Apple's Ive brings software, hardware teams together in push for 'flat design'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Tasked with overseeing Apple's human interface efforts, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive has reportedly brought the company's hardware and mobile software design teams together in a push toward a simpler and more cohesive "flat design," according to a new report.

People familiar with Apple's daily operations told The Wall Street Journal that Ive has been briefing the human interface team on prototypes earlier than usual in hopes of fostering a collaborative environment, and to allow software engineers time to better take advantage of upcoming hardware. The new inter-office dynamic, called "a thawing," is a change from Apple's previous workflow, which largely kept iOS software and hardware designers separate.

Jonathan Ive
Apple SVP of Industrial Design Jony Ive.


Ive, who took over human interface design duties in October after former iOS chief Scott Forstall was ousted in October, is reportedly looking to make Apple's software more in line with his minimalist hardware aesthetic. Developers who have spoken to Apple employees said the new "flat design" will be more simple than the current iteration of iOS, but failed to offer further details.

The publication noted that Ive is now sitting in on human interface design team meetings to add his perspective on new developments, but despite the added input, no drastic modifications to iOS are expected for the near future.

Following Ive's lead, SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi is also said to be moving his Mac teams toward a more collaborative process, but that change hasn't been as rapid. Sources claim Federighi plans to keep Mac and iOS teams separate for the time being, though one person expects the two groups to reorganize this summer.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 164
    ecsecs Posts: 307member
    Yeah, flat is the word. Couldn't explain it better, and simpler. Just one word: flat. Brilliant.
  • Reply 2 of 164
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    I've said this before and it fell on deaf ears but Ive knows almost nothing about software design. This move is just as likely to be a bad thing as a good thing IMO.

    "Flatness" isn't good in and of itself just as skeuomorphism isn't good in and of itself. Also a lot of the "non-flat" stuff in iOS is the best most successful parts.

    A unilateral "flattening" of the OS might look good at first just because it's different but it won't necessarily solve anything.

    Also, "simple" and "flat" are not the same thing.
  • Reply 3 of 164
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    FRICK, no. The last thing we need is Windows 8.

  • Reply 4 of 164
    jacodbjacodb Posts: 23member
    I do hope that there will be some eye candy left that adds to the wow factor.
  • Reply 5 of 164
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I've said this before and it fell on deaf ears but Ive knows almost nothing about software design. This move is just as likely to be a bad thing as a good thing IMO.

    "Flatness" isn't good in and of itself just as skeuomorphism isn't good in and of itself. Also a lot of the "non-flat" stuff in iOS is the best most successful parts.

    A unilateral "flattening" of the OS might look good at first just because it's different but it won't necessarily solve anything.

    Also, "simple" and "flat" are not the same thing.

    I understand what you're saying I don't think Ive needs to have a strong background in SW design for it to work. What he needs to be open to ideas (which I think he clearly is) and have an eye for what makes something visually appealing without losing its usefulness (which I think is self-evident). Maybe his skills in the one won't carry over to the other but of anyone at Apple in charge with a final say in how something looks I'm damn happy its Ive.
  • Reply 6 of 164
    darendinodarendino Posts: 126member
    Never mind pissballing about with this, where is my effing Mac Pro?????
  • Reply 7 of 164
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ecs View Post



    Yeah, flat is the word. Couldn't explain it better, and simpler. Just one word: flat. Brilliant.




    Well the whole 'flat' aesthetic sure has proven quite popular/successful since Android 4.X and Windows/WP 8 adopted it over a year ago.


     


    Looking forward to seeing Apple's implementation brings.

  • Reply 8 of 164
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Thank God. I detest the current design model, which uses analogues of old desk calendars, notepads, etc.
  • Reply 9 of 164
    dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,060member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post



    I've said this before and it fell on deaf ears but Ive knows almost nothing about software design. This move is just as likely to be a bad thing as a good thing IMO.



    "Flatness" isn't good in and of itself just as skeuomorphism isn't good in and of itself. Also a lot of the "non-flat" stuff in iOS is the best most successful parts.



