'If iOS 8 Can't Remove Any of These Options, It's a Design Failure'

Marco Arment, in response to my piece on iOS 7.1’s “Button Shapes” toggle:

[T]he need for Button Shapes, Bold Text, Increase Contrast, On/Off Labels, and Reduce Motion shows significant flaws in iOS 7’s design. (At least the ultra-thin fonts in beta 1 didn’t ship.)

Exactly. This is what I’ve been lamenting all along regarding iOS 7’s design.

As Marco says, good design is about striking a balance, but I truly believe Apple threw the baby out with the bath water in transitioning from iOS 6 to 7. While I’ve heard tidbits from a few well-placed birdies who suggest otherwise, I still am of the opinion that iOS 7 was designed, overall, without much consideration given to how the UI changes would affect visually impaired users. Of course the normal-sighted are affected too, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s users like myself who have the most to lose from such a radical visual overhaul. For all the jokes cracked about dumping skeuomorphism and the flowery talk of “clarity” and “deference”, that even a few users expressed their desire to downgrade to 61 should be alarming to Apple. More to the point, I think it’s important to remember that iOS’s Accessibility features, however broad and well done they are, will never be able to compensate fully for the inherent problems with the interface’s design. In other words, these options can only go so far; they’re not always the solution.


  1. Scroll down to the end, and read the comments following my article.  ↩