Forget Icons, It's How Apps Work That Matters

Much of the discussion of iOS 7  has been little more than criticism of the icon design. As Gartner analyst Brian Prentice points out, for developers the appearance of individual elements matters far less than the overall app experience.  

As Prentice notes, changes in the surface appearance of the built-in iOS apps aren't matched with fundamental experience changes:

When I search for clues in Apple’s own apps, the feeling I get is that the upholstery on the furniture has changed, but the room’s purpose and layout is the same as it always was. Adding depth as a new dimension to app design seems to me to have profound long term potential. But if it’s primarily demonstrated at the top level of the operating system by floating icons above your wallpaper, then we have something which will rapidly descend into ho-hum ornamentation. 

It's not purely an Apple issue — Microsoft faces similar challenges with its Modern interface. The whole post is worth a read

The Post-Apple WWDC Icon Obsession Belies An Appreciation of UX Design  [Gartner]


    "...the upholstery on the furniture has changed, but the room’s purpose and layout is the same as it always was."

    Yes, thank you. I appreciate the differentiation of marketing spin from user-driven critique. Personally, I care very little about the icons beyond easy discoverability.

      Let's face it, some people just can't survive without something to whinge about or without putting someone down. Unfortunate side effect of social media and everybody having a voice.

    Link to article is currently broken....

    There's actually a very good reason for all the discussion on IOS7's design. There's very little new about IOS7 other than the design. Even Apple's IOS7 website and videos focus more on the design than the functionality, just look at

      Exactly. The whole update revolved around design changes, so it's a bit obtuse to then try to turn around and say 'why are you all complaining about the design?'.

    I just think it's weird that people are complaining about how the icons look.

    We really seem to be in an age of whinging!

    (I know the irony of this comment)

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now