Jony Ive’s OS X Yosemite: The good, the bad and the ugly

“OS X, the world’s most advanced operating system took some large leaps forward in it’s latest release called Yosemite,” Mark Reschke reports for T-GAAP. “Technology such as Continuity, Mail Drop, and users being able to send and receive phone calls via the Mac, all in a speedy new OS are great advances. But for all of Yosemite’s achievements on the tech side of the house, did it go too far with it’s look and feel?”

“Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, is not only in charge of hardware design, but also leads the team responsible for iOS and OS X’s look and feel, known as the User Experience (or UX),” Reschke reports. “Ive’s first UX reveal came in the form of iOS 7. By any measure it was a jarring experience. The OS became simple in form, flat as a pancake with an intuitive feel, but some colors were drastically faded, while others were jarringly bright. The mobile OS took many technological steps forward, but it was not easy on the eyes in the least. ”

“Over time Ive refined iOS, and for the most part, completed the task in iOS 8. Looking back, iOS 7’s design language almost looked rushed, with iOS 8 having very few UX complaints to its name. iOS 8 is simply what iOS 7 always wanted to be,” Reschke reports. “But what of OS X Yosemite? Is it another iOS 7, or did Ive and the team learn from user feedback?”

Read more in the full article here.

86 Comments

  1. The greyness is terrible and pointless. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they did that and I have never come across any motivation anywhere. Probably because it’s just bollocks.

    To me the grey icons in the Finder are meaningless blobs, so I have to use the text. This is an aspect that should be optional in the Prefs: Grey or Colour theme.

    Ive is brilliant as a hardware design guru but he has a long way to go in UI. Colour simply seems not to be his thing.

  2. Mail has major usability problems!

    1. Text input on my MacBook Pro can’t keep up with my miserable typing speed. It’s slower than the Commodore 64!

    2. Removing the “contacts” shortcut on the Mail app is just lazy. Additionally, when trying to pick a selection of contacts from Address Book is impossible – or at least doesn’t use standard key commands.

    Safari also has issues mostly associated with the way the total bar slips out of view. It doesn’t provide much additional space but causes additional interaction to reach the reader view. This is even more of a problem on iOS 8!

    1. when typing in the recipients field you will see a + symbol to the right. Click that and you will get your contacts back inside of Mail. That pissed me off when I thought it was totally gone.

  3. Jony Ive is not a graphic artist and he can’t lead them to advance or innovate the OS appearance. Apple is becoming more function than form to a point is not balanced.

    So what can we expect for the next version?

    1. I think what you meant to write is that Ive’s hideous GUIs are clear example of Apple stupidly putting an ugly form over OS function. Gray flatness, skinny fonts, borderless windows, and hyper-simplified icons are not only ugly, they are harder to use. Don’t even get me started about Apple hiding functionality in its software so that it takes more clicks to do anything. There is a reason that the iTunes interface poll shows that even rabid pro-Apple users dislike Ive’s GUIs.

      1. Excellent point.

        As I noted here since day one I laid my eyes on hideous iOS7 my jaw dropped how unappealing and old it got in a record amount of time. Hard to see, hard to read and figure out icons, etc.

        Why doesn’t Apple see it??? Ego? Elitist ego is my guess.

        Offer skins the user picks in several themes like gaudy, illustrative, linear, abstract, camo, whatever. All we have is now is, well, you know.

        It is clear the overwhelming majority of diehard Apple users like myself don’t care for it. Suspect the rest tolerate it, because they have no choice and nowhere to go.

        The vocal fanboys are still in the minority and will always remain there until I see hard numbers to the contrary.

        — Apple user/owner since Kevin Costner’s first office computer … 😉

  4. Apple is made up of lots of employees. One person alone isn’t responsible for the entire UI of an operating system. And of course the people dislike things are going to be the most vocal. I’m sure lots of people are using Yosemite just fine with very few issues or dislikes. Oh and by the way, people have always complained about OSX UI. John Gruber spent plenty of time complaining about brushed metal and pinstripes. And Aqua wasn’t universally loved either.

    1. Correct no GUI design will please everyone. Not the point by a long shot.

      Just in case you were not paying attention, this GUI redesign is the most controversial in Apple history even among diehard supporters.

      Just look it up.

  5. I’ve adapted just fine to everything except the bright teal color of Finder folders. I find it both hideous and distracting. Right now, we’ve got a choice of garish color or NO color. I wish Apple would give us imaging pros something in between.

