iOS Interface Design

Martin Koob mkoob at rogers.com
Mon Dec 27 10:31:12 EST 2010


I have been trying to get my head around what is unified about the interface 
in iOS that just makes it work.   Apple, which has been very strict about
the look and feel of its UI in Mac OS and Mac OS X, seemed to abandon that
in iOS--other than of course a few standard controls.  App developers can
use whatever they want for controls within their apps. However, in the apps
I have tried so far I am able to 'just get it to work'.  My thought is that
there is still a unification in the way a user interacts with the app but I
think now it is more the feel than the look.  Mostly it seems to me the feel
is based around real world physics and I think that is influenced by the
fact that you interact with the device using physical forces like touch,
momentum and gravity.  The feel is codified in the gestures like touch,
drag, pinch, shake, tilt etc.  You can be creative as you want unless you
want to use a gesture that is not supported, for example pressure sensitive
touch.

ie. http://www.tuaw.com/2010/07/02/pressure-sensitive-drawing-on-the-ipad/

I have been thinking about this because I am thinking about moving parts of
a Mac OS X app made with Livecode to iPad and it means rethinking my
controls.   Because of my years of trying to adhere to the UI guidelines for
Mac I feel a little lost when thinking about iOS.  I don't want to simply
try to recreate Mac OS controls on the iPad version.  I am also thinking
that with Mac OS X Lion coming out which promises to borrow from iOS I have
the instinct to redesign the desktop app as well to have a consistent look
and feel between the two but maybe that is misguided.  It will be
interesting to see what gets ported over to Mac OS X from iOS as far as UI
philosophy. 


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