iOS7 Design Is All About The Subtle Cues

When I first downloaded XCode 5 yesterday, I was surprised to see that the standard iOS7 UIButton did not have a border around it. Here is what an iOS7 default button looks like when you drag it onto your storyboard view controller:

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 6.29.30 AM

The first thought I had was that everyone will have to use the same color button (the standard blue Apple color of the button above), because otherwise, the user will have no idea what’s a button and what’s text.

However, after downloading iOS7 on my iPhone and playing a bit around with the Apple apps, I noticed a cool pattern. The buttons don’t need to be the blue color, as long as everything clickable in the app is THE SAME, consistent, color.

This is best demonstrated in the new Calendar app, which uses RED call to action buttons instead of the standard blue ones:


Can you figure out what’s clickable?

So going forward, it’s going to be ok to get creative and use fun designs for apps, but the designers will have to think a lot more about consistency and how to subtly indicate to the user what is clickable and what is not in this new flat iOS7 world.

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