What Apps Would Look Like Under Sir Jony Ive

Posted in iOS, Miscellaneous on 05/11/2012 by Henry Taylor-Gill


With the significant reshuffle at Apple, Sir Jony Ive is now in charge of iOS design, and it is well known that his view is very different to that of Scott Forstall, his predecessor. So Cult of Mac reader and concept designer Adrian decided to imagine what a Sir Jony Ive designed app would look like, and the answer according to this is pretty cool. Click for full size.

Sir Jony Ive would certainly get rid of the skeuomorphic approach that Forstall took to create a much simpler, more modern feel and that’s well illustrated above.


The idea behind my Crystal Interface concept came from trying to find a balance between skeuomorphism-heavy iOS apps and the more digital metro UI on Windows Phone. The challenge was finding a way for the platform to evolve without making drastic changes, because it needed to remain familiar to the huge iOS user base.

After exploring some options, I decided that the Windows Phone Metro UI is too far on the digital end and the apps feel cold and lifeless. Although, I believe a balance between the two directions may be possible. Apple needs to focus on the content and let hardware fade away into the background, and the same needs to happen for the UI.

Expect iOS 7 to be much more like how Apple’s products themselves are designed. I can’t wait!

  • Bobby

    I like the app on the left

  • Xjeep

    I love the sceuomorphic designs of apples Apps… Part in due why I buy there products, I think it’s great design…

    With that said I also believe it’s getting dated, I hope apple will revamp and update with some key updates that will improve the dated design… This is my favourite concept idea I’ve come across so far… Very cool due to the multitask ability

  • Ray

    I still love the current iOS UI design and the use of a modern, powerful and no nonsense font like Helvetica which unifies iOS experience across multiple mobile devices.

  • I think the flat approach on the right is going too far towards something rather soulless. Although I’m a huge fan of international style and the sort of thing Ive has done in building on Dieter Rams ideas I think the iPhone could easily become a bit too emotionally cold. I suspect this is the substance of the argument between Forstall and the Ives school rather than a simple personality clash. My one reservation about the Apple designs is this tendency towards a very beautiful, diamond hard coolness. The software offsets it. Example, holding the far less well built and designed Nexus 7 in bed, while reading a book, feels friendlier to me than holding an iPad mini, even though the design of the latter is far more refined and beautiful. Partly its the cold material of the mini, but partly its the ‘perfection’.

    I hope that iOS 7 more resembles the ‘flat but not flat’ appearance of the XCode or Safari windows which use subtle fake gradients like aluminium. I also suspect this would be more in keeping with the machined aluminium aesthetic of the iPhone and future devices. The trick will be getting this not to feel a bit impersonal


Henry Taylor-Gill

Henry is a student who is a huge Apple fan, and has used their products since day one. He can remember how happy he was when he received the first iPod back in 2001 as a birthday present. He has an international background, having spent most of his life in France but he now lives in the UK. He is also a native French speaker and can also speak Spanish at a decent level. In addition to tech, Henry is an avid sports fan and has his own sports blog.