For the past year, Apple’s head of design Jony Ive has reportedly been taking a hatchet to the skeuomorphic design principles of iOS. When iOS 7 is announced later today, it is widely expected that he will show us a much more modern-looking operating system, one emboldened by what is widely called a ‘flat’ design aesthetic.
But let’s keep a little bit of perspective here. Jony Ive isn’t completely overhauling iOS 7 because of some petulant, blind hatred for skeuomorphism. He’s doing so because he’s a pro, and skeuomorphism is solving a problem that iOS no longer has: how to teach people to use devices that, a mere six years ago, seemed impossibly futuristic and sci-fi-like!
What does Apple’s Calendar app and this building have in common?
There’s been a lot of hullyboo about skeuomorphism in the Mac and iOS community right now. Ever since the debut of iOS, Apple’s software has become increasingly ornamented with unnecessary textures and details that many people consider tacky, such as the fake Corinthian leather in Calendar or the green felt background in Game Center. This style of design is called skeuomorphism, and outed ex-Apple VP Scott Forstall was one of Cupertino’s main proponent for its wide spread use in iOS and OS X.
The way people talk, though, it’s like skeuomorphism is a unique problem of the digital age. It’s not. In fact, the ancient Greeks had a problem with skeuomorphism too. So before you revile Scott Forstall for using it too much, keep in mind, it’s a design technique as old as civilization.
Rafael Justino just published his concept for what iOS 7 might look like, and while there’s still a great deal of skeuomorphism in Justino’s concept, his vision adds a lot more functionality to some of the basic apps of iOS.
The full video is ready for your examination below:
So long, Scott Forstall. Don’t let your crappy skeuomorphic designs hit your ass on the way out.
Skeuomorphism, or the tendency to deliberately make something new look like something old and familiar. Some people love it, some people hate it and think it’s tacky.
No matter how you feel, his love for skeuomorphism is one of many reasons that former iOS chief Scott Forstall was fired yesterday. Replacing him is Apple’s Senior VP of Design, Jonathan Ive, who will lead a new Human Interface Group in Apple… and whom reportedly loathes skeuomorphism with every fiber of his being.
All that fake leather stitching, those hideous textures, those bizarre font choices in iOS’s stock apps? If Ive gets his way – and we think he will — they’re all about to change.
Here are the eight skeuomorphic apps in iOS 6 we hope Jony Ive is going to change in iOS 7, along with some third-party apps we hope he takes inspiration from.