Designers Set About Fixing The Mess Apple Made In iOS 7 [Gallery]



Okay, so not everyone thinks Apple has ruined iOS with its newfound support of flat icons and whacky, eye-stinging colors. In fact, some iOS users love the new look. But many think it’s a gut-wrenching mess. In fact, some hate it so much that they’ve taken some time to fix it.

User interface designers have taken to Dribbble to showcase their own iOS 7 concepts, and I think you’ll agree that they’re a welcome improvement.


This concept comes from UI designer Leo Drapeau. It’s not actually that different to Apple’s — a lot of the icons are very similar — but they look a lot nicer. And they actually look pretty good together, too — like the designer was following the same guidelines for each one. Unlike Apple’s.


This redesign comes from Christophe Tauziet, a product designer at Facebook. “I like iOS 7. I really do,” Tauziet writes. “But I can’t stand for these homescreen icons. So I wanted to see what I could do in an hour.”

It took him just an hour to produce that! Proof that Apple only spent 15 minutes on its own icons.

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 13.02.57

“I had to recreate them,” says Sameer Ahmed, a user interface designer. “I couldn’t look at the icons Apple created.”

Again, not vastly different to Apple’s, but so much nicer.

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 13.04.47

This one’s by far my favorite. From designer Zach Forrester. Isn’t it pretty?

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 13.06.50

This one comes from graphic design student Lewis Jones, who says: “It’s never too early for a re-design, right? I tried to keep that bright colour scheme and flat design they were going for but looking a bit nicer (in my opinion).”

I’m sure we’ll see many more of these redesigns in the weeks and months ahead, and hopefully they’ll inspire Apple to tweak its own icons a bit ahead of iOS 7’s public release this fall. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  • Stuka_UK

    Some people have way too much time on their hands.

  • copperbum

    you guys are sooks. seriously.

  • Whodakat

    Killian Bell. We get it, you don’t like the icons. Quit blasting your hatred for them. You bitch because its one way, then you bitch because its another. Your stupid mock ups that you think are so great… they look the same douche. You’ve stated your opinion now. At least twice. So can the rest of us please just enjoy the new look now?

  • JaySt

    Some people are afraid of change and want to stick to the very familiar. Others get what they wished for and still can’t be happy. I suspect this is exactly what happened with the author of this article and with many other Apple users.

  • dcdevito

    iOS 7 is Apple’s Vista

  • marsofearth

    Apple made eye-candy. And mighty fine eye-candy at that. Some people prefer the subdued, blended, uniforms of single thought. Myself, I look forward to using iOS7 stock for as long as it takes till I am sipping Absinthe.

  • Avenged110

    The only way to make it suck less is to make it look like iOS 6 :p

  • technochick

    I don’t particularly like any of these as a whole. Some of them in particular commit the same sin I think Apple did, changing too far from the originals.

    But they all have bits and pieces of improvement so I hope Apple is paying attention.

    Although what I would want to see is simply the same icons (for most) with the drop shadows, gradients etc removed. This is really all most of them needed. Game Center just remove the pieces and keep the four squares. Newsstand could stay a variant on what they did. And keep a small black border to make them stand out from backgrounds.

  • robogobo

    NONE of these is any better than Apple’s icons. They’re made by people who have no historical idea of Apple’s design aesthetic. Apple wasn’t going for ‘flat’ design here. The new icons are a matured version of the old, which were stale and out of date. If anyone takes the time to review the iOS 7 design on the whole, the icons match perfectly. I love how people can take an existing design, alter it slightly (in an hour or whatever) and take that as proof that Apple spent 15 minutes on the design. Morons.

  • robogobo

    iOS 7 is Apple’s Vista

    Right. Watch as hundreds of millions of people disagree with you.

  • cprblak

    The new icons are a matured version of the old, which were stale and out of date.

    Newstand is a lot more mature that what is was before?

  • adology

    Leo has the right idea. Make the graphic element a little smaller so there is margin all around makes all the difference.

  • tdmac

    Looks like a crappy Jailbreak….lol

  • adrianpintea

    How is that A LOT nicer? I don’t get it? It is the tiniest of change that even I as a drwaing “anti-talent” can do. “I had to recreate them, I couldn’t look at the icons Apple created.”Really Ahmed? Really? You think you are that awesome? If it took him an hour to make some minor modifications to an existing design how can that mean that it took Apple 15 minutes? Where is your logic in this? How can you get to such conclusions? All these “design fixes” are worse exaclty because they do what every average designer would do, they fall into common and boring.

