10 Things Designers Need to Know About iOS7

Very helpful article for interface designers from creativebloq.com:

Sample iOS suggestions for screens

Apple has revealed a radical new vision for iOS – but what does this mean for designers? Sam Hampton-Smith delves into the official guidelines to find out…

Apple has long been criticised for the slightly haphazard approach it’s taken to the user interface design of its apps, and the iOS platform in general. Some apps have featured heavily skeuomorphic design, while others have been purely functional with little or no design flourish.

Yesterday, though, that all changed. At its annual developers conference, WWDC, Apple introduced an all-new design language for iOS 7, eschewing the pseudo-3D patent-leather, wood and felt in favour of a clean approach that’s typography-led and heavily (although not exclusively) influenced by flat design.

This shift in approach is a game changer to designers responsible for crafting iOS app interfaces. So what changes to iOS are most relevant to designers, and how does Apple’s change in thinking affect what it now looks for in iOS app interfaces?

We’ve scoured Apple’s Transition Guide and picked out the 10 most important considerations for designers. Read on to find out what you need to know about iOS 7 and how it will necessitate changes to the way you present your content.

01. Navigation elements are translucent

Nav bars, tab bars, tool bars and more are now see-through

One of the most important changes in iOS 7 for interface designers is the introduction of transparency and translucency.

The status bar is now transparent, while navigation bars, tab bars, tool bars and other user controls have adopted translucency. Consequently, your app content now needs to be discernible through translucent user interface elements.

You’ll also need to take account of the all-new control centre, which allows quick access to common functions on the device (such as turning on bluetooth, or adjusting the screen brightness). This modal view appears over the top of the current app or homescreen, using a translucent effect to continue hinting at what lies beneath.

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Nicely done beginner’s guide to iOS design

iPad and iPhone diagram

iPad and iPhone in portrait and landscape viewsBy Ben Taylor from taybenlor.com

As someone who does work on both the development and design side of iOS apps I find that many designers struggle with the transition to UI work, or with the different processes involved in iPhone and iPad app design. In this guide I’ll describe the deliverables you’ll be expected to produce, outline the constraints of the medium and introduce fundamental iOS and UI design concepts.

The Medium

Knowing your medium and its quirks is an important part of being a good designer. I’m sure you’ve been witness to large print-outs with horrible pixelation artefacts – the result of misunderstanding print media. Similarly misunderstanding the role of pixels on screen can result in blurry, squished, or pixellated designs.

iOS devices come in two main form factors, the iPhone and the iPad. (For simplicity I’ll be leaving the iPod Touch range out. In almost all cases it can be treated like an iPhone, so let’s ignore it for now.) While this seems quite simple on the surface the iPhone 5, the iPad mini and Retina screens have added a bit of complexity. The most important difference is between the devices that have Retina screens and those that don’t. A Retina screen shows an incredible level of detail which makes good design look even better. Unfortunately it also makes certain mistakes much more obvious.

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