Concept teaches Viber how to design for iOS 7

By , Nov 25, 2013

Viber iOS 7 concept (image 003)

Remember the absolutely eye-candy re-imagining of Apple’s clunky Messages app in Mavericks, so awesomely done by Ramotion, a Palo Alto, California interface design shop? If not, stop what you’re doing (reading this) and give it a quick look, now. Some of the best UI/UX designers in the world, Ramotion’s grown just as sick and tired of Viber’s out-of-touch looks as us.

Yours truly used to be a heavy Viber user. Now I no longer care. Why? I’ll tell you why: the app’s proven itself a really frustrating experience. The soft keyboard fails to honor my system-wide international settings. It crashes a lot. It acts up far too often. As if that weren’t enough, Viber’s aesthetics fails miserably as a victim of a bunch of poor design choices – so much so that I can’t stand using it anymore. Viber really, really needs some serious rebooting.

Ramotion’s vision for Viber stunned me by being so much more than a fresh coat of paint, like WhatsApp’s upcoming iOS 7 update (screenies, hands-on video) is shaping up to be. Small wonder: these guys know good interface design so I’m not surprised they’ve actually gone about re-imagining the whole app experience.

Are you ready to see how Viber’s iOS 7 overhaul should, but probably never will, look like? Just hit the jump and feast your eyes on gorgeous renders…

The trick to Ramotion’s work is research by Alan Baddeley (1982) and Nelson Cowan (2011) on the qualities of human memory and perception, which finds human beings can simultaneously perceive no more than four objects. The concept, available on Behance.net, simplifies the experience by using color gradients to draw your eyes to the attention zone, as depicted top of post.

This zone changes dynamically.

For example, on the Contacts screen the gradient concentrates your attention on four most-used contacts at the top. The awesomeness begins with a simplified registration process no longer requiring both the country code and your telephone number.

“Country code in the telephone number is enough for the app to identify where you are,” Ramotion explains.

Viber iOS 7 concept (image 002)

So simple yet evidently so painfully hard to grasp for Viber developers.

The basic design principles that led Ramotion involve crisp book typography, edge-to-edge design, color gradients and black text inside white chat bubbles.

Viber iOS 7 concept (image 004)

I’m loving a new keypad experience a lot! It closely follows the native Phone app so it’s easy to imagine people feeling right at home – consistency always wins.

Viber iOS 7 concept (image 002)

Really, why would any app want to invent a new look keypad?

Check out the video.

Another nice-to-have: taking into account Dieter Rams’ 10th principle for good design, buttons at the top take advantage of text labels, but only during the first month of use.

After that, the labels gradually shrink as the pictogram icons grow, until they eventually disappear completely. So, as you become more experienced with Viber, the app optimized its interface to your skill level.

Viber iOS 7 concept (contacts)

I’d imagine there’d have to be an option in settings to turn this behavior on and off.

Finally, in taking inspiration from Finder Tags in OS X Mavericks and shortcuts in iOS, the concept envisions something called Color Emotion Vocabulary, shown off in the above Vimeo video.

Viber iOS 7 concept (image 001)

This software feature recognizes specific custom words in your chat to automatically transitions the interface to a new color scheme. Not only does the color-shifting sharpen your attention, it also helps reflect the mood of your exchange.

For example, if I’m enraged and drop the F-bomb during chat, Viber could help illustrate my state of mind by switching to a reddish appearance. It only makes sense for this dynamic color-coding to become a form of communication itself.

Viber should be giving Ramotion a call ASAP, really.

I’m totally in love with the concept.

You?

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  • Preet Patel

    Love it

  • Enjoined

    Great new design. I think this should go ahead!

  • Wurth

    Whatsapp’s iOS 7 update is garbage compared to the concepts on the net.

  • Julio Cesar

    iOS 7 Concept = Colorful
    Real iOS 7 app = White everywhere

    Why developers don’t learn something from the concepts?
    People want this, not an blank app.

