuffle (4th gen)
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post #16 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post


Part of the problem I keep seeing with iOS 7's home screen is all the icons are bigger than their iOS 6 counterparts.

To me that seems counterintuitive with their goal of highlighting a users background no matter how much parallax is going on.

If the icons were the same size as iOS 6's they would look less ugly and garish.

 

I disagree.  I always thought that many icons have WAY too much border for their own good.  

 

Take, for example, the Mailbox app icon:

http://webdesignandsuch.com/wp-content/uploads/01-app.jpg

 

Why give such weight to a design element that is only meant to differentiate background content from foreground content?  I understand that "white space" can do wonders for content comprehension, but this almost feels like the designer is trying to say that the border is more than a standard element of design, and actually a primary design feature meant to stand on equal footing with the icon's central image.

post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

"It BECOMES the app!"


Which is why I have a laugh when an Android fanatic suggests that iOS is simply an app launcher. All computing devices are app or application launchers.
post #18 of 49
"On Windows Phone, everything is apparently designed to look like an integrated part of the operating system, almost working more like component services rather than apps. Apple once tried selling developers on the idea of components with OpenDoc, an initiative that failed miserably in the mid 90s."

Daniel, you know that OpenDoc was far different than trying to integrate apps into the OS. It was a brilliant (IMO) idea that didn't take into account the greed of major developers. The idea was basically that all apps were sets of components and anyone could add a component to any app. Thus, a word processor would be composed of many components, and anyone could design a component that would interlock and work with the main part: a dictionary for example. This would mean that rather than monolithic, bloated apps (you listening MS?), you could get just want you want and Joe's Software could compete with an Adobe in creating just a dictionary to work in a word processor. Naturally, the big software makers didn't want this and wouldn't go along. It would have turned computing from a developer-focused experience into a consumer oriented experience. The developers didn't want to lose control. Apple's mistake was not realizing this, not coming up with a way around this problem, and dumping large amounts of money into designing a way to help the users rather than the developers.
post #19 of 49
I really am surprised that in cases like vimeo and several others the corporate color schemes are being modified by apple to fit their color palette instead of the color palette chosen by the company for their product.

Facebook was pretty close to begin with but vimeo went from very dark to very light and that seems unusual to me. Des it mean theyre trying to look confrming, or that they were forced, or could they retain their original color if they just simplified the icon a little?
post #20 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonX View Post

I haven't been following this very closely, but it looks fine to me from the video.  Can someone please explain what was controversial about the new icons and the grid system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Anyone who use iOS 7: after a few weeks, are you annoyed by the candy-color?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

I agree a lot of people are going to love iOS 7.

I love the new features and the overall look has been getting better with each beta. By the time the GM is released we're going to have a fresh new OS that truly is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.
Icon-gate was the initial reaction from some in the tech and design communities after Apple unveiled the new 1st party icons.

Some of the drama has since subsided but reactions were all over the map when iOS 7 was first unveiled.

Some people prefer the detailed icons from iOS 6, some people didnt like the colors, some people didnt think iOS 7's icons were minimalist enough!

More proof they can't make everyone happy. When they're accused of a stale OS they change it an people complain they don't like it. It's like they can't win.

Many people such as myself do not appreciate the design of iOS 7.

The design of iOS 7 appears to be motivated by two factors; change for the sake of change and the creation of a user interface which is challenging for competitors to copy.

I refer to the iOS 7 user interface as the "bubblegum" UI because the bubblegum UI appears mass produced in an assembly-line process and contrived to appeal to pre-teens and teenagers.
post #21 of 49
It's interesting to see how Microsoft wants apps like Twitter and Facebook to conform strictly to the Metro UI at the expense of individuality and control. Apple curates, but MS goes overboard.
post #22 of 49
I am still having mixed feelings about that re-design. And I am fairly certain that it will take one or two years before it will really shine.

They have moved back on some of the more terrible font decisions, most things are readable again, but for now (beta 4) there is a huge hodgepodge of font weights and sizes throughout the core OS and the stock apps. It is not unusable at all, but it does create some confusion.

The use of font colours and text weights to mark "touchable" areas (instead of e.g. buttons and back arrows) does look more elegant, but it sure is less obvious. (Anecdotal evidence only, but I handed my iPad 4 with beta 3 to my mother, she is using an iPhone 4S with iOS 6 all the time without problems, and she was lost many times, e.g. could not navigate the calendar, could not figure out the new icons in Safari and could not differentiate between blue, grey and black text elements where e.g. blue was meant for a "clickable" action.) Yes, people will get used to it, but so far it was one of iOS's core strength that there was no need to figure anything out.

