‘On iOS 11 Design’

Smart, as usual, insights from iMore’s Rene Ritchie. The lede is great:

By embracing rather than running from the affordances of the past, iOS 11 makes iPhone and iPad not just more legible but more comfortable.

As I tweeted yesterday, I’ve thought about writing a story on iOS 11’s design, but Rene beat me to it. He says pretty much everything I would’ve in my own article.

In using the iOS 11 public beta, a thought that’s persisted in my mind is just how close the OS is, design-wise, to iOS 6. That is to say, where iOS 7 threw the baby out with the bath water in many respects—buttons are a prime example—Apple’s design team seems to have revisited some of the affordances of the “classic” iOS look. To me, iOS 11 takes the best of the old way (e.g., buttons) and updates them with modern sensibilities so as to fit the current style. It does look good, but more importantly, iOS 11 is much improved functionally in terms of visual accessibility. I’ve long maintained that, despite the heavy handedness with faux textures and the like, the Forstall-era iOS design did many things well for accessibility. I think this has gone largely under-appreciated, but again, it sure seems like Apple is moving the needle closer to where the old design excelled.