    • Guest

      More like:
      iOS 7 Concept = Blinding mix of flat-neon colors
      Real iOS 7 app = Blinding flat-neon white

    • http://da1help.com/ Filipe Carvalho

      Hemlis is doing it :)

  • on3simpleclick

    At least it’s not a ‘wall of white’, like practically every iOS7 app update being released these days. Apple pratically killed the production of beautiful & artistic icons in favor for there ‘flat look’ they so wanted everyone to love.

    • Julio Cesar

      Actually I think the developers didn’t understand well the proposal iOS 7…
      Apple was expecting something like these concepts, but a lot of developers think that iOS 7 has to be completely white.

      Would be cool if Apple release a guideline asking developers to use more colors, to not get stuck to white.

      • Glorin

        …we have guidelines, my mates are lazy.

      • Julio Cesar

        Yes we have, but doesn’t really shows how colors are important to make every app unique.

      • Glorin

        ..that’s up to the designer’s decision, if you want a more colorful app, well make it more colorful..

      • Julio Cesar

        Certainly, but they are thinking that Apple wants completely white interface, and developers are abandoning the characteristics colors of their apps.

      • Glorin

        no, no one thinks like that.

      • Glorin

        it’s a temporary trend then.. “the white thing”.. time will pass, designs will get improved and improved

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        People have rushed their iOS 7 apps so for the users sake I hope this is temporary. A good example of an iOS 7 app is the Loop Magazine. It’s one of the few iOS 7 apps that look great on the iPad IMHO…

      • mav3rick

        Like more neon blinding colors can substitute the total lack of any design graphics, idiotic icons and sketched buttons with no visual guidance and so hard to look after on already outdated small iPhone screen. All the hype on Retina displays for blinding white screens and some very thin connected lines as buttons.

  • Azat Dav

    Just having such a nice design will make me use the app twice as much

  • chumawumba

    Viber should hire these guys to overhaul their app, they will be doing us all a favor.

  • Question

    All these app designs are the same its too white. I love iOS 7 but im getting bored of too much white and the white kills the eye at night, i say every app should have a dark theme. I kind of miss iOS 6.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Tweetbot 3 and Twitterrific have dark modes and they look great on iOS 7…

  • J™

    viber sucks

  • Hyr3m

    Can I puke yet ?

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      At least it’s not the colour of Apples red,yellow or green dynamic wallpapers

      • Hyr3m

        Those are just as pukable… Apple always failed and always will fail in the design department. They think that lack of design is design: “let’s not design this or some people might dislike it… yeah make it so bland it’s dull” then for iOS 7 “no wait, it’s too dull now… add some neon colors to it”. -> Ew !

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I don’t for one moment think that iOS 7 has failed I think it’s just sticking with the companies policy of thinking differently. When it comes to iOS 8 that Apple is already working on I would guess that there will be more changes to the iOS UI and UX coming…

      • http://da1help.com/ Filipe Carvalho

        “Apple always failed and always will fail in the design department.” excuse me? hahahaha

      • Hyr3m

        You are forgiven…

    • Jonathan

      Just in the toilet.

  • abdullah575

    love it !! WOW!!!

  • Bob

    I would love to learn how to create iOS apps but wouldn’t know where to start.

    • Abdl

      Google

    • Jonathan

      Me too. :/ Right now I’m learning C++.

  • http://boyangeorgiev.tumblr.com/ Boyan Georgiev

    This design concepts are so well thought of. It is just incredible how Ramotion made their research, I don’t think the majority of app developers put so much thought into their app design.
    Respect Ramotion, impressive work!

  • rosssimpson

    This design makes me want to use the app!

  • Jonathan Talbot

    I think it should all be all be white like the AppStore but when tapping on a button the outlines become purple. This is way more user-friendly and would look more like iOS 7! ;)

  • Jonathan Talbot

    Having apps that have white in it is way better. It’s easier to understand amd makes it more user-friendly. The Android Settings app for example is all black and dark. This makes it extremely hard for the eyes and not at all user-friendly. Way too much colours in this concept

  • http://da1help.com/ Filipe Carvalho

    Still waiting for the Viber upade for iOS 7.