Love It or Hate It, iOS 7 Makes Mobile App Design Exciting

When something is designed to work beautifully, it tends to look that way, too. Nothing we’ve ever created has been designed just to look beautiful. That’s approaching the opportunity from the wrong end. Instead, as we reconsidered iOS, our purpose was to create an experience that was simpler, more useful, and more enjoyable — while building on the things people love about iOS. Ultimately, redesigning the way it works led us to redesign the way it looks. Because good design is design that’s in service of the experience.”   – Apple.com

By their very nature, designers will have a variety of opinions on what “beautiful” design is.  While there are many who interpret “beautiful” to describe the positive character or essence of something, for most of us it’s the visual medium that first connects us to an object; and therefore, it’s natural to root the interpretation of “beauty” in visual aesthetics.  Which is why the first wave of articles debating iOS 7 focused primarily on its visual design, rather than how it functions, as pointed out by my co-worker in a recent Interapt blog post.  And plenty of these articles are either not impressed or they verge on being outright disgusted with its design.

But as most smartphone owners know, the way something looks on a screen is only loosely connected to its utility in the world of mobile design.  Like Apple, I continue to focus Interapt’s design philosophy on a simple and easy user experience. The user is always the goal, and this is the approach to design that will naturally develop the best design elements found in our apps. And there’s always room to improve and innovate, especially when our canvas itself (of all mobile phones, across multiple platforms and ecosystems) is constantly changing.  To that end, these days in the Interapt office are exciting for the creative-minded (which, frankly, we all are) and working hard doesn’t feel like a chore for us, because we almost literally “see the future” when we’re testing new iOS 7 features, updating current designs, and improving the User Experience for our future apps and updated app versions.

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