Scott Forstall is out. The former head of iOS software engineering is now simply labeled as an advisor to Tim Cook. People will continue to try and scrape the bottom of the pail to find the reason for this, but it’s better to look toward the future. Don’t dwell on Forstall’s mistakes, look toward a future wherein Jony Ive has his hand over all design; hardware and software.
Jony Ive will be taking a step toward something amazing and something that does what Apple has been “failing” to do over the course of a few years: unity. Having the same man who designs a product control how that very same product looks once it’s turned on is not only bridging a gap, but solidifying the connection between hardware and software. You can have a beautiful design as a product, but you can have a severely lacking OS solely because your thought for software design was not paired with the same thought someone had with hardware design.
With the future in the hands of the man who’s responsible for Apple’s sleek, seamless designs, we can only hope to see that same unity brought inside each device. When you have a nice and compact looking phone such as the iPhone 5, you don’t want to see unnecessarily placed linen. The idea behind skeuomorphism is to make a product retain the same look as its physical counterpart. A calendar app with rings placed to the left and paper rip marks placed at the bottom — that’s skeuomorphism. However, randomly attaching linen to the backgrounds of things as a substitute for design is not something I expect Jony Ive to do or condone. Between every Apple product that we currently have, we see them blend. We see them flowingly come together in some sort of blissful harmony. The unibody MacBooks were the first of its kind when they came out. Style came first, function followed.
With style, you need it all to blend. Apple doesn’t have one person design its main hardware and another to design its attachments. Design should be seen without having to make excuses. You shouldn’t see a design and say “Well, I’m starting to like it now, after 5 months of use.” Design should become perfectly in sync with all other aspects. Having Jony Ive lead a team of people on both spectrums of hardware and software can only play a wondrous role in how Apple presents its products and how they continue to grow. There was a barrier that separated design from—well, design. That barrier is down. The pieces that were once from two different puzzles are now from the same larger, grander puzzle.
Along with Ive’s future at Apple looking better and better, we can’t forget what Forstall managed to do. While he had the final say on what design would look well on iOS, he also managed to make its UX a wonderful thing. the ease of use, its fluid motions, its painless navigation, that’s all something Forstall had done. Now, we have to place our trust in Craig Federighi, who has been with the company for a number of years. He knows how they think, he’s managed to take that idea and work it to his advantage. Scott managed to build the infrastructure for this “UX building” and Craig is now responsible for keeping it safe and sound. If he follows his mentality and his notions of ease, nothing can go wrong.
With Ive taking the lead in industrial design, he is the man looking at designs on iOS and building upon the design of the actual device, which can only lead to magnificent things. You’ll be able to see the OS work with the device in a way that can’t be explained, yet must be seen. Design is not something that should have one person working on one thing and someone else on another. It should all be contained, detailed, and together. Design is something Apple holds in high (possibly the highest) regard. Seeing them finally realize that along with great products, they need a great looking OS is revolutionary for the company. I welcome Ive. I welcome him to a place where he is needed and I welcome him as someone I can trust to do, not only the best of his ability, but the best I could ever expect to happen.