I used to run a website called CrapPackaging.com because there are so many things out there that are stunningly badly packaged. I was all set to launch back into the horrors of blister packs and screw tops that are welded to the bottle, when I got a shock from a completely unexpected packaging source.
Some of you may know that I’m what’s widely referred to as an Apple fan boy. I don’t buy everything they produce, but I’ve done my fair share of propping up their company profits. I like Apple hardware and software, design is a cornerstone of their products. As Steve Jobs once said
Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
So, the preview of iOS 7 came as a bit of a shock. Well, lets not beat about the bush – I nearly cried. In fact, I suspect Mr Jobs was probably wincing as the new lock screen for the iPhone was announced.
It’s monochrome, apart from the tacky green battery gauge. Why it’s singled out for such abuse when the WiFi and cell signal strength meter remain white, I don’t know. I’ve also no clue why the cell signal strength has been turned into dots that take up more space in an area of the screen that’s already short of space.
Gone are tha dimmed bands across the top and bottom of the display that made the date and time readable.
Gone is the “slide to unlock” slider and its patiently obvious arrow. In it’s place there is now a line of text and an arrow at the top and bottom of the screen, both of which point orthogonally to the actual direction you slide the slider (the one that isn’t there). Meanwhile there is text there with it’s sweeping searchlight, but it’s not obvious to me where I’m supposed to slide that text to unlock the phone.
I would harp on about the thinner font, but maybe the slight increase in text size makes that a better compromise, at least if you’ve 20/20 vision.
I know I’d be able to use this interface after a while. I’d adjust. Me. I would change my habits to meet the requirements of the device. Somehow, that’s not a product from the company I’ve loved for the past twenty years.
So, does the screen appeal to you? Am I a Luddite? Or should I get with the 21st century and put up with these changes like a good fanboy?