Then there are design / logic flaws. Things do sound convincing when Ive explains them, until you actually try them. Take that layered / dimensional approach in iOS 7. We do away with gloss and shadows for dimensionality, but we use layers, translucency and dimming. Now, translucency always causes readability problems. We saw that when OS X first received a translucent menu bar. Does it work better on iOS 7? No. It does not. Depending on the colours used in your background image, the text in the "Slide to Unlock" control, or even the text in expanded folders becomes unreadable. The lock screen does now contain this hard to read animated text and three additional touch sensitive border areas (notification center, camera, control center), three of those cramped into a few millimetres. Manageable? Yes, but I pull up the wrong thing at least 1/10 times... never happened under iOS 6. Better? No.

And the logic flaws? One example. Under iOS 6, to change the screen's brightness, I double tapped the home button (or made the four fingers upward gesture on the iPad), got the multi-tasking bar, swiped right and adjusted the brightness. As the multi-tasking bar was hovering over the home screen (using shadows and bevels for clarity), the home screen was still in its original state, and I could set the brightness accurately. Now in iOS 7: I pull up the control center (almost impossible on my iPad, as its case makes the gesture about impossible without pulling the case's lid back a bit first), control center shows up and the layer below (the home screen) gets dimmed. So, now I am adjusting the brightness of the dimmed home screen! I do not even see the level of brightness I am setting. Once I discard the control center, the home screen goes back to its undimmed state and I usually find that it is too bright now. Trial and error. Not control. Not progress.

Sharing sheets in iOS 6 were usable for everyone. Clear icons, clearly "clickable" buttons, clear captions. The buttons in iOS 7 are as self-explanatory as those in MS's damned Charms Bar. And the sharing sheets are a mess. Built-in social services use coloured icons, system functions use arbitrary monochrome ones, arranged on a strip that is wider that the sheet but showing no scrollbars (the majority of people will never see them). To make that "just perfect", the hint/help texts on the sharing sheet are so small that I, with 20/20 sight, can't read them on the iPhone 5. Again. Different, yes. Better?

Change comes with some hurdles. We will have to accept that iOS 7 at release will be far less polished than iOS 1 was. Most things will certainly improve over time, but I see no real need to brag about many things in it yet. Icons are bland and sometimes confusing and usability is, overall, down. The days where you just handed an iDevice to a 3-year old or a very senior citizen and they just will figure it out, will be gone. I expect a measurable impact on user satisfaction levels, too. That is not to say that change was not needed, but to me it feels extremely rushed and imperfect for now.
Edited by dreyfus2 - 8/1/13 at 8:03am
post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Another big article to justify ugly home screen icons.


Another useless comment to justify trotting out a tired old meme.

 

Hint: There is a lot more to iOS7 than home screen icons.  Either you already knew that, making you yet another useless troll, or you actually DIDN'T know that, making you appear rather foolish.

post #24 of 49
Wow. Good points dreyfus2, especially the brightness adjustment one but I seem to remember the Control Center doesn't cover the entire screen?
post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Wow. Good points dreyfus2, especially the brightness adjustment one but I seem to remember the Control Center doesn't cover the entire screen?

 

Correct. It does not cover the entire screen, but it dims the rest of the screen. 

post #26 of 49
It covers about 4/5ths of the screen.
post #27 of 49
My take is simple. iOS 7 beta 1 sucked. I really love beta 4 and am excited to see how it progresses.

The big thing is that iOS 7 FEELS a lot better in use than via static screenshots.
post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

Part of the problem I keep seeing with iOS 7's home screen is all the icons are bigger than their iOS 6 counterparts.

To me that seems counterintuitive with their goal of highlighting a users background no matter how much parallax is going on.

If the icons were the same size as iOS 6's they would look less ugly and garish.

What in the world are you even talking about?

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #29 of 49

Good stuff, the fact does remain it is looking more like Windows Phone.  Don't know how long this update has been in the works, so I don't have anything else to say on that front.

I personally this it will end up like most things Apple does: Some people will bitch about it lacking ___ or not doing ____ properly, but it the end it will be a well polished product that is easy and enjoyable to use.

-QAMF

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post #30 of 49

Not having used the beta, I can't comment on functionality (though much of it looks very promising to me). However, I'm still struggling with the icons. The grid doesn't bother me, it's the colours and some of the designs.

