Sunday, February 24, 2013

I want a new iOS look! ... NOT!

One thing we can say about the look of Apple's operating system on mobile device is consistency. The iPod, the iPhone and the iPad share the same look: iOS.

iOS gets updated regularly each year with new features and functionalities. But the interface hasn't change that much since the early versions.

Many reviewers and bloggers write on the fact that they want a new UI for iOS. The look and feel is getting old, boring and obsolete.
A new look may be cool, fun to explore and be better... But only for geeks!

Guys! Remember that you're not alone. The majority of users are not techno-geniuses...

By comparison, think about Microsoft Windows. With each new version, they made significant changes that made people burn their shirt on the street. Windows XP had a reign of over a decade. People, like my mom were used to it. When Windows Vista came out, nobody wanted to upgrade because it was too different. The same thing is happening with Windows 8 right now.

It has nothing to do with bugs, new features and stability: it's all about being able to use the device without having to re-learn everything. The new Windows version was so much better that it had a "Back to the Classic Mode" feature...

I have tons of things to do in my real life. Work, bills to pay, managing the house, car repairs, etc... So when I pickup the iPhone to make a call, I don't have the time nor the desire to figure out the new icon to do it...

A completely new UI is fun to explore if you have nothing else to do. That's a simple fact of busy people. It doesn't mean that subtle changes are not welcomed, on the contrary. But having a complete new look is an annoyance when you don't have time to spare on piece of glass and metal that helps you organize your day.

For example, move around your apps in different screens and folders. For a while, you will be annoyed by the new layout. Even if it's better than the previous one. It will take some time to get accustomed to it simply because your losing time searching for the right icon...

Are people too lazy to learn about all the functionalities? I would answer by saying that people are too busy to do it. It's much more fun to spend time watching a movie with my girlfriend than exploring the new OS, whatever device it runs on.

There are two kinds of people wanting a new UI:
- Geeks that make a living by reviewing the techno-sphere
- Lazy people that have a very dull life

Back to Windows 8... It took me a good 5 minutes to figure out how to shutdown the PC. That simple task annoyed me so much that I won't "upgrade" for a long time simply because I don't have time to spare on figuring how to handle the new UI. I am already overbooked with more important tasks like delivering the new software version in time.

Apple, keep it simple! The current UI may not be perfect, but it works. On the next iOS update, don't change the UI too much... Or at least, do like Microsoft and let us go back with the "Classic Mode".

Patrick Balleux