On Apple Design in 2014

Dave Wiskus, writing for Macworld, posits which ways Apple’s design wind will blow this year:

As it stands now, iOS 7 is a series of solvable problems. The things you could label as deficiencies are mostly a result of that swinging pendulum—an overcorrection of skeuomorphism. So what comes next is most likely balance and refinement. Buttons might not need to look like they’re being physically pressed if you tap them, but some feedback is useful. Text-label buttons (such as Send in Messages) don’t need to be visually heavy, but it’s generally better to give users a sense of tap target size.

[…]

2013 was the year Apple’s hardware and software began to blur together. We’ve seen the first grand steps of a company with a common vision for design. What makes the last year so interesting isn’t the degree to which things changed, but how quickly those changes took place. Apple’s usual track of pushing ever forward with gradual changes—reinventing products slowly, with precision and consideration—gave way to a single leap that may not be fully understood or realized for some time. The Mac will keep on being the Mac and the iPhone will keep on being the iPhone. But I bet they’ll look great together.

I’ve railed too often against iOS 7, in print and on my podcast. Suffice it to say, though, that I agree wholeheartedly with Wiskus that iOS 7’s design pendulum swung too far the other way, to the point of overcorrection. That said, I’m very excited to see what Apple does with iOS 8 in terms of balancing the excesses. As for OS X, I think a refresh would be nice, if only to bring about a sense of unity between Apple’s OSes, but I also feel that they need not look like twins. In other words, I think iOS and the Mac can have similar design features but still remain unique unto themselves.