 

About 7:12 into the video in the story, just take some examples:

  • The red in the Music icon is much too dominant; every designer knows that warm colours come to the perceptual front but this just shouts, in fact it shouts that there's something that just failed at bottom right on the screen. Many of the colours are too primary to achieve a harmonious whole, exacerbated by little shading or texture. Ironically, the example 3rd party icons in the story use more subdued colour and a simple white-icon-on-coloured-field design that (to me, at least) works fine.
  • Some of the icons themselves are incomprehensible: icons always run that risk but two icons composed of coloured blobs (Game Center and Photos) are surely too abstract. Why would photos have orderly colours and games have disorderly ones? If there is a reason, it's surely less obvious than the iOS 6 icons (here's a set of games, here's a flower we just photographed). A pair of dice would be an improvement for Game Center if the previous set of example games is too complex (it is, and no, I'm not seriously suggesting dice, jet making a point). Others have raised the 'two compasses' issue too (Safari and, ahem, Compass) - this would be a good time to resolve that.

 

I am very much looking forward to iOS 7 and an iPhone with a finger-print sensor is a must-have but I do hope the icons improve. If they don't lead a user to deduce their function quickly and intuitively then they've failed.

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post #31 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


What in the world are you even talking about?

Obviously that's a photoshop you did that make the bottom icons smaller. For I know what Apple needs to do and what works best.  Apple should take all their design advice from me as a professional internet user.

The Jonathan Ive is a fool who doesn't understand design and makes shitty looking designs that other People at Apple have to redo to make good.
/sarcasm

-QAMF

 

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post #32 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Anyone who use iOS 7: after a few weeks, are you annoyed by the candy-color?

 

I'm, using it now for 2 days. Didn't need it before. I started with old app transition development. I like many things: vivid colors, parallax scrolling, very nice transitions and actually most of the stuff. What I can't cope with are still those buttonless buttons, some extremely ugly and stupid icons like Safari, Settings and Photos, too much simplified icons in settings that make options less recognizable as others that have small actual app icon and of course: big ugly drawn icon in connectivity panel (Copy, Slideshow,...).  It is also less responsive on 4S as iOS6.

 

So for me, iOS7 is from design point of view sort of like learning field for Jonny. It certainly didn't fill the expectations for such big overhaul.

post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mir808 View Post

New UI isn't really that beautiful like old UI but it is still million times better than Android and WP UI.

I think the iOS 7 UI is good, from what I have seen, and I agree that Android (every version I have ever used) looks horrible.  But have you ever used W8P UI?

Once more, if you have not used a product can you not criticize it?  That is all I ask.

And, I will say it again: People will bitch about Apple's design/products when a new one comes out.  Change! EVIL! But Apple knows how to make something that is easy and enjoyable to use, and they have always had a very good sense of aesthetics in the past.

-QAMF

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post #34 of 49

I am surprised that with iOS 7 and Mavericks being scheduled for release around the same time that the icons don't share a more similar design. Up until this new iOS 7 revamp the two OSs were very similar in appearance especially the icons. Sort of a family resemblance but now they look more like distant cousins. 

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post #35 of 49
You know, I've read every single positive iOS7 UI article I could find, trying to brainwash myself into loving it. But it hasn't worked. Justify and bash the skeumorphic icons portrayed in this article as much as you want, and try to explain the thinking behind the new ones, but at the end of the day, I simply find the current style MUCH more visually pleasing that the new stuff. The settings icon is a prime example. Does the author REALLY prefer the new one, that looks like a torture device or something? Really? It's still representing gears, which is skeuomorphic for settings, but it just LOOKS infinitely uglier.
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akac View Post

My take is simple. iOS 7 beta 1 sucked. I really love beta 4 and am excited to see how it progresses.

The big thing is that iOS 7 FEELS a lot better in use than via static screenshots.

Although I am not the greatest fan of iOS 7, I do agree with this comment entirely.
post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Command_F View Post

Not having used the beta, I can't comment on functionality (though much of it looks very promising to me). However, I'm still struggling with the icons. The grid doesn't bother me, it's the colours and some of the designs.

