Visual Preferences

Marco Arment:

I’m glad Apple’s improving iOS 7’s visual usability by adding yet another toggle, but the need for Button Shapes, Bold Text, Increase Contrast, On/Off Labels, and Reduce Motion shows significant flaws in iOS 7’s design.

If you find yourself forced to introduce settings for purely visual UI changes, it’s time to ask yourself if there might be something going wrong.

Craig Grannell:

My concern is more that Apple has created an operating system that clearly has a ton of UX and UI issues, and yet is now burying ‘fixes’ within accessibility, away from where the typical user will see it.

If your default UI is so bad that there are large segments of your user base that can’t even use it properly, you’re probably also hurting people who aren’t part of these segments. Not having visual differentiation between buttons and labels makes your UI almost impossible to use for some people, but it also makes your UI a little bit harder to use for everybody else. Most people won’t think to look for solutions to these issues under their accessibility settings.

To be clear, making your UI a bit harder to use in order to make it prettier might sometimes be a worthwhile tradeoff. But it’s a tradeoff you should never make lightly.

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Want to read more like this? Buy my book's second edition! Designed for Use: Create Usable Interfaces for Applications and the Web is now available DRM-free directly from The Pragmatic Programmers. Or you can get it on Amazon, where it's also available in Chinese and Japanese.