  6. Hopefully, most of apples new features can be turn off. Im actively looking for a replacement for Mail and Calendar since those apps are so poorly implemented by apple. I’m always hoping that someone will come up with a utility that will disable vast swaths of the apples abuse of the OS and return those compute resources back to what I want to focus on

  7. If Apple wants customers to “create their own verse” and personalize their Apple products, why not give the user the ability to customize their software settings?

    I’d like to “create my own verse”, I’m just not interested in external stickers on my Macs.

    Here is the customization that I am interested in:

    Ability to change Dock color, and Finder Sidebar colors if transparency is turned off.

    Ability to set which items are transparent or not.

    Option to set the default behavior of the “Green Button”. Personally I wish I could set it to open full window and not full screen. Why? Quick access to the Menu bar and the Dock are important to me. In addition, I don’t like the delay switching between full screen and non full screen.

    Option to set the default screen size upon opening an app. This option could be placed in Get Info. I suggest three options – Full Screen, Full Window, Windowed.

    It would be so nice not to have to rearrange the app each time I open it.

    Arrow Snap – Microsoft’s best contribution to graphical computing (for arranging windows side by size on the screen).

    1. Excellent list and you gave me an idea! 🙂

      Not sure if it started with System 7, 8 or 9 decades ago or how to accomplish exactly. But the cool thing was you were empowered to customize your desktop hard disk icon with an illustration, design or picture of your choice. And if you changed your mind after sleeping on it, redo design again the next day.

      Recall creating a personalized thumbnail illustration in Photoshop and with a few clicks, voila! My hard disk icon was — mine! mine! mine!

      Daffy, I know. Simple pleasure, as well.

      The IDEA is to do the same with icons today in the lifeless Apple OS world we live in, absent CHOICE.

      A few design ideas in totally random disorder:

      ~Personally customize the 50s camera icon with my favorite camera. Fav digital model, college Nikon or the hilarious Three Stooges black snake peeping Tom camera.

      ~Personally customize the barely recognizable settings gear icon with Chaplin and his wrench. Or, my favorite tool.

      ~Personally customize the Address book icon with a picture or vector illustration of my wife, best friend or movie star of my dialing dreams. Hubba, hubbah!

      ~Personally customize the rainbow bubbles pictures icon with ANYTHING. Or is it games, just as hideous.

      ~Personally customize the flat note with real soaring music. Be it a pic of my favorite artist, personal fav instrument or the tuba I played 30 years ago in the high school band.

      ~Personally customize the flat phone icon with two tin cans connected by string or my grandma’s proud picture of her first phone in the 30s.

      ~Personally customize the Safari carnival wheel icon with well, a real carnival wheel. Or, a Hemingway pic with an African trophy; pic of Jane or Johhny Weismuller jumping off a N.Y.bridge. ADD cheetah sound functionality from your iTunes library when pressing the icon. Now that would be cool!

      ~Personally customize the flat mail icon with a graphic of the Pony Express; my home mailbox with the red flag up out in the country; my mailman; or possibly a slim golden slot box in an ornate Georgetown townhouse so many jobs ago.

      ~Personally customize the hang men outline style weather icons with well, again — ANYTHING!!!

      Went too long sorry, but you get the idea. The sky is the limit.

      CUSTOMIZABLE ICONS, APPLE!

      Think Different, JONY …

  8. While I actually like Yosemite’s new interface, iOS7 was certainly jarring in addition to some nice changes.

    I think Ive is too used to removing everything he can from the exterior hardware of a device.

    He has not figured out that the screen is not the same thing. It is supposed to supply lots of information effortless to our visual system. Color, slight 3D effects, this is how our visual system naturally takes in information.

    Flat is the monochrome of design. Its a lazy way to simplify graphical information because its easy to do, but doesn’t actually make anything easier.

  9. After reading many comments I get the feeling there is a chorus for “Bring Back Forstall”. Many now complaining about Ives flat GUI were 100% flat earthers back then.

    1. Paul, you might want to recalibrate your feelings. Those of us who hate Ive’s lifeless GUI aesthetic aren’t advocating leather bound windows. We want an intuitive GUI that has depth and consistency, without stupid gimmicks like translucency.

    2. Awhile back read several posts on other tech blogs the possibility that Forstall was working on Skeuomorphism (spelling?) LITE.

      Later he was abruptly gone overnight. Agree, he should be recruited back.

      But when you are dealing with elitist egos … 🙁

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.