    A unilateral "flattening" of the OS might look good at first just because it's different but it won't necessarily solve anything.



    Also, "simple" and "flat" are not the same thing.


     


    In my business, the printing industry, flat means dull and lifeless. I hope that's not the direction that Ive plans to move towards.

  • Reply 10 of 164
    daharder wrote: »
    ecs wrote: »
    Yeah, flat is the word. Couldn't explain it better, and simpler. Just one word: flat. Brilliant.




    Well the whole 'flat' aesthetic sure has proven quite popular/successful since Android 4.X and Windows/WP 8 adopted it over a year ago.

    Looking forward to seeing Apple's implementation brings.

    I think you're confusing 'flat' as in banal/blah (Android) with 'flat' as in same level/smooth (Apple).

    Not the first time you've sounded confused....
  • Reply 11 of 164
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    I'd like to see a little more pizzazz, but functionality definitely needs to be improved. For instance, I want easy access to certain settings like wi-fi. Further, Siri is nice, but Google's search works better in terms of how fast it completes a task.
  • Reply 12 of 164

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    FRICK, no. The last thing we need is Windows 8.





    EXACTLY!! We don't need no stinking Windows 8!! What's the sense of having all this Video RAM these days when 640k is good enough? image

  • Reply 13 of 164
    dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,060member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post




    Well the whole 'flat' aesthetic sure has proven quite popular/successful since Android 4.X and Windows/WP 8 adopted it over a year ago.


     


    Looking forward to seeing Apple's implementation brings.



     


    Another typical drive-by comment.


     


    I'm holding out hope that you'll change your sig, it's getting a little old.

  • Reply 14 of 164
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

    Thank God. I detest the current design model, which uses analogues of old desk calendars, notepads, etc.


     


    No, you don't actually hate skeuomorphism.





    Originally Posted by TBell View Post

    I'd like to see a little more pizzazz, but functionality definitely needs to be improved.


     


    How is UI design 'functionality'?

  • Reply 15 of 164


    Until we actually see what they're (supposedly) talking about, debating the pros & cons of "flatness" really doesn't mean much.

  • Reply 16 of 164
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,390member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post




    Well the whole 'flat' aesthetic sure has proven quite popular/successful since Android 4.X and Windows/WP 8 adopted it over a year ago.


     


    Looking forward to seeing Apple's implementation brings.





    Why are you even here?

  • Reply 17 of 164

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post



    I've said this before and it fell on deaf ears but Ive knows almost nothing about software design. This move is just as likely to be a bad thing as a good thing IMO.



    "Flatness" isn't good in and of itself just as skeuomorphism isn't good in and of itself. Also a lot of the "non-flat" stuff in iOS is the best most successful parts.



    A unilateral "flattening" of the OS might look good at first just because it's different but it won't necessarily solve anything.



    Also, "simple" and "flat" are not the same thing.


    He's not doing software design, he's doing UI design.  

  • Reply 18 of 164

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    FRICK, no. The last thing we need is Windows 8.



    Flat doesn't necessarily mean it'll look like Windows 8.  Google Now and many of Google's core apps on iOS utilize a flat design and they look great - modern looking like Windows 8 but as functional as iOS.  After using it for awhile, I'm not a big fan Windows Metro either.

  • Reply 19 of 164
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,198member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post



    I've said this before and it fell on deaf ears but Ive knows almost nothing about software design. 


     


    Based in what? Your personal knowledge of him? One doesn't need to have a PhD or even any degree to know about something. Especially when you are around it day in and day out.


     


    and given that the man just took over this post and we haven't seen any of the effort yet, how about showing him the basic human respect of not dissing him without evidence that he is in fact a moron.

  • Reply 20 of 164
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,629member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I've said this before and it fell on deaf ears but Ive knows almost nothing about software design. This move is just as likely to be a bad thing as a good thing IMO.

    He's not designing software. He's involved with the look and feel. I'm sure he will take a minimalist approach to the UI.
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