Apple is an innovation power house with basic weaknesses in UI design that are creating low hanging fruits to fix in iOS 10.
As of this writing, I’m using an iPad Air 2, a machine capable of supporting all the latest software technologies like slide over and split-screen multitasking that came with iOS 9. Photos extensions came with iOS 8, nearly two years ago. Apple seems to think they got their UI right. But my experience shows this is not the case. Here are two examples.
Let’s open Photos.app, select a picture to edit and hit the “…” button to show currently installed extensions. You’ll end up with something like this in the following screen shot.
When you have more than three extensions installed, you will have to scroll the icons. The more you’ve got, the more you’ll have to scroll. On my iPad, I’ve got many as you can see in the following list.
The screen shot above not only shows ten photo extensions but it shows how bad the UI elements are laid out. It doesn’t take advanced user interface design course to be able to judge and declare this screen a bad design example. Why the white space on the left of icons? Why the gray lines after the last icon? And what about the white space on the right of these useless lines? Is this a bug? Why it takes so long for Apple to fix this? How hard is it to fix? I’m baffled.
But let’s go back to the scrolling issue exposed before. This popup would be OK on an iPhone, but on the iPad it just doesn’t make any sense. In a company with so many talented people, I find it hard to see these come out of the gate when they release their new versions of products.
Now, let’s focus on the slide over user interface design as shown here.
Again, same problem, how do you find your application when there is more than three which is always the case? You end up scrolling a lot. In most case, scrolling is so tedious we simply stop and return to the home screen which defeats the purpose of the slide over. How about a larger area or a search field at the top? I don’t know how to fix this as I didn’t spend days or weeks designing this but again, I’m baffled.
How long will it take for Apple to address these low hanging fruits? Maybe we’ll get answers in iOS 10. Or maybe not. You tell me.
[Update: after publishing this, I wanted to share with the world and I got exposed to another example of bad design which I could call exhibit C.]