I Think We Can All Agree This Is Better Than Apple’s iOS 7 Redesign, Right?

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Lisa Frank. Dayglo Barbie. Rainbow unicorn. Fisher PriceA mess, trouble, confusing. Marketing department. What are, “words used to describe the iOS 7 redesign,” Alex? Now that the Apple keynote beer goggles have worn off, the polarizing makeover of Apple’s iOS 7 operating system is starting to sink in. Surely, this is not it? This is not done, right?

Given its “beta” label – which Apple actually uses correctly – there’s a good chance that many of our quibbles with the disjointed OS will be fixed by the time of its public release later this fall. But one of the most upsetting things about the makeover is unfortunately one of the most visible: the icons. They’re inconsistent, they seem rushed, and in some cases, they’re just downright ugly.

Apple has billions of dollars in cash just sitting around, and it couldn’t buy itself a set of nice-looking icons?

And don’t give me that “they only had eight months” crap. I know plenty of people who would forgo eating, sleeping and sunlight for less than even a single billion to pump out better icons than this in that same time frame.

Well, Apple’s misstep is Dribbble.com’s gain. The online community for designers is having a moment as its users try to fix all Apple’s mistakes. And some of these third-party makeovers are actually quite good, too.

Redesign_iOS7_Comparison_V2

Above: Apple’s version is on the right.

One, in fact, is now becoming one of the most-viewed images on the site. Ever. The iOS 7 redesign here, created by 20-year old UI/UX designer Leo Drapeau has, as of today, reached over 97,000 views.

Drapeau, who’s currently living in Paris and is pursuing his Bachelor’s in Web Design at a school called EEMI, says he made his version of the redesign in a few hours.

“I was following the WWDC keynote, and I was really excited about the overall UX and UI changes and evolutions in iOS 7, but the icons of the homescreen bugged me,” he explains. “So, I just wanted to refined them a little, to make them cleaner and more harmonized, but not to reinvent the whole design.”

Drapeau downplays his work, humbly adding, “there’s really nothing revolutionary about this post. I think it just got popular because it was one of the first redesigns on the site.” Redesign_iOS7_LightDark However, Dribbble.com’s co-founder Rich Thornett tells us that Drapeau’s image here is the second-most viewed attachment the Dribbble.com website has ever had. Meanwhile, another in the set is currently the third-most viewed shot ever, and just a couple hundred views from reaching #2.

The student designer’s work has clearly struck a chord. The set of iOS 7 images now has ten pages and hundreds of comments, most of them positive and some offering tips as to how the design could be improved a bit further with minor tweaks.

Overheard at TechCrunch while clicking through Drapeau’s work: “I didn’t realize how much I missed the drop shadows.”

And on Dribble.com: “nice,” “better,” “bravo,” and “perfect!”

Drapeau says he’s been making little updates based on some of the remarks  - for example, with the third version of the redesign, he modified the Compass icon entirely, bringing it closer to the real one.

Redesign_iOS7_ScreenSince then, he has also uploaded a final update, with all the previous changes and other improvements to the Clock, Stock, Compass, and Mail icons, and also added a Dark mode and Light mode, depending on the wallpaper you use.

(You can see an earlier version of the design above, and the newer one with the more Apple-like Compass beneath it).

Since the post, Drapeau says he’s received several work inquiries, mainly from individuals and startups, both French and American, as well as internships and job offers from bigger companies. But he’s continuing with his schooling and side projects for now.

iOS 7 isn’t all bad by any means, though it has a number of issues to address between the beta and the release. Many of those are under-the-hood changes, however, or less obvious quirks like the confusing lockscreen arrow or that you have to swipe emails right to left to delete, for example. But the homescreen icons – the imagery that everyone can relate to, designer or not – should have been given more attention before being trotted out on stage as the next big thing.

This is not Apple perfection. We expect more.

Image credits, obviously: Leo Drapeau