Now that Scott Forstall is no longer in charge of iOS and Jony Ive is overseeing both product design and user experience, signs are pointing to a major overhaul of the user interfaces for iOS, OS X and the Apple-created apps that are part of the operating systems. Wired’s Christina Bonnington thinks a significant redesign is on the way, although it might not happen in the near future.
Bonnington points to several recent events that point the way to revamped Apple user interfaces. First, there’s a job listing for senior software engineers for Apple’s iLife suite that lists “help us re-imagine how user interfaces should be built and work” as a requirement. That’s a big task, considering that iLife is a core application included with every Mac. Next, the company is looking for someone to give Siri a more distinct personality. There’s a third job listing for a person who can create a new set of APIs and frameworks for iOS.
In addition to those job listings, there’s Ive in his new position and Craig Federighi’s new oversight of both iOS and OS X development teams. All of this appears to point in the direction of a major overhaul that will eschew skeuomorphic UI elements, which Wired’s Clive Thompson referred to as “metaphors of the past.“
This year’s WWDC is probably too soon to expect a dramatic change in Apple’s approach to user interfaces. Change is not only inevitable for the company, but a necessity.