Improving iOS 7 #1: An Uncluttered Control Centre (Update 1)

as of iOS 7 Beta 1

In a world of design embracing flatter, simpler interfaces (even in certain App Store apps), Apple's embrace of a flatter interface in iOS 7 is a welcome change. However, this is its first iteration, and as with every first, it requires constant improvement and refining.

The Current State of Control Centre

This is Control Centre, one of iOS 7's major features.

from Gadget Unit

In a nutshell, it's a panel that you can summon anywhere throughout iOS 7 that allows you to toggle frequently used settings.

But while the idea is great (I'm not saying innovative; it's been done before), the execution isn't.

It's overly cluttered. When a normal consumer opens this interface for the first time, they will be overwhelmed. Heck, when I first saw it I was overwhelmed. There's five rows of toggles. And that's just way too much. From top to bottom, these are the toggles:

  • Frequently Used Settings (Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and Portrait Orientation Lock)
  • Brightness Slider
  • Music Controls
  • AirDrop/AirPlay Settings (AirPlay not pictured above)
  • Other frequently used features

Some elements can be confusing. For example, some users who've already used iOS 6 may confuse the bottom row of icons as the actual app switcher. Also, the music controls can confuse some as it offers no explanation as to what it does. iOS is supposed to be easy-to-use and you should know how to use it without help.

There are also some nitty-gritty tidbits in Control Centre that annoy me. The borders separating the different toggle rows are way too thick (3 pixels). They're even thicker than the circular and rounded rectangle borders (2 pixels). They stand out too much, and they shouldn't. Another tidbit is the music player scrubber. When there's nothing playing, it doesn't show a handle as it does when something is playing (which is fine), but it has a small white tip on the left. The elements aren't even vertically centered. That just bugs me.

An Uncluttered Control Centre (Update 1)

> View the Original

Here are the major changes in my concept:

  • Music player scrubber has been removed. The scrubber isn't needed in an instant and you can tap on the song name/album to go to the Music app and scrub from there.
  • Divider weight has been reduced to 2 pixels, the same weight as toggle borders above.
  • The functionality of posting to Facebook or Tweeting has been returned to iOS 7 in Control Centre.
  • The bottom row of icons has been merged with the toggles at the top, with toggles as circles and shortcuts as rounded rectangles. Icon sizes have been slightly tweaked.
  • Tweaked spacing between some elements.
  • Deviated a way to allow the user to know what there are extra toggles when you swipe, the same as the Share controls.
  • Toggles & Shortcuts are customisable, but only ten can be there at a time: a reasonable compromise. This is a control centre after all, and you don't want to swipe through ten pages just to get to a toggle.
  • Flashlight toggle is actually formatted as a toggle.
  • AirDrop & AirPlay buttons have been put back since the original concept.

Of course, since Apple has revamped animations completely in iOS, here's a GIF (pron. GIF pron. JIF) of you swiping left and right to reveal the toggles and the icons previously at the bottom.

What do you think? Post your comments below.
Constructive criticism is better than just saying "this is shit."
Also don't forget to share this with your friends!


iOS 7 GUI PSD from Teehan+Lax

iOS 7 GUI PSD from Andreas Hellqvist on deviantART
iOS 7 GUI PSD from Applidium

Improving iOS 7 #2: An Uncluttered Status Bar