Morning glory and despair. In the next couple of days we will not just get bored with #iOS7 but also annoyed by #iOS7bored. I don’t want to discuss certain icons (hey, Safari!) or hipster colored gradients — that will be discussed in millions of comments on thousand of blogs. There is nothing interesting in discussing the visual of new iOS 7. The main idea about it is you will not want to lick the icons any more. Not even once (they are too sharp now).
From the scratch Apple’s initial idea was to create the things to be loved. And the secret is not just about technical performance or quality, it’s not about hardware and software common productivity. The main secret is that Apple created the GUI elements that fascinate from the first sight and become seamless in next couple of weeks. User just knows how the things works and taps, clicks, moves, drags and drops and whatever users do. Apple strategy with interfaces in most cases was aimed on making operating system elements seamless and not interfering but supporting the work process.
Looking at iOS 7 beta GUI one can definitely state movement away from interface itself. Decorative elements are now replaced by functional scenarios. Illustrations on rounded squares with dozens of reflected lights are substituted by pictograms. No skeuomorphs, no direct quotations of physical objects in GUI elements. Even buttons are not buttons anymore! Talking about iOS 7 design and decoration I won’t be very wrong saying that there is no decoration at all. Taking a lot of elements here and there, sorting them and making work together, Apple moved decoration to the background. It’s just a workspace that helps user to complete his tasks. Nothing more, nothing less. And visual issues of beta (like no buttons at all in some apps) will be fixed before the release.
Talking about the visual implementations, we were told that there are new grid for the icons. I am dying to see the new guidelines for iOS 7 apps and these grids. The more rules we have — the more fun it is to gracefully break some of them creating mind blowing and outstanding solutions. If every icon will be a pictogram, breaking the rule may become the only option to create the icons that differs and stands out. I just hopes icon guidelines will not be to strict and formal, because it may lead to bore and even confusion. Let me finish with the illustration from Berlin, where the guidelines are strict and approach is formal:
I was lucky to look through iOS Human Interface Guidelines at the end of the day. Quite interesting and good document. It’s pretty obvious that every developer that made the apps Apple prompted to do (with default controls etc.) will switch apps to iOS 7 much faster and with less troubles than those who drew default controls themselves (for no reason as to me). By the way current illustrative app icons aren’t forbidden. It is even told that wood on icons should look like wood and glass should look like glass. But the trend to draw pictograms is clear and obvious any way.