My epiphany… iOS 7 app design is not about “flat design”; it is about motion, combined with well-known touch gestures.
I am not a designer. Like many people I have an eye for good design, as in, I know a good design when I see it. Because I have to “see” what I like before I know what I like, I must experience apps in action.
Axiom of iOS 7 design: Gestures drive motion, and motion inspires delight. Motion also provides hints for exploring more of the app.
Because the iOS 7 graphic design is flat, or near flat, there isn’t much need to spend a bunch of time on chrome. iOS 7 does not want chrome, in fact it deplores chrome. What are designers to do?
Think “motion”. Understand that every design element can move on the screen smoothly and with real motion properties based on physics. Get to know your coders better because they are the ones who will make or break your design, not how well you can use Photoshop. I believe the less time you spend in front of Photoshop and the more time you spend talking with your developers about UIKit animations and dynamics the better an iOS app you will design.
I understand this it is hard for graphic designers to accept, turning so much control over to a software developer. Understand that developers find themselves in a situation where they not only have to actually get the app to function properly, they are now key to the success of implementing your vision of the app.
What has triggered my epiphany and why so after almost a year of iOS 7? Remember, I am not a designer. I am a business owner from a software engineering background. I do not have time to download and play with many apps. Instead, I am introduced to apps through networking with other business owners and potential clients. Here are two apps that are driving my thoughts on design:
TweetBot for iOS - Yes, I know that I’m behind the times on this app, but it struck me as a simple design that captivated me with it’s motion.
Hotel Tonight - This is also a very simple app that just blew me away! The graphic design is so minimal, but the motion combined with simple touch gestures is wonderful.
I am sure there are plenty more app with minimal chrome and fantastic motion out there in the wild. I hope to find more of them.