Jony Ive’s iOS 7 Interface Design For Apple: Redux

So, from my previous post lambasting Jony Ive’s work product rendering iOS 7, I received a similar query from several friends who are graphic designers in which they sought a very good answer:

If, using my architectural references, Ive failed by utilizing the two most obnoxious aspects of modernism…

One, the reduction of detail to the extreme such that all that’s left is the rhetorical and boring white box…

Tsai Residence Modern Architecture


Two, the reduced modernist box raped by inauspicious elemental ornamentation (aka, “Mies van der Rohe design abused by Liberace decoration”)…

Safari 5 copy

Then, what is the example of good modernism to which Ive should have strived?

The answer is, THIS…

Detail_Texture_Clarity_Maturity_Sophistication_Good Simple Modern Design

Detail. Texture. Clarity. Maturity. Sophistication. Simple. Modern. Design.

The point is that, if this…

Safari 5 copy

…is to this…

Safari 4

And, this…

Tsai Residence Modern Architecture

…is to this…


and this…


and this…

Safari 5

Then, the good modernism of this…

Detail_Texture_Clarity_Maturity_Sophistication_Good Simple Modern Design

…would have produced better icons such as (sourced from various designers on the internet disparaging Ive’s childish and boring work)…












And “Notes” app would look like this…

NOTES alternative format

But, instead we have the memory of Steve Jobs doing this…

Job's Reaction to iOS 7

Because Jony Ive rendered this…

Jony Ive Initial Rendering.PNG

Of the entire lot of icons on the home screen, Ive and team only improved two: “Photos” and “Games:”



3 responses to “Jony Ive’s iOS 7 Interface Design For Apple: Redux

  • KairosM

    Totally agree. I was going to upgrade soon to a new phone, but now…. not so much. Jobs must be rolling…

  • ginzuknives (@ginzuknives)

    it’s a work in progress. apple said so. don’t you have aesthetically unattractive puppies to kick or something? 😉

    • Coronare Modestus Faust

      “it’s a work in progress. apple said so. don’t you have aesthetically unattractive puppies to kick or something? ”

      Of course, we do, but the problem is that after a bit, they get used to the pain and don’t yelp : )

      What’s the fun in that?

      I know, I know…give Ive a break, right? But you see, when you’re a high profile company and designer (artist), this is what you get. If this was the Blackberry X10, would anyone even care? Not really. But, it’s Apple…known for design. And that’s their reason — along with smooth running technology — to be able to demand the excess profits through high prices. They need to hear this kind of feedback because they have a huge amount at stake, and one misstep can cost billions.

      I was at Best Buy the other day and really observing and interacting with the Galaxy s4 and the HTC One. Gotta say, I think that Samsung technology now trumps Apple (they need to step it up quickly), and I think the HTC One design trumps Apple and is fantastic, along with having superb audio capabilities over Apple with “beats audio.” By now, Apple should’ve partnered with Bang & Olufsen to bring the audio quality up to par with their image and price, at least with Apple’s top-of-the-line iPhone.

      It’s not like I’m not an Apple fan boy: We have every iteration of iPhone (two of each — all of which we still use, past models work as iTune Remotes and are displayed to show the music cover artwork throughout the home), AppleTV, the newest iMac desktop and the iMac desktop before that one which is now in our home office, two aluminum MacBook Pros, and two iPad Minis, plus four iterations of the classic iPod and two of the iPod Nano, plus Airport Extreme and Airport Express. Stuck away, we also have three Apple Newtons and three Macintosh computers. So that’s over $15k in their equipment plus, out of a collection of about 38,000 songs, about 10,000 songs purchased through iTunes…which brings us to over $25k spent with Apple. I’ve earned the right to bitch when they don’t meet my expectations… : )

      And they still penalize me and won’t let me join “Match” to store my music in the Cloud because I have too many songs not purchased from them (anything over 25,000 songs purchased from other vendors and no Match for you!).

      I’ve been reading a lot of graphic design reviews of the preview iOS7, and they are all pretty much the same: wanting to cut their golden boy Ive some slack, acknowledging it’s a work in progress, drooling over “parallax” affect, but in the end saying that, yes, they must admit as design professionals there are a lot of design flaws that are very basic and should have been caught by Ive before introducing even the developers’ copy, though they have enough months to correct.

      So we’ll see. I think I’m so obsessed with it because I was so hyped that Ive was put in charge of human interface and had such high aspirations for what he would create, that it would be extremely modern and ground breaking. And…it’s just not. Even if I liked the look — which I abhor — it’s just well short of what were my expectations and not modern design that others haven’t been doing and doing better.

      I’ve been feeling like that with the basic industrial design language Ive has done for Apple lately. It’s a one trick pony show applied to all platforms, whether desktop, laptop, pad, or phone…the notable exception is the new and to-come Mac Pro desktop…that’s groundbreaking industrial design. I have the same criticism with Audi right now…same design language (almost identical) applied to each car platform and size. After a while, it’s just boring. B&O went through this phase but are now bringing out some great new designs with a new language applied uniquely to the various products.

      Have a great Fourth!

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