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Responding to iOS 7 (tapity.com)
88 points by jerols on June 26, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 21 comments

Nice. Quite a well written article. I am especially interested in how Tweetbot is going to adapt to the iOS 7 interface. I love to use it on iOS 6 but as the OP points out the interface is very "heavy" -- full of bevels, shadows, and gradients -- when compared to iOS 7.

Honestly, I think Tweetbot (and Tapbots' other products) are the greatest "heavy" UIs I've ever seen. They're basically the pinnacle of pre-7 iOS design, and I still think it's the most beautiful app on my phone.

My worry is that flat design will lead to less information density (because of the decreased emphasis on visual hierarchy and separation through 3D effects) and lead to a downgrade in functionality for some apps. Honestly, I wouldn't be bothered if Tweetbot stayed the same.

I'd go a step further and note that from iOS 2 through iOS 6, apps already have used a wide spectrum of affordances, from complete object metaphors (the "skeuomorphism" of apps like AmpKit), lots of abstract depth cues (Tapbots apps), and pure shape and color cues (Shift Apps' lovely calculator app Digits).

Given this pre-existing diversity, the apps that are really going to need to change or look out-of-date are the ones that made the most use of (or styled their custom controls most closely after) Apple's vanilla UIKit controls. I don't foresee apps that take their own approach to UI (such as TweetBot, AmpKit, or Digits) having to change much; in fact, I really hope their designers can see beyond the march of fashion and don't abandon certain types of interaction cues purely because Apple has.

The thing to remember is that "flat versus skeuomorphic" is a false dichotomy – style is a tool, not an end product.

A good example of flat design in an app is Propellerheads' Figure.


If all flat design apps are like that, things won't be too bad.

Interestingly, their other iOS apps are totally the opposite, and are pinnacles of skeumorphic design:



Thor for iPad is a great case study, but I'd say it's actually a fine example of how the entire "flat versus skeuomorphic" debate has ultimately been misguided: The app utilizes a broad spectrum of digital UI affordance to great effect, from literal object metaphor ("this is a synth; it has knobs that do exactly what synth knobs do") to abstract color and shape cues ("these controls aren't part of the synth but have auxiliary control over it and your project").

This layering of design language creates a useful divide between areas of functionality that can't be achieved when you're limited to "flat or skeuomorphic" as a binary choice.

ReBirth already existed in 1996, when Window 3.11 was still a common thing to have. So it was kinda one of the really early skeumorphic UIs

Figure is flat but it is still skeumorphic. They are not opposites.

What is it supposed to resemble?

I have to agree 100% on the Tweetbot aspect. By far one of my favorite looking apps on my iPhone and iPad. Even the OSX version is very nice.

> “My worry is that flat design will lead to less information density”

That seems like a very silly worry, given that visually rich design is demonstrably worse for information density, whereas “flat” design is demonstrably better for it.

Your argument of “decreased emphasis on visual hierarchy” has the design principles entirely backwards, especially when you look at apps like Tweetbot vs. iOS 7’s visual aesthetic. Whatever density is reduced in iOS 7 has nothing to do with its flatness, but all to do with the designers’ conscious decision to give UI elements more breathing space. But I can point you to dozens of iOS 7 examples that are more information dense now than in iOS 6, and the main reason for this is the flatter, simpler aesthetic requiring less whitespace to make information identifiable.

Agreed. I think they will adapt in their own way and create a pleasant style just like they did for iOS 6 and below.

Thanks for all the support guys! Never had this many concurrent users... now I know what its like to be on the HN home page.

I am trying to resolve all the server issues. It should be mostly working now.

This is echoing our experience. I think there's going to be some serve overuse of UIDynamics but hopefully that will eventually be refined in.

I think the people without the taste to use it properly are of the type to not understand the physics involved and therefore wouldn't be able to use it properly.

I'm not saying it won't be used wrongly, just look at [Write](https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/write-for-dropbox-beautiful/...) for an example of a place where this'll be overdone to shit. But many of the UX people who intend to use dynamics stuff have probably had these ideas in their head or sketched out for quite a while.

I'm really sorry for the site errors. It was down for about 2 hours. Never had to deal with so much traffic before and my host shut it down. Should be back up for everyone now.

It's just funny seeing how everybody now claims that removing visual noise is making a better experience for users. How come nobody had that insight before apple changed the design?

No, the flat (anti-skeuomorphic) trend started well before Apple joined the party.

I am aware of that. Apparently iOS developers are just now finding it out.

I really like your new design!

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