iOS 7’s Design Still “A Work In Progress”

iOS-7-in-hand

“Apple made this?” That’s the first thing I asked myself when iOS 7 was unveiled to the world at WWDC on Monday. It’s so different from anything Apple has ever done design wise that it’s hard to wrap your head around as a longtime fan of the company.

If you’re still in shock at the randomness and general weirdness of iOS 7 like I am, this tidbit of info helps clear things up: Apple’s own designers weren’t in charge of creating the OS’s icons. A new report reveals the disjointed process that Jony Ive led behind the scenes to create iOS 7 at Apple.

The Next Web has spoken with sources who have revealed that Jony Ive put Apple’s marketing and communications department in charge of designing the icons for iOS 7. “From what we’ve heard, SVP of Design Jony Ive (also now Apple’s head of Human Interaction) brought the print and web marketing design team in to set the look and color palette of the stock app icons,” according to the report. “They then handed those off to the app design teams who did their own work on the ‘interiors’, with those palettes as a guide.”

Ive wanted “new blood”

So that means Apple’s own designers—extremely talented individuals who are fully capable of creating beautiful icons and a consistent user experience—didn’t create the general aesthetic of what you see in iOS 7. Ive wanted “new blood” and fresh eyes to give iOS 7 a radical redesign.

The report goes on to explain how the teams working on different parts of iOS 7 within Apple didn’t collaborate much during the design process. That explains why there’s little visual consistency between apps.

The good news is that iOS 7 will probably change quite a bit before it ships to the public this fall. “The work on design and development is still going full tilt, and what was presented this week is firmly a ‘work in progress’,” reports The Next Web. Some big design changes will likely be pushed to developers as Apple releases new iOS 7 betas in the coming months.

Click the link below for more info.

Related
  • JMO_L

    One of the best ideas I herd is that Apple should commission (because I doubt they can or should do it themselves) for a new typeface or modify an existing one that is made for various iOS devices and for Desktop screens. With various grades and weights. Not only will it help with legibility but it will be a valuable assets for Apple’s identity which as of now seems very confused.

    http://www.design-by-izo.com/2011/10/18/what-should-i-look-for-in-a-ui-typeface/

  • JohnSpasm

    I kind of like this article, fingers crossed!!!

  • RyanTV

    Are you still harping over these icons? Seriously, get over yourself.

  • CharilaosMulder

    This surprises me. I was just getting started loving the new icons and most of the new UI. I even like the icons of safari, photos and some of the inverted gradients and neon color palette. The odd ones out are still camera, settings, stocks and compass. I’ve noticed the beta has no shadows, but the screenshots on Apple’s website show subtle shadowing behind the icons.

    Just.. i dont know anymore. where will this be heading if suddenly other people are in charge of redesigning what we just saw on the keynote??

  • keir_john

    The icons look great, actually. I don’t know where the hate is coming from, but CoM is the ONLY place I’ve seen it. Otherwise I have seen nothing but universal praise for the new look.

    What are you even basing this criticism on? An art class you took in the 8th grade?

  • dmick89

    Are you still harping over these icons? Seriously, get over yourself.

    I agree. It’s been two days of constant talk about the icons. They’re icons! I couldn’t care less if a phone has the ugliest icons imaginable. After all, they’re icons!

    It’s hilarious that people are complaining about icons. When you think about how absurd it is, it’s almost funny. It would the exact same as someone commenting here over and over that they don’t like the layout of the site. Who cares?

    If you want to complain about other things, go for it. As for complaining about the icons, grow up.

  • AlupaCreative

    To a normal user, these icons are totally innocuous. To the trained eye, it’s a train wreck. Design by committee at it’s finest. This sums it up for me. http://drbl.in/hVnM

  • Alexander530

    As for me, I like the new icons as much as I like the previous ones. But it’s not the biggest deal for me. The new icons is not the reason why I like iOS7. It’s the added functionalities that are more important for me.

  • DisgruntledEd

    As for me, I like the new icons as much as I like the previous ones. But it’s not the biggest deal for me. The new icons is not the reason why I like iOS7. It’s the added functionalities that are more important for me.

    This.

  • PJMAN2952

    I hope it will get better soon. Maybe in the second beta.

  • bdkennedy

    Jony had the monumental task of redesigning an OS in 7 months on top of all of his other duties. Leave him alone.

  • TechBell

    iOS 7’s Design Still “A Work In Progress” – I can only hope that’s true it is because it’s one big mess if you ask me. As it is, I wouldn’t bother upgrading to it – not enough software benefits and it’s just ugly.

  • Steven Quan

    I love the new color palette and icons. It’s surprisingly bright, cheery, simple and sophisticated, and nobody else has anything like it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that people are up in arms about it. The general trend is towards dark, gothic, haunting colors like you see in Tim Burton films, I can’t stand it. I’m so glad Jony went the other direction. Some people just have no taste.

  • iJustinCabral

    IMO from watching the developer videos, this color pallette is hear to stay. I doubt we’ll see major changes to any design, but more refinement around some icons.

    If you use an iOS 7 device next to an iOS 6 device, its night and day. One feels vibrant and engaging, while the other just feels pretty bland and robotic. I think apple actually has taken a bigger leap ahead of android again as far as UX goes.

    The broad user base of iOS customers will be greatly pleased with iOS 7.

  • iJustinCabral

    IMO from watching the developer videos, this color pallette is hear to stay. I doubt we’ll see major changes to any design, but more refinement around some icons.

    If you use an iOS 7 device next to an iOS 6 device, its night and day. One feels vibrant and engaging, while the other just feels pretty bland and robotic. I think apple actually has taken a bigger leap ahead of android again as far as UX goes.

    The broad user base of iOS customers will be greatly pleased with iOS 7.

  • lowtolerance
    Are you still harping over these icons? Seriously, get over yourself.

    I agree. It’s been two days of constant talk about the icons. They’re icons! I couldn’t care less if a phone has the ugliest icons imaginable. After all, they’re icons!

    It’s hilarious that people are complaining about icons. When you think about how absurd it is, it’s almost funny. It would the exact same as someone commenting here over and over that they don’t like the layout of the site. Who cares?

    If you want to complain about other things, go for it. As for complaining about the icons, grow up.

    So, you’re saying that we can complain about anything but the icons? What makes you think that you’re the ultimate arbitrator on what is and isn’t acceptable to talk about, anyway?

  • joewaylo

    They do have another 4 months to perfect it before it goes onto the iPhone 5S and next iPad series. Plenty of time to make it ready.

  • dmick89

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that people are up in arms about it.

    People also naturally reject change and this is nothing more than that. What’s humorous to me is that it’s a change that has nothing to do with the functionality of the device. If Apple is spending as much time designing icons as some of these people think they should be doing, they’re not doing it right. People don’t buy phones because of icons.

  • Stuka_UK

    So, you’re saying that we can complain about anything but the icons? What makes you think that you’re the ultimate arbitrator on what is and isn’t acceptable to talk about, anyway?

    So why are you called lowtolerance I wonder?

  • Bulldogger123

    iOS 7’s Design Still “A Work In Progress” – I can only hope that’s true it is because it’s one big mess if you ask me. As it is, I wouldn’t bother upgrading to it – not enough software benefits and it’s just ugly.

    So don’t, but millions will and your opinion won’t affect them at all!

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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