jony ive

Those hoping that Jony Ive’s new role as the head of Apple’s Human Interface design team will have a sooner-than-later impact on the user interface of its mobile operating system will be happy to hear that this may indeed be the case.

A new report by The Wall Street Journal this afternoon claims that Ive is now sitting in on the human interface team’s review sessions to assess new design ideas, and is reportedly pushing for a more “flat design” UI in future iOS releases…

The Wall Street Journal‘s Jessica E. Lessin has the scoop:

“For years, even the esteemed designers of Apple’s mobile iOS operating system, were cut out of the loop on specifics related to new mobile devices their software would be running on, according to several people familiar with Apple’s process. Apple’s industrial design team, led by Jonathan Ive, tapped its own stealth group of software developers to help with prototypes.

That dynamic is changing, according to the people close to the company. 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, these people said. The person described the change as “a thawing.”

Ive, who is well-known for his sleek, iconic hardware designs, now sits in on the human interface team’s regular review sessions to vet new designs, these people said. “

The report goes on to cite sources, saying that Ive is pushing for a more “flat design” that is starker and simpler than that of years’ past. Overall, they expect any changes to iOS to be very conservative. But the inner-collaboration is exciting.

This is just one example, Lessin writes, of how Apple is seeing better cooperation across hardware, software and services—which is exactly what it said it was hoping to achieve in last fall’s executive shakeup that saw Scott Forstall ousted.

We’re not getting our hopes up here, but we’re very anxious to see what Apple has up its sleeves for iOS 7. We’ve heard surprisingly little information about the upcoming software update, which Apple is expected to unveil in June.