Good design makes a big difference; only an idiot would disagree with that simple statement. But the question of what is design and where does it begin and end has been debated forever. Sadly, it seems that the ascending forces in Apple are in two different camps and clearly this last release shows that the twain did not meet. I generally also have a fair amount of patience for the need for design to assert itself, but in iOS7, that patience is tried and gone so quickly it‘s frankly depressing. It‘s funny that in the last post I used the metaphor of icing a cake, because the whole design layer of the OS now feels like licking an iced cupcake, again and again… ugh.. it‘s not more functional. It‘s annoying, and frankly it‘s ugly. Was getting rid of the Skeumorphic Spectre a good idea? of course, but this is abysmal.
Not surprisingly, there's been a firestorm of debate. Then this Tumblr popped up. It‘s hilarious. Says pretty much all there is to say.
Design has, by definition failed, if it can be accurately and hilariously lampooned within 24h of its release. Jony should go back to just worrying about what the devices should look like. Apple is going to need some interface designers to step into this void because mark my words, this neon cherry soda sundae look is going to make people ill.
Now, on the other side of the house, the designers who are actually concerned with how things work, happy to report they are firing on all cylinders. The OS is a joy. Huge improvements abound. I read a collection of carping whiney weasels this morning who were saying things like ‘every time Apple is forced to change, they just replace the top layer and think that will do.‘ Really?? Did you even watch the keynote? or were you too busy keeping your Kardashian style feed of your genius going? Farhad Manjoo was one of them. Frankly at the end of the keynote, I was looking at the summary pages because there was way too much stuff to just remember.
But this is what the tech press has become now. They don‘t care that zombie processes running in the back of everyone‘s browsers are sucking up enough energy every year to convert the whole state of california to solar… they just have to get their little quip into the hipster white noise stream, and then move on to the next ogling opportunity in the spectra of witless stupidity…. ‘der, clearly _ is just __….‘ [stop]. Take a breather, Champ… you must be exhausted…..
As bad as the new iOS interface is, I was on Google+ today and was shocked what a horrific experience that was. The look of iOS may be distasteful, but underneath, it still shows tact and is not annoying. Google+ is starting to make MySpace from its heyday look like a Rembrandt. An animated gif of a dog pulling another one from a pool must have played a thousand times while I was trying to setup a hangout, which turned into a nightmare for some reason I couldn‘t discern (ultimately just gave up and used Skype). Anyway, my point is that color and font choices that make you think you woke up into a mushroom-infused children‘s fantasy book does not seem like the crowning achievement of computing‘s superpower, but it also is not going to leave you rolling around on your back to accomplish things that should take a few minutes..