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back to article Interwebs taunt Sir Jony over Apple eye candy makeover

What do we know today that we didn't know on Monday? Don't let Sir Jony Ive anywhere near your icons. Ive may be the world's most famous industrial designer, but his first attempt at creating a new look for iOS 7 has attracted confusion and mirth in equal quantities. Here's some of the brilliance that inspired the sniggering …

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Coat

Warning!

You should really have put a warning notice at the top of the piece along the lines of:

"Please use sunglasses before viewing this page."

I'm just looking for mine.

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That all the worlds got?

Seriously...if thats all you can throw at iOS, - icons that don't appeal to everyone....then it's hardly a disaster.

I'm pretty chuffed with the look to be honest..and the icons will undoubtedly get tweaked a bit between now and release.

But hey it's the snarky interweb, so it's par for the course.

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Devil

Re: That all the worlds got?

I recall the same uproar when the icons for the el Reg forums changed :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That all the worlds got?

FANBOI ALERT!

FANBOI ALERT!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That all the worlds got?

To be fair "It's not designed quite how I like it" is the main criticism of the Win Phone OS from Apple Fanboys.

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Meh

Re: That all the worlds got? @Moeluk

I love it too, judging by the negative reaction from Fandroids who insist on buying Samsung phones with features that scream at you but don't perform, the design has hit the spot.

The reaction is a barometer.

The greater the negative reaction from Fandroids is an indicator that the iPhone has hit the sweet spot again.

Jealous rage baby, jealous rage.

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Re: That all the worlds got? @Moeluk

"The greater the negative reaction from Fandroids is an indicator that the iPhone has hit the sweet spot again."

So you're at a restaurant, and you see that guy you hated at school in the far corner. He orders the Chef's Special, takes one bite, spits it back out and runs to the toilet where he's violently sick.

Obviously, when the waiter comes to ask for your order, you ask for a double helping of the Chef's special.

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Anonymous Coward

made-up icons

Out of those 4 icons at the top of the article, 2 don't actually exist anywhere in the beta. Where did they come from, and why are people complaining when they don't exist?

The rest: i very much suspect it's going to get more polish before it's launched. There's a lot that's obviously missing in beta 1, and some of the icons look very much like a 1st draft.

Also, if you spend some time with the beta, what gets you isn't the bright colours (which are actually pretty OK in use), it's the large amount of flat grey that appears everywhere. It's a horrible wash of light grey wherever you use a folder.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: made-up icons

Where did those icons come from? Well how about from the Apple conference itself.

For screenshot of those icons during a presentation, see http://www.indianexpress.com/news/apple-inc-revamps-look-of-iphone-ipad-software/1127611/

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I just saw some more iOS7 screen shots... and aside from the ghastly icons, I like the way they are flattering Microsoft, the new app switching, other than the upward swipe now bares an uncanny resemblance to the app switching in Win Pho8....

I must be honest and I do like the look of the paralaxing backgrounds... those are quite cool, but I guess wont be available on pre 4s devices....

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

I think you shrilling for MS is reaching here. Who the hell would copy a failed OS?

MS have generated mirth by creating a grey-on-grey design (particularly in office) that has been widely derided as unusable drivel. Apple might have run out of ideas around the time that jobs popped his clogs, but at least they recognise that splashing some colour across the copying of Android functionality will make it slightly less obviously that they are now in 'slow follower' /'cash cow' mode.

Oh, and BTW, changing the background colour on widgets and icons doesn't make it a new UI idea - it just makes it look fisher-price. Who know, maybe in a few years time MS can rediscover overlapping windows....

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Re: Really?

just an observation... you may call winpho8 outdated, but when you switch apps, the screens shrink, you then swipe side to side to select the app you want... much the same as the new app switching in iOS7...

and standing up for one of the new iOS7 features, insignificant as it may be - the tilty parallax backgrounds is possibly the opposite of being an MS Shill

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Re: Really?

You seemed to be a little confused here, Matt.

WinPho8 does not switch much the same as the new app switching in iOS7.

The new app switching in iOS7 works in much the same as WinPho8.

There, fixed it for you.

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Unhappy

Re: Really?

How quickly webOS is forgotten... That's where this comes from, including the upward swipe.

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@Justice Re: Really?

Apple invented it, MS proactively copied it. Evidently your RDF is out of alignment. Please report to the nearest Apple store for RDF recalibration.

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Re: Really?

