To start this article, I must say that iOS7 is a peice of art. It's looks seem a bit hit or miss depending on where you stand on design, but arguably, it has major reprecussions as the new iteration of iOS.

So, if it is artsy, why does it deserve the target on its back? While this list is not all inclusive, this is a start to why Apple's design falls far short.

  1. Tradition

    There is something to be argued about moving on to something new, but at the same time, Apple has been working on it's style guide for years. It has literally changed the face of UI/UX across the board (even up in the nether realms of Washington state). It's a unified look an feel that gives comfort and aids usability. But it also gives way gracefully for feature changes. The style guide should be modified not replaced or in this case, seemingly thrown away.

  2. Usability

    Apple is known as the most approachable UI design company. They played a fine line from playful and professional. It worked just as well in the boardroom as it did in the classroom (and it still did alright in the design room too). Was it anything to brag home about for the day to day user? But the visual cues and design were that: visual cues as to where you are, what you can do, etc!

  3. Change isn't a bad thing

    By making a comment against ios7, criticism is somehow lumped in a pile of people who wanted fake leather in contacts and felt in Game Center. Or by saying that the fonts are hard to read means that I apparently think that the thick drop shadow on text is super hip. Or by saying that the translucency is hard to read, I apparently mean that I wouldn't want the control center, multitasking, or the new notification center. To lump functionality changes complaints with design changes is a poor mistake.

  4. Skumorphism isn't actually gone

    One of the biggest news lines was to say that skumorphism is gone. No terrible felt. Is it that big of a change if Game Center retains a green background? We got rid of the visual puns, but we added 3d backgrounds and translucency to deceive you into thinking the operating system has depth?

  5. It's not about the edge cases!

    I was a staunch windows and android user until 3 years ago. But the usability design and stability made me gravitate to Apple. While I'm not afraid to comment on where I think that Apple goes wrong, I am extremely attached to their product line (I do have 2 Mac Book Pros, an iMac, iPad mini, and an iPhone). You see, android had the flat ui modern flash even back then. But it wasn't readable! The usability was lacking and while some of that was the software's fault a lot of it was also the design. Like I said before, it want flashy, but it was stable and comfortable.

  6. ##Accessibility This pulls back in the tradition category a bit. In case you were sleeping the last 20 years, you may not have realized that Apple succeeded in saturating the education market because it was easy to use with little instruction. On top of this, Apple products have been the industry leader for accessibility in terms of handicapped users: from blind or deaf users to lower visibility users, apple was know for its features to support these accessibility groups! But these accessibility features also trickled down to making the products easier to use for everyone! Drop shadows for low visibility made it easier to see prompts in high glare situations, voice commands for blind users turned to Siri and dictation, etc.

It seems that Apple at least for now has foregone the core of its users and history for the people who are likely still going to change to android. But in doing so, they have also let the back door out and old dogs like myself are smelling what the neighbors such as Canonical are cooking (if Ubuntu Phone was stable, it may be the perfect storm). In finding a few strays, they may lose the litter.

So for Apple I have a word: give us an updated style guide not a bunch of waterfall styles that windows and android are now straying away from… Keep the new features but implement it in the old style. Update the old and put a new spin on it. Get rid of the ridiculous colors, stay in the neutral range. Neon might fly in Vegas, San Francisco, and Miami: but there is the rest of the world to cater to…