Jun 11 2013

iOS 7 Icon Backlash: Designers Take to Dribbble to “Vent Design”

Apple-iOS-7-Feature-Image

As is almost always the case when Apple launches new products or software, the web is talking. Except this time there’s a backlash surrounding something that Apple has historically been an industry leader in: Design. The social uproar is focusing on the new iOS 7 UI design – specifically the home screen icons. Many predicted that Apple would be taking the general UI of iOS in a flatter direction, beginning the process of putting to bed their long history with skeuomorphism. And they did. They went all the way. Some are saying Apple and legendary designer Jony Ive took things too far, but of course that (as always) is up for debate.

Some of Apple’s iOS 7 Screenshots

Before diving into all of the back and forth below, here’s what all the fuss is about.

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The Social Response

If you’re like me it’s easy to become enamored with Apple’s presentation. After looking at the images above you may be drooling but the tweets/critiques below do their best to decry and pick apart everything they believe is wrong with the new iOS 7 update.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The feedback isn’t all bad though. Here are some people who think Apple is headed in the right direction.

 

 

 

Dribbble Redesigns

In a collective bout of impotent rage (again, mostly over the icons) many designers took to Dribbble to vent their frustrations via icon redesigns. Here is a sampling…

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Concept by Zane David

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Concept by Graphicure

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Concept by Sam Beckett

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Concept by Sameer Ahmed

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Concept by Zach Forrester

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Concept by Lewis Jones

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Concept by Leo Drapeau (left) compared to the new iOS 7 (right)

What Do You Think?

Personally, I’m not as worked up over these changes as many of the designers featured above seem to be. Could the icons be better? Absolutely. Are the icons the most important aspect of the new design? No. In fact, as designer Joshua Sortino points out in his new post on medium, this new direction is (most likely) just the first step in creating a quicker design iteration cycle that over time will lead to an exponentially better user experience. That wouldn’t be possible if Apple hadn’t drastically simplified.

But maybe that’s just me…

What do you think?

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Nathan B Weller. I spend my time living and working at the intersection of web design, UX/UI and digital publishing. If you'd like to connect with me please feel free to hit me up on Google+, Twitter, Facebook or even my personal site. I'm here to help you get the most out of our blog and online resources so don't be afraid to start a conversation :)