Button shapes in upcoming iOS 7

Steven Aquino:

From a pure design perspective, aesthetically speaking, it’s perfectly reasonable to criticize the new shapes. They are indeed ugly, but the overall importance of this new addition trumps the way in which they’re presented. That is to say, regardless of how the buttons look, the sheer fact that they add a level of desprately-needed contrast makes the buttons a huge usability win, and likely — rightfully — will garner much praise from the visually impaired segment of the accessibility community.

Designers need to remember this when criticizing the new button shapes.



  • rogifan

    Since iOS 7.1 is still beta how do we know these shapes won’t change before it’s seeded to the public? The dark keyboard option was there in beta 1 and apparently is gone in beta 2.

  • It’s worrying that iOS 7 has a slowly growing list of settings to improve usability. But I guess this is the tax you pay when you re-do so much of the visuals and interactions. Hopefully it all gets smoothed out by iOS 8.

  • You can have both though. Having visually accessible buttons is possible without them being ugly.

  • invinciblegod

    Of course this shows how iOS 7 went too far the other way in form vs function compared to iOS 6.

  • BC2009

    The one design change in iOS 7 that got on my nerves was the borderless buttons. I would have preferred a thin/hairline border around each button to demarcate the touch target. I don’t know what iOS 7.1 buttons look like, but I am keeping my fingers crossed.

  • Herding_sheep

    I still think it’s only necessary to add a thin-line border around buttons in the same “tint” color of the application. Much like the “buy” buttons are in the App Store. I understand the added contrast of these buttons in 7.1 beta possibly helping visually impaired folks more, but I think just adding the border would serve as well and not be so ugly. There were a lot of glyphs rather than full-on buttons in iOS 6 too, and they weren’t even colored differently to stand out more like they are in 7.

    It is concerning to me though that the list of “accessibility” features keeps growing to accommodate simple usability that was inherent in Aquas design. I personally thought iOS 7 was equally usable for myself, but I obviously don’t see the world through the lens of these people. I think Apple has a lot of work to do to still find the right balance in iOS 8.

    I know Aqua had similar usability complaints at first and Apple slowly dialed back a lot of the over-the-top aesthetics, so I’m certain we will see the same again. At least it will make iOS more exciting, because we should be seeing more regular changes and tweaks to the design, which spawns more spur of the moment creativity from the designers.