Susan Kare thinks Apple's new iOS icons are a step in the right direction

Famed icon designer Susan Kare things Apple's new iOS 7 icons are a step in a good direction.

These are just a few of the words folks have used to describe iOS 7:

Confusing; Cool; Ugly; Gorgeous; Amazing; A step backwards.

To say that the new iOS design Apple introduced this past Monday has elicited widespread criticism and applause would be an understatement. Of course, such controversy is inevitable whenever a company changes the design of something millions of consumers have grown accustomed to.

One thing we can all agree on, though, is that Tim Cook was definitely not lying when he said that iOS 7 represents the biggest change to iOS since the original iPhone.

To that end, there has been no shortage of blog posts over the past two days articulating all the reasons why iOS 7 is great, and others that question if Apple has lost its mind, or at the very least, its design acumen.

While many of the changes in iOS 7 are much more than skin deep, the completely revamped homescreen is understandably attracting an overwhelming amount of attention. With iOS 7, Apple's new take on mobile design is readily apparent as it's gotten rid of a lot, if not all, of the skeuomorphic designs that curiously became such a hot button issue over the past few months.

Apple's new icons are, by and large, completely flat, with any semblance of depth having been removed.

Love it or hate it, there's no denying that iOS 7 will require, at the very least, a period of visual adjustment for the millions of iOS users who have grown accustomed to a mobile OS that hasn't changed much over the years.

So, with all of the controversy surrounding iOS 7's new look, I thought it'd be interesting to hear what one of the all-time great icon designers thought.

So I reached out to Susan Kare, who, in case you're unfamiliar, is something of an Apple legend and icon guru. While at Apple in the early-mid 80s, she designed a number of memorable, if not timeless, icons. From the flower symbol on the command key to the original icon of a Mac computer, Kare is inextricably tied to the Apple that millions of Mac fans grew up with.

Since leaving Apple in 1986, Kare has gone on to design thousands of icons for innumerable clients. You might also remember that she was called as an expert witness during last summer's Apple/Samsung trial where she testified as to the visual similarities between the iPhone and Samsung's lineup of accused products.

In any event, Kare seems to approve of Apple's new icon direction.

Below is her comment on Apple's new icons in iOS 7.

"Generally a good direction--am a fan of simple, meaningful symbols that fill a space, such as Music and Weather. It's better -- more iconic, less illustrative."

So there you have it, a point in the iOS 7 win column from Susan Kare herself.

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