Apple has recently launched a set of UI kits – official graphic materials – on its iOS development website. Quite a big surprise for all those interested in User Interface. After all, some unofficial but high-quality kits already existed for a long time and they fully fulfilled graphic designers’ needs. So what’s exactly happened? And why Apple decided to introduce the new UI kits now?
In my opinion, the Apple’s UI kits launch was a clear signal that the Giant from Cupertino perceives the latest trends, such as charts or Instagram reduced design, not as a fad but rather as powerful and influential movements that will be dominating the UI branch in the next few years. And that Apple has to do something about it to stay on the cutting edge of the modern UI.
The rise of such UI trends is, of course, a bad scenario for Apple because they pose a threat to its own styles and guidelines. But does uploading the set of UI-focused files change anything? Can the concept originated in iOS 7 survive?
The new official Apple UI kit seems to be not enough to support the company’s perception of UI. I believe, more courageous actions are needed. For example, rebuilding the flagship iOS apps and more advanced promotion of the new development solutions. Or even giving the official permission for graphic designers to use some alternative styles, providing that they are consistent with the Apple’s guidelines (maybe there will be a need to reset the guidelines).
It can be argued that Apple has already done some significant changes. After all, the Apple Musicapp was rebuilt in the latest OS alternation to meet the new UI requirements. Blurred title backgrounds have been removed to make the design more minimalistic (and in fashion) and the eye-catching, strong, bold headlines were introduced (with a poster-like effect). But is it enough? Will the new style be able to attract a common user or an investor?
Material Design and Instagram Design are developing quickly and they are already replacing the iOS platform. Even though they have little in common with the space management, animations or screens transitions known from the iOS platform, they are just more visually attractive for both clients and users. And that’s a huge advantage over any guidelines or official UI kits provided by Apple.
Looking at the current state of iOS design, it seems that Apple’s apps face a kind of anarchy. The question is, whether it can be stopped. And whether Apple will finally do anything about it.
So… Dear Apple, the only thing I ask for, as an UI designer, is to create the guidelines for Humans, a new Human User Interface set of rules. The Human UI that is truly user-friendly, keeps up with the times and can challenge the new trends and movements in the UI branch.
Unless you change your attitude very soon, you can face a situation when only your own apps are created according to the rules you set and nobody cares about the blurred backgrounds anymore. Because you know what? The background will soon be simply white, with no transparency – as Google advises.