Jony Ive Spearheads Minimalist Design Overhaul For iOS

Ever since Scott Forstall was dumped from Apple over the Maps debacle and Jony Ive took over the “human interface design” section of iOS, many believed that this signalled the beginning of a change in the direction of Apple’s mobile operating system, which has remained largely the same (in terms of user interface at least) since the debut of the original iPhone in 2007. The familiar grid of icons and “one-at-a-time” app usage has become standard, and some would say now, dated.

If there ever was a designer who could lead iOS in to a new era, it’s Jony Ive with his minimalist designs. We are starting to see evidence of Ive’s fingerprints on some of the recent updates to Apple’s own iOS apps. The first one I noticed were subtle changes in the Music app, which now sports a more minimalist design with grey controls that are easier to use. The previous controls were close together, and thus it was easy to hit the wrong control. Now they are quite separate, making full use of the width of the screen. If anything, Ive not only infuses great minimalist design in to his work, but also practicality.

The much maligned Podcasts app got an overhaul in the past week. Aside from standout features such as the ability to create playlists, I was taken with the more elegant controls that have replaced the corny, magnetic tape deck controls that were in the previous version. Coupled with some speed improvements and some nice little design tweaks (such as the refresh button on the home page which was curiously absent in previous versions), Podcasts is now a much easier and intuitive app to use.

The real impact of Ive’s influence will be the arrival of iOS 7 later this year. Apple, through Ive, has an excellent opportunity to completely overhaul their aging mobile operating system and create something truly special that will stand out from the crowd again. Let’s hope it all comes to pass!

Jony Ive Spearheads Minimalist Design Overhaul For iOS


Image Credits: [Macworld Australia] [The Technolon]