Removal of skeuomorphism, parallax effects and the oxymoron in iOS7

Later this month App Studio will release its next major version, v4.

As announced (and expected) App Studio v4 will change its design to match iOS7 streamlined design, removing most skeuomorphs and providing a stunning app design.

While probably most designers will like the new flat design of App Studio apps, I am sure there will be others.

Flat design, as iOS7 promotes it and what seems to be fashionable nowadays, has divided the design community.

I saw a funny tweet about iOS7 icons:

“Some free wireframe…er… I mean iOS 7, icons.

— Francisco Inchauste (@iamFinch) September 24, 2013

It’s true, many flat icons do look like wireframes. So the question is, for a good User Experience, does it need more? I found an interesting article about skeumorphism in UX magazine:

“We shouldn’t abandon cultural affordances like skeuomorphs because some find them tacky or overused.”

Personally I am torn. I can see the advantage of simplicity which can solve the obtrusiveness of many UIs. On the other hand good UXD (User Experience Design) adds guidance and narration especially for new users/uses. So I am looking forward to feedback to the new design.

And humans seem to be attracted to cool effects, otherwise I couldn’t explain the fascination for Photoshop’s page curl effect, Flash-based flip-book catalogs and other “serve no other purpose than look cool” effects in the past.

Apple seemed to have been torn too, or why else did iOS 7 get rid of almost all skeuomorphism and added heavy use of parallax and motion-zoom effects instead? Isn’t a parallax effect a skeuomorphism?

For me that is the oxymoron in iOS7 ;-)





  • Skeuomorphism: User Interface elements that emulate objects of the physical world, e.g. a trashcan to delete something.
  • Parallax effect: Technique in computer programs and UIs, where background images move slower slower than foreground images, creating an illusion of depth (3D).
  • Oxymoron: A figure of speech or thing that combines contradictory terms or paradox items, like a “plastic glass” (for drinking).