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!.