Last Monday, we reported that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) let go of two of their key executives, Scott Forstall and John Browett. According to the New York Times, this huge change could mean some future design changes for Apple, especially since design guru Jonathan Ive was promoted.
Ive has been responsible for Apple’s overall aesthetic and was the visionnaire behind the modern and minimalistic look of the products. Ive has also made it no secret that he’s not a fan of Apple’s current software look, which often mimicks the appearance real life materials, such as linen or wood in the background.
Associate professor/chairman of interactive design studies at the University of Washington, Axel Roesler has high expectations for Ive. He said, “Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), as a design leader, is not only capable of doing this, they have a responsibility for doing it. People expect great things from them.”
Apple’s software design is often critiqued by many people who think the textures and designs are more kitschy than modern. One former Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) designer, Bill Flora, said, “I have found their hardware to be amazing and sophisticated, and I have found their software to be kind of old school. Their approach really wasn’t what I was taught as a designer in design school.”
It is important that some of their use of metaphors (i.e. software design references to physical things) sometimes proves to be useful. For instance, the trash bin for storing deleted files and the paper shredder feature for safely deleting old payment cards and their sensitive information both make sense, as these items would serve s similar function in real life.
Some of the metaphors used are a little outdated and confusing for younger generations. Such examples of this include the reel tape machine featured in the Podcast application.
Sadly, we don’t know more of the details of if, and when, this will happen. One source close to Ive, who also works for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had this to say about what he predicts, “You can be sure that the next generation of iOS and OS X will have Jony’s industrial design aesthetic all over them. Clean edges, flat surfaces will likely replace the textures that are all over the place right now.”