I could have designed all the iOS 7 stock app icons in 5 days

The title is meant to be alluring—sensationalist, maybe—but not altogether untrue.

I am not a team. I am one person. Many other single persons out there could also have designed better app icons in less than one week. Many already have in the last week, as if in defiance of the less-than-stellar visual design of the app icons.

I am not a huge “skeuomorphic” design fan, I do not even like saying that word or typing it, and I never know if I spelled it correctly. Neither am I a huge “flat” design fan. (flat design is re-branded Swiss-Style, and skeuomorphic is grunge) Much design is an appropriate amount of both types of design…some projects leaning one way and some projects leaning the other.

Of all the things to not fail on—Apple virtually always nails the visual design. A few app icons, front and center on the iOS mobile operating system, and Apple produces a hard visual fail. Even the numbers on the clock icon look rough!

As if the icons were designed by this mail-room employee named Mr. Marketing Research.

I do not think Apple will change the design of the app icons, which is a switch from my original opinion. The homescreen is all over Apple’s newest marketing materials. What you see is what you are going to get…hopefully a bit of refinement, but most people will not even notice the changes to icons and other UI aspects as iOS 7 goes from beta to GM.

all this flat vs skeuomorphic debate reminds me of a spec. art piece and bit of mash-up writing I did 6 years ago…yea, six years ago.

Let us make Surrealism and Web 2.0 get along with each other. Swiss Style simple, but what is wrong with visual richness? OK, dumb it down visually if I am paying my bills. Web 2.0 is about interaction, & not about lowest-common-denominator visual design techniques.

Surrealism, n. Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.


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This article has 5 comments

  1. Don108 Reply

    “I could have designed all the iOS 7 stock app icons in 5 days.”

    But you didn’t.

  2. ViewRoyal Reply

    Good one, Don108.

    Everyone and their dog seem to be coming out saying that they could have designed iOS 7 better than Jon Ive and his team did.

    Some people show their own icon designs that are less readable, at the expense of being more complex designs than the ones Apple introduced.

    As a graphic designer with over 30 years experience, my take is that the new design of iOS 7 is excellent, and a huge improvement over the design that has been with us since the first iPhone in 2007.

    Some people have a tendency to hate change. And Apple has always introduced hardware and software designs that were a change from the previous incarnations… and they have always been controversial.

    Think back to when the first iPhone and iPhone OS was introduced in 2007. Many people were calling it a “toy”, and not a serious smartphone like Blackberry. Many people hated it, and even laughed at it (we’re looking at you, Steve Ballmer ;-).

    More recently, the new Mac Pro introduced at the same time as the new iOS 7, has been criticized for its design too.

    We can ignore the negative comments from the fandroids and other Apple-haters, because in their eyes, everything related to Apple is “bad”.

    Some people react negatively to change because it takes them out of their comfort zone, which they enjoyed with a previous version. Others welcome change, especially when (as Apple has done) it is a change for the better.

    One thing that is sure, is that iOS7 has generated a huge amount of controversy… just like the original Mac and Mac OS, just like the first version of OS X, just like the first version of iPhone OS.

    With a track record like that, it is a sign that Apple has again shaken the status quo, and has again designed a product that exceeds anything that came before it.

  3. dougit Reply

    so far we have the typical type of non-responses…

    1. The “but-you-didn’t” response, and

    2. The “you are resistant to change” response.

    My response:

    1. I do not work for Apple, and they did not ask me to.

    2. Hardly the case, this old dog is still learning more and new tricks at a faster rate than pups 20 years younger than him…

  4. Anonymous Reply

    Ooooooooh don108 and viewroyal you just got buuuuurrrrrrrned!!!!!!!!! Whoohoo

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