If you are reading all the link bait-ish articles being spewed by writers who don’t know better (yes, even the one from NYT last year), you’d think future products from Apple will be totally minimalist, and all the skeumorphism would be gone.
What’s worse, designers are taking this one step further by creating flashy but unusable iOS 7 concepts that basically remove gradients, rounded corners and other visibly useful things like buttons—basically, slapping a Windows Phone skin on top of iOS and adorning it with the functional excessiveness of the “open” platform.
The press is going ga-ga over this, like this dingbat which titled their article “Jony Ive’s dream”. Oh, please.
Nothing radically different comes out of Cupertino. Ever. Apple values consistency and design integrity. They iterate and make small changes, doing little nips and tucks as the years pass.
The Mac UI paradigm isn’t radically different since it premiered more than a decade ago. iOS hasn’t changed much since 2007. Even the radically improved iPhone 5 got panned as a “boringly similar to iPhone 4S” design by people who don’t have taste and can’t appreciate the subtle yet innovative redesign.
Companies making products that use something as important as an OS, and one that’s lifted from the genesis of another rather than intrinsically designed from the ground up for the purpose it was meant to serve, will always need to go over-the-top flashy to make a sale, less they be deemed “boring” like Apple.
Apple, and in particular Jony Ive, operates at another plane of design thinking altogether. Most of us don’t get this at all, so do yourself a favor and go read the insightful “Tail Wagging” essay by Matt Gemmell right now.
I can’t wait to see what iOS 7 will bring in terms of the thoughtful evolution of design that Apple strives to perfect, and we’ll know soon enough when WWDC comes along in a month’s time. The rest can go buy the other derivatives that can’t stop behaving like kids clamoring for attention (“look how different I am from the previous one!”, “look how big my screen is!” and “look how many features I have!”).