  • lowtolerance

    iOS 7 is Apple’s Vista

    That’s a little premature, don’t you think?

  • Joe Emenaker

    It’s amusing to watch unemployed designers freak out about supposed design mistakes by a multi-billion dollar company. Furthermore, when you look at their suggested “improvements”, some of them merely shrink the icons a bit. Sure, that works fine for design students with young eyes and 24″ monitors, but my mother has to be able to see these things on her iPhone. Face it, probably 60% of the users won’t even notice that the icons have *changed*, and 39.9% of the remaining 40% will think of it as a refreshing new look. The last 0.1% will be unable to use their phone because the needle of the Safari icon compass uses Pantone color #3266A instead of #3266B. Make no mistake, however… nobody is *born* obsessing over stuff like this. Designers have *chosen* the hell they live in.


    The icons and the overall look and feel of iOS 7 are awesome. People just need to get over themselves and understand that things change and that sometimes its better for things to change. Stop acting like Apple “owe” you something and just enjoy the amazing products they design and take their time with. Remember also the icons will probably look better in person that on your monitors. And that its still a work in process before its release later this fall.

  • JMO_L

    Some of these icon fixes are great.
    But nobody is fixing the TYPOGRAPHY!
    Helvetica Neue Ultra Light is not a functional typeface for legibility at small sizes on the screen.
    The tracking isn’t well done for the light weight. It shouldn’t be light weight to begin with especially at some of the sizes. Helvetica it’s self is too uniformed a typeface for screen legibility.
    I hope they realize they have major type problems son,

  • robraden

    I think iOS7 looks fantastic… just use a dark background. That’s what I’ve been doing with my iPhone and iPad for ages. I do worry about the fonts though. I worry they may be hard to read. I really hope I’m wrong about that since everything else in iOS looks fantastic.

  • tide9

    Leo Drapeau’s design is far better than Apple’s. Well done, Leo.

  • Bulldogger123

    You seriously think any of those mock up’s are any better?

  • Bulldogger123

    Leo Drapeau’s design is far better than Apple’s. Well done, Leo.

    The icons on the bottom row look like they were drawn in crayon!

  • robinthe4th

    I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. I’ve read dozens of tech blogs today, all the tech writers are moaning about the icons. Get over yourselves. I enjoyed the IOS7 presentation and was anxious for its fall arrival…what a bunch of buzz killers!

  • Ex2bot

    Wow! It’s not unusual to have people balk at big changes like this, but to A) suggest Apple’s icons are horrendous, and B) highlight the re-made icons are vastly better? Please.

    I like most of the icons myself. I love Helvetica. I know it’s old and overused, but it is also timeless. Overall, iOS 7 is spectacular. I’m thrilled!

  • Mike Sabino

    NO. That first set is not better at all. It just adds more space between the picture portion and the edge of the App Icon. The biggest problem is that the whole overall feel of this first set from Leo, looks cutesy and cartoonish. Actually, this statement applied to ALL of these attempts to “improve” iO7. While I do like that last set the most, BY FAR.

    By I take major issue with the overall design direction of ALL of them, even the ones i like. And based on this work it does support the idea that alot of you designers and bloggers are more upset at change than anything else. Yes there a some design problems, like inconsistency or confusing choice of imagery. HOWEVER, EVERY SINGLE ONE of these rehashes, merely seeks to ape the old iOS look. There is nothing new different or unique, or even remotely interesting about these “improvements”. The last set by Lewis Jones at least pushes the design futher away from iOS6, and is almost as flat as Windows metro (which I HATE aesthetically). But aside from the flattness, the feel takes us back to the earliest iOS Apps. They all feel catoonish and dated.

    While the Jony Ive icons may be divisive, and not as cohesive, they undeniably look far more modern. All the others ones are just reaching to the past. SOme of them feel so dated they look like early OSX app icons, just flat. No matter if you hate or love the iOS7 icons, they are unquestionably more forward thinking and interesting, while all these rehashes are just pulling from the past and sticking to what is known. They move the design nowhere, even the good ones.

    The biggest problem Im seeing in iOS7 is inconsistency. However, that is the kind of thing that you usually leave to the end stages anyways. The cleanup.

  • stanislawolszak

    Nope, still looks like shit :(

  • Blu Soulstn

    Was reading some of these old responses…you people are all idiots. iOS 7 sucks the mother of all donkey $&@%s seriously. Months later and still no fix. Even the music app is now basically unusable… Cult of Mac indeed, more like a cult of dumb dumbs (excluding those who know iOS is an abomination)