About 7:12 into the video in the story, just take some examples:
  • The red in the Music icon is much too dominant; every designer knows that warm colours come to the perceptual front but this just shouts, in fact it shouts that there's something that just failed at bottom right on the screen. Many of the colours are too primary to achieve a harmonious whole, exacerbated by little shading or texture. Ironically, the example 3rd party icons in the story use more subdued colour and a simple white-icon-on-coloured-field design that (to me, at least) works fine.
  • Some of the icons themselves are incomprehensible: icons always run that risk but two icons composed of coloured blobs (Game Center and Photos) are surely too abstract. Why would photos have orderly colours and games have disorderly ones? If there is a reason, it's surely less obvious than the iOS 6 icons (here's a set of games, here's a flower we just photographed). A pair of dice would be an improvement for Game Center if the previous set of example games is too complex (it is, and no, I'm not seriously suggesting dice, jet making a point). Others have raised the 'two compasses' issue too (Safari and, ahem, Compass) - this would be a good time to resolve that.

... I do hope the icons improve. If they don't lead a user to deduce their function quickly and intuitively then they've failed.

This is exactly the issue I have with iOS 7. The user interface is not intuitive. Apple has resolved some of my concerns such as the "End" stripe on the Phone app rather than a "End" button.

The functionality is fantastic. Frankly, I think the majority of the jailbreak community will be gone with one more iteration of iOS, iOS 8. I only removed iOS 7 since my Apple developer account is up for renewal and I am not currently profiting from the App Store.
post #38 of 49
Mmmm...



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post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

After a decade of fully exploiting iconic decadence to the point of exhausting it of its novelty, Apple is now pursuing a new direction where app icons return to being the expertly distilled, abstract representations of functionality they originated as on the first Macintosh, the designers of whom which coined the term "icon" as an allusion to representational images used in religious veneration.

 

 

The Mac GUI came after the Lisa GUI, which came after the Xerox Star GUI, which was the first to use icons and call them by that name.

 

 

 

Here's an interesting overview of the way that computer icons have changed over the years:

 

http://psd.tutsplus.com/articles/theory/know-your-icons-part-1-a-brief-history-of-computer-icons/

post #40 of 49
Whether you like or dislike the new colour scheme, there is a significant flaw with iOS 7's updated UI... the additional effort required for it to be learned by young children who are new to a touch interface, and particularly those who aren't old enough to read yet.

In 2010 I introduced the iPad to my 3 year old. I was absolutely astonished at how little training I had to provide to her (unlocking, tapping an icon, swiping between pages, rotating the device). The UI, including its gloss and skuomorphic design intuitively did all of the heavy lifting for me. Having supported and trained customers on Macs, PCs, and different smartphones for over 15 years, I'd never seen anything like this and decided to conduct an experiment. My job involves making iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and at one time Windows mobile devices work in the Enterprise, so I was able expose my child to an Android and BlackBerry smartphone (and later the Playbook and Z10). It was obvious that these UIs required significant training compared to iOS. It's possible that's partly due to being exposed to iOS before the other OS' UIs, but the Playbook's "slide to unlock" being spelled out instead of animated with an arrow (just like in iOS 7 betas 1-3*) and the need to swipe from an edge to reveal options, were simply less intuitive.

When my now 5 yr child (who has learned to read at at Kindergarten level) picked up my iPhone with iOS 7 on it, I was shocked to be asked "Daddy, what do I do?". My child can probably read the words "slide to unlock" but wasn't expecting that. I quickly explained that the words have replaced the arrow, which posed the rhetorical question "why require someone to be able to read in order to use your device?". Making the UI simple enough for any age group speaks volumes about a device's ability to be adopted in all kinds of non-traditional markets.

I've demo'd the UI to a few of my non-technical customers and the feedback is that the changed UI elements (setting dates and time for a calendar appointment, sharing a webpage, creating a reminder) just don't offer an intuitive transition from old to new.

I like others, enjoy the new features and workflow improvements. However to me the flat and overly simplified icons, buttons, and elements, the removal of skuomorphic elements, the additional use of text (implying the requirement to be able to read), and the general simplification of the UI doesn't translate as effectively to the young, and that was a huge differentiator for Apple that no one else offered. The new UI presents an unnecessary learning curve and, to me, comes across as a self indulgent change for the sake of change. Perhaps that's harsh, but it bothers me to think that my support team will have to re-train people on how to perform the same tasks because a new UI, rather than spending that time training people on how to get more value out of the new features.

*iOS 7 beta 4 has added an arrow to the left of the "slide to unlock" wording. I'm sure many others have shared feedback with Apple, as I have, that possibly resulted in this "compromised" update to the UI. iOS 7 beta 4 is an improvement and I'm hopeful the final release re-establishes Apple's UI as a differentiator, like the iOS 6 and before had, over other OS' UIs.
Edited by techrider - 8/1/13 at 1:52pm
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