iOS 7 First Impression: Consistency and ZUI

“Are you watching closely?”

The Buzz

iOS 7 announced. Everybody is talking about it. Some claim they love it, others hate. And there are always people out there crying out around the concepts of confusion, disappointment, and innovation. Are you watching closely?

Disappointing UI Style?

Some people just don’t like it. Fair enough.

The existing style was fresh and new, shiny and cool. Apple has to offer something visually fresh after quite a few years.

But if we just think about being fresh and cool, we may be missing the point.

Styles and fashions come and go. Keeping fresh and cool is a short term goal.

What’s deep and behind is the consistency of the style, the visual elements, and the signifiers/affordance. That is the long term goal.

You always want to, ideally, meet the long term goal while meeting the short one.

And here’s my observation:

Apple seems to have been working really hard to improve the overall consistency of the new iOS 7. I believe they’ve done a very good job.

Thus, first and foremost, Apple meets their long term goal — a much more consistent UI style. As to whether you like it or not — you’ll just have to live with it, and maybe someday you’ll start to like it.

No Innovations?

Apple probably “borrows” quite a few ideas from competitors. And of course, everything in iOS 7 is familiar to us.

We can, of course, talk about Apple’s innovation (or lack thereof) like Seth MacFarlane talks about movie stars’ boobs. But we shouldn’t expect disruptive innovations just because Apple did it a few time previously.

Apple is doing incremental innovations and they’re doing it really well. Why?

My observation:

Apple seems to have been working really hard to apply ZUI further, which results in even better expectations, interactions, and experiences. And it seems they’ve done a very good job.

And of course, again, that’s a long term goal well met.

Conclusion

I’m not going to dive deeper into the specifics and the details — look at it, try it, use it, during a long period of time, and you’ll know what I mean by consistency and deep ZUI application. I just happen to like what I see in iOS 7 — with good reasons.

Disappointing new styles, no innovations? Think again. Apple might be better than you think.

Are you watching closely?

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