A critical analysis of the iOS 10 lockscreen experience

In your article you have made a great walkthrough, covering many of the gripes people have with the new lock screen in iOS 10.

It’s always easy to “go Nielsen” on a UI and point out all usability flaws. But have you truly asked yourself why they made these design choices? It appears you just point them out. You and I both have this itchy feeling of illogical design, but let’s take a closer look into reasons for it being there.

When working closely with a product, you come to realize there are often many constraints that needs to be balanced, and it’s not that easy to let go of legacy while preparing for the future of your product.

In the following line of thought, I’m focusing on the “death by a 1000 swipes” dilemma brought up:

Apple is clearly pushing 3D Touch as the main way to do more advanced interactions with the lock screen elements. But a lot of their customers are still using old devices without 3D Touch support.

There are many different options to solve this. They could for instance have done down different solutions for different devices. But instead, it seems like they made a mashup of interaction models (that would make any sensible designer in charge feel a bit awkward).

They actually don’t care that much about what designers think though. More important for Apple, is to gradually phase their existing customers into a new interaction model by introducing it step by step.

I’d say we’re looking at an intermediary state right now, that will change during the next two years. It is not stringent or perfect from an interaction model point of view, but it makes it possible for you to gradually learn about new features, while feeling like you’re in familiar territory, since the old model is still available to use.

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