Fisher Price is exactly what I thought when I saw the icon set. Let's call it Jelly Baby

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There seems to be confusion

Over the difference between designing icons and designing how a UI works. As iOS 7 is still beta then I expect that things like icons are still subject to change (which is the easy job). How the UI works seems to be rather less well considered by the likes of Mr Orlowski. I'm going to hold off commenting on it until I've actually had chance to use it and decide for myself whether or not it's a step in the right direction.

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Paris Hilton

Re: There seems to be confusion

There is no confusion. The topic is Icon Design, not UI design. And the icon design is drawing fire because it is so horrendous. (ymmv)

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This has been hacked together in seven months

That's when they fired Forstall.

I'm overall quite pleased-for a rushed piece of work it looks very promising and it makes iOS 6 look very old hat. It's a bit rough but I've got the good kind of excitement.

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Pint

“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” - Leo Tolstoy

No harm in having at go at other stuff Jonny lad but you need people around you with the balls to tell you the truth that you don't have a golden-touch in everything design related mate!

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Happy

So it was Jony Ive all along...

...who designed all those Happy Hardcore compilation CD covers back in the 90s!

Smiley face 'cus its the rave scene init.

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Having played with the beta, and as both a user of the iPhone since the first UK release and an ex-UI designer, I can honestly say that this is the best iOS has looked and worked, with one notable exception. The apps all look great; the removal of skeumorphism is long overdue and results in a much cleaner UI. The core changes to iOS like the Control Center are very useful.

But the big problem is the design of the icons. I sincerely hope that the icons in the beta are placeholders for final designs, because they spoil the whole appearance of the home screen.

It's not really the colour palette that's the problem; it's more that there is no consistent style to them. Some look like simplified versions of the originals; some look whimsical (Game Center); some are unnecessarily detailed (Compass, Stocks) - they don't all look as if they belong together on the same device. The big worry is that getting a nice consistent look to the icons is such a fundamental step in a redesign like this that if it hasn't already happened, I fear it may never do so, and releasing the OS with this icon set would be a huge mistake.

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Yeah.

http://www.core77.com/blog/ux/ios_7_preview_leaves_no_doubt_whether_hardware_or_software_ives_got_the_juice_25031.asp#more

Looking at the screenshots here, most things look clean and simple - it is only that Home Screen with its dodgy icons and unhelpful wallpaper - that look bad. The 'control centre' doesn't look too bad, but since it is translucent it is showing the garish faults of the homescreen that sit 'behind' it. I like the way it has four shortcuts to applications other than those that sit at the bottom of the homescreen.

However, there's nothing there to make me switch from Android (though 3rd party hardware accessories and apps might tempt me)

The screenshots of many of the applications remind me, aesthetically, of the UI on the iRiver Spinn: http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2008/09/iriver-spinn-official.jpg

(the irony is, the Spinn UI looks 'Flat', yet is skeumorphic in that it resembles the dial of an FM radio)

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Joke

It´s not yet finished

so dont bash it yet.

In the final version all the icons will be inside <blink> tags!

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Anonymous Coward

I love that all the Apple guys are saying "flattery" when you know damn well that if this was Samsung, much stronger language would be used.

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Holmes

The UI is a bit .. y'know ... camp

Just wondering if any of the design team are ... ahem married ..... can we say that these days?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The UI is a bit .. y'know ... camp

I think they must be, because on this occasion it's a case of not being "good with colours"

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Re: The UI is a bit .. y'know ... camp

>ahem married...

Well, yes, we can say "married". Some members of the design team might well be. Currently, we can talk about almost any pair of adults living in California as, potentially, being married... Next month? Depends on what the SCOTUS has to say on the challenge of the constitutionality of Proposition

Wait, wait... Oh, I geddit: you're making an allusion to ... y'know ... sexuality and associated stereotypes--semi-obliquely, by way of reference to marriage, and the apparently unmentionable fact that these things are "Designed... in California". Tsk tsk!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The UI is a bit .. y'know ... camp

Really?

If it was all brushed chrome and steel type textures and colours then that might well be a cue that the designer might have been a gay man. Don't know of any gay men who are "gay" when it comes to colour choices.

And I know a lot of gay men.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The UI is a bit .. y'know ... camp

Are you fourteen or something? You don't like the use of colour, so the design team must be gay?

I really despair of the commentors here sometimes.

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Re: The UI is a bit .. y'know ... camp

@AC 16;19 - need for a picture of a parrot slightly *bent to one side with a few feathers floating in a gust of wind.

* inclined

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The UI is a bit .. y'know ... camp

The IOS home screen looks like the LGBT flag. I think it's a valid point.

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Facepalm

So it is NOT just Microsoft...

... that have recruited colour-blind talentless designers and testers with 2 left feet where their hands should be.

