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Will app developers have to redesign their apps for iOS7?

Neil Bennett | June 13, 2013
Three leading app designers from Brandwidth, ustwo and Zolmo tell us what iOS7 means for their current future apps.

Launched last night to much fanfare, Apple's forthcoming iOS 7 for its iPhone and iPad mobile devices sees a radical departure from the interface conventions of previous versions of the platform. Gone are the heavy borders and chunky type in favour of an elegant fragility, simple iconography over pastel gradients and Helvetica Neue Ultra Light.

So does this mean that app developers are going to have to redesign their current app offerings to match iOS 7 - and how will the new iOS affect the design of future apps? We sat down with Brandwidth's Dean Johnson, ustwo's Shaun Tollerton and Zolmo's Ian Wharton to gauge their reactions.

DA: Overall, what do you make of iOS 7's design?
"It's a great piece of work, not entirely without flaws - but then what is? The monochrome elements are the most successful and add light line-weights and subtle transparency to good effect. Layered content makes a welcome comeback as the much heralded 'flat' redesign actually gave us depth.

"The introduction of Helvetica Neue Ultra Light as the system font just wouldn't work without a Retina screen so this will be a challenge on the current iPad Mini." Dean Johnson, vice president, Brandwidth Innovation Lab

"It's a welcome and exciting departure from the previous iOS style. However, I'm not a fan of the iconography at all." Shaun Tollerton, visual designer, ustwo

"In the iOS 7 video, Jony Ive said 'I think there is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity'. By following that principle, Apple's physical product design is the most premium and inspiring in the world. It is influential and commands reverence.

"In its current form, I see little design that is profound or will endure in iOS7. Outside the finite world of interactive design however, it will be an attractive change." Ian Wharton, partner, Zolmo

DA: It seems a lot cleaner and more cheerful. Is this a good thing?
"We'll all spend hours playing with the simulated 3D effect on the home screen, and it's touches like this that make the quality time with our Apple kit even more rewarding. The full set of new Apple icons are less successful and would benefit from more consistency - and less exploration of the extremes of the RGB palette.

"I'm not a fan of the pinks, greens and blues or the camera icon. The colours might seem cheerful but they'll clash with most background images." DJ

"The UI looks and feels very precise and sharp, which helps create a clear and functional experience. A lot of the magic lives in the fluid animations, such as zooming in and out of apps when opening and closing them and the parallax effect on the home screen." ST


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