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Is the world getting flatter?

I have started to look at my iPhone in a new way lately.

The recent announcement of Apple’s new iOS7 and its fresh approach to how its interface will soon look has ignited conversations about design. Gone are the 3D rendering and life-like cues that made apps resemble as closely as possible to their real-life counterparts. Goodbye notebook app with the familiar yellow pad with friendly margins and lines sketched out for us in case we needed guidance. It’s now argued that we don’t need this ‘help-by-design’ any longer. They say that we have lived with technology for so long that we intuitively should know which apps to use and which buttons to swipe. 

Although Apple has received a lot of flak in the press for its underwhelming changes, it has also been praised for finally catching up with the design world. ‘Flat design’, they call it. There are lots of great articles written about this design philosophy which eschews all the design fluffery for a focus on clean lines, simplicity and pure functionality.

As a minimalist at heart, I love this approach. But beyond iOS7, I wonder if the influence of Apple will mean flat design and its principles will start to infiltrate society in other ways. Will we see a trend towards cleaner product packaging which will hopefully mean a reduced impact on the environment? Will we see companies want to help us simplify our lives rather than clutter it with more, more, more? Will less eventually become more?

Related Articles (Fast Co Design) (Gizmodo)

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