Apple’s new iOS7 operating system has now been in the hands of users for the last 4 months and it has been estimated that 82% of devices linked to the App Store now run on the latest operating system. So it is pretty clear that any app that does not update to compliment the iOS will look and feel like artifacts in the new minimalist App Store.
Here at Oomph we have been hard at work since the launch of iOS7 back in September 2013 not only to update the platform to fit in within the new flat aesthetic but also to advance our user experience and features to a new level.
We will be giving all our clients the option to update to the new platform in early March 2014 so we wanted to give you a sneak peak at the changes and improvements to the platform plus a few tips on how this will affect the design of your content in Oomph going forward.
In October of last year we unveiled the new and improved Coles Magazine App which gave our users the first taste of Oomph iOS7. Since then we have been busy refining the platform for both iPad and iPhone.
For this update we have gone back to the drawing board and, based on our client’s feedback, really thought about the complete user experience of the platform both for the our clients and ultimately the end user.
Here is a summary of the biggest improvements our clients can look forward to!
Intuitive user experience
A paired back and more intuitive user experience isolating in-content and global navigation.
- In app navigation: There is now clear in app navigation where you will be able to access your Library, Featured Page and Favourites from the bottom toolbar at all times.
- Global setting menu: A new settings menu at the top right enables you to access app settings as well as help and feedback from anywhere in the app.
- In content navigation:
- The bottom tool bar is replaced with a content specific navigation which includes easy access back to the cover as well as forwards and backwards commands.
- A new contents popup replaces the previous scrubber and gives a complete overview of the all the sections in the app with the ability to search across content.
- Social sharing is also now easily accessible with Messages, Facebook, Twitter, Email and Adding sections to Favourites.
The new platform will give you access to an universal app. This simply means that you will have one app that is optimised for iPad, iPad Retina, iPad Mini, iPhone 4 and iPhone 5. You then have the choice of keeping the same content for all devices or you can design separate optimised content bundles for each.
The platform will also now come with pinch and zoom as a standard feature so if you only have the luxury to design for one device you will still be able to zoom in on any content on smaller devices.
We have also opened up the app to increased customisation options for our clients.
- Featured Page: Apps can now have a dedicated store front or featured page where you can add promotional banners or video as well as call out specific content. You will be able to update this at any time through your Oomph Publish dashboard with the option of either linking this to your own responsive web page or uploading an html file directly to the app.
- In app Help Page: Clients will now also be able to add their own Help page to the app itself rather than having to add it to each content bundle. This can be an Oomph bundle or a web page giving you the freedom to create an interactive or dynamic help experience for users.
Our team will provide default templates for both the Featured and Help pages with instructions of how to easily design your own or add your own app screenshots to them once we launch the new platform. Alternatively if you don’t have capacity to do this in-house our design team here at Oomph can help as well.
What do you need to think about when designing for the iOS7?
So let’s tackle the big one and most obvious change that iOS7 is bringing to the table – the slimmed down user interface. Jonny Ives’ modern and minimilistic design approach has attracted much (at times heated!) debate, praise and ridicule. Love or hate it but this is the manifestation of what Apple refers to as ‘Clarity’ where all elements (including text, icons and images) should focus on functionality through design.
This does not mean you have to go and change all your icons to outlines with a white fill and make your body copy Helvetica Neue Extra Light. The takeaway should be to really look at your content and assess where you can reduce unneeded visual clutter and push your design to look part of the new iOS 7 ecosystem but still staying true to the design essence of your brand.
Keep content at the forefront
Deference is another guideline from Apple to design and develop for iOS7. This simply means that the user interface and iconography is there to help the user navigate the app without interfering with the content. This is not a new concept for Oomph. Our vision from the outset was, and still is to empower designers to create awesome content supported by a high quality stable platform. The update to the platform has given us the chance to enhance and refine the user interface even further to support the great content that our clients create.
Create depth through layering
One of the most exciting features of iOS7 is the use of layers and motion to delight the user. Layering is nothing new in Oomph so achieving these translucent layering effects using the platform will be something many Oomph designers are doing already. There is also the added feature of parallax within the app where layered content moves in relation to the perspective of the user which will further enhance this experience.
We will be running a webinar on the Wednesday the 26th of February that will go more into depth of how to design for the new Oomph iOS7 platform. Register here to join the free session.
We hope you are as excited about the new possibilities this update brings to the Oomph Platform as we are. This is just the start to the improvements that we are planning for the year so stay tuned!