The Dynamic Is Changing at Apple’s Design Teams [WSJ]

Human Interface team is now briefed about industrial prototypes earlier

People close to Apple are telling the Wall Street Journal that the company’s design teams are now getting along better, mainly thanks to the executive shakeup last year which ended up with Jonathan Ive taking charge of Human Interface across the company.

According to the paper, “[The] dynamic is changing […] The stealth software developers still exist. But now, Apple’s mobile software, or ‘human interface’ team, which has been led by executive Greg Christie, is being briefed about industrial prototypes earlier,” people briefed on the matter said.

One person in particular described the change as “a thawing,” according to the WSJ.

Jonathan Ive’s design-focused meetings are “pleasant and cordial,” one of these people said, unlike the meetings that took place under Scott Forstall’s lead, prior to the 2012 shakeup.

Even former HI lead, Greg Christie, “known as a blunt talker,” has loosened up a bit. It’s all thanks to the candid Sir. Jonathan Ive, whom many still regard as a potential keynote guy for the company’s festive events.

Ive is reportedly “pushing a more ‘flat design’ that is starker and simpler,” according to a number of developers who have spoken to Apple employees.

Regardless, people shouldn’t expect the next major release of iOS to be radically different. The same developers said, “they expect any changes to be pretty conservative,” according to the paper.

In other words, iOS 7 will probably sport minor aesthetic enhancements, such as cleaner graphical replacements to the numerous skeumorphic UI elements scattered throughout the software.

Apple is already taking steps in that direction, if the latest update to the company’s Podcasts app is any indication.

The first thing users will notice is the removal of any skeumorphism, along with the addition of new controls to make the listening experience much more pleasant.

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