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Those icons remind me of the original RiscOS icons on the Archimedes...

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Obey$DIR

Good call!

I think I know what to do with my weekend now; create a RiscOS theme for my phone, now to find some iconsprites!

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Anonymous Coward

People forget: Icons should be iconic!

One thing I think a lot of people who try to design user interfaces forget is that icons should be iconic - what they represent should be so immediately obvious that they need no explanation. If you have to put a tool-tip on an icon so people know what it is, you have failed.

The problem is that designers try to use icons to save screen real estate, and so we get the sort of "mystery meat" icons that you see in the picture, because there's only so much you can express in that small a picture, and not every concept has a sufficiently iconic representation.

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JC_
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Re: People forget: Icons should be iconic!

Everyone has to learn what an icon means; a 3.5" floppy disk means little to anyone under 20, yet people have learned that that's the button to click on to save, so even the most common ones require memorising.

Ask anyone who's done the UI for business software or anything complex. It's quite hard, if not impossible, to represent all concepts and tasks in a tiny square image.

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Re: People forget: Icons should be iconic!

In a touch UI aren't the icons at least partly there to provide a bigger 'thing' to prod with a finger? So to some extent being easily distiguishable from each other is as important, as people will soon learn what their function is?

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Re: People forget: Icons should be iconic!

"what they represent should be so immediately obvious that they need no explanation"

Agreed. I like the (now derided) skeuomorphism in the iOS5/6 icons. Having said that I've never understood why the Safari icon depicted a compass overlaid on a map of the world when I'm not actually travelling anywhere.

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Re: People forget: Icons should be iconic!

Found a 3.5" floppy in the back of a drawer the other day and showed it to my kids. OH! they said, THAT'S why the save icon is that weird little shape!

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Re: People forget: Icons should be iconic!

I'm not sure how a bunch of coloured bubbles represents 'Games'. Also, the new Settings icon looks like a floor drain cover.

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Facepalm

Re: People forget: Icons should be iconic!

You're circumnavigating the world .... wide web!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People forget: Icons should be iconic!- Settings icon looks like a floor drain cover

That's pretty good, in that case. It suggests you are about to descend into the nasty stuff.

(Though to me it looks like a retro car air vent).

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Re: People forget: Icons should be iconic!

However, it gets very tricky to design an iconic icon, especially when you remember that part of the goal seems to be to rid iOS of all vestiges of skeuomorphism. Think about it:

A piece of 35 mm film with sprocket holes is a pretty standard icon for a video app - but when did you last see an actual piece of film? (Does that icon "mean" anything to today's kids?)

A paper bag with string handles for a "store" app: What's a "shop"? And what do you need a bag for? (Don't we buy everything on-line, and a courier delivers it in a box to our front door.)

An envelope for e-mail - what's an envelope?

And what's that funny thing on the icon for my my e-reader app? It looks like a bunch of pieces of paper which are bound together along one edge - I have no idea what that is supposed to represent!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People forget: Icons should be iconic!

Which works perfectly well if the icon is representing something that exists in the physical world. But what would you use for Game Center? the concept doesn't exist in the real world.

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Re: People forget: Icons should be iconic!

"I've never understood why the Safari icon depicted a compass overlaid on a map of the world when I'm not actually travelling anywhere."

... And then when Nokia used a simplified compass icon for their Map application ( http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hLiYEZf4Ox0/TxhqHECjLwI/AAAAAAAAA4g/OOwlwtwg5X0/s1600/maps+icon.JPG ), one of the Tech Blog Superstars™ claimed that it was a bizarre and confusing choice, as a compass should mean "the web browser". (This despite Apple using the compass motif twice in the same context for two different functions: web and, er, compass)

Personally, I have always hated the use of the 3.5" floppy icon for "Save" (it's not as egregious as "Yes/No dialogs", but it's in the same list). It's confusing because in an interface, the icons are objects, and thus nouns; an object cannot be a verb. As soon as you start trying to convey an action using a static object you're distracting the user with stupid rebus puzzles.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'games don't exist in the real world'

No, adults and children most certainly had no fun ways of passing the time before computers were invented.

And there is definitely no enjoyment to be had in the modern world without the use some kind of electronic device to help us.

</sarcasm>

Duh.

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Designed by design

Nothing shouts "bad design" more than design that shouts.

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http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2002-09-24/

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Hello Helpdesk

Hi it's Tim here, I'd like to log a call please

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Yes Tim, Tim Cook the CEO

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Well nothing is wrong with my machine, but could you lock Jony Ive's machine into Black and White.

..

When do I need it done by? Well any time before he goes anywhere near IOS8.

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