Designers love their tech, right? Well, it turns out that spiffing up one’s mobile device has been a hot topic of later for Apple users.
A definitive new aesthetic trend has cropped up since iOS 14 publicly dropped last week, with users relishing the advent of the operating system’s widgets. These adjustable content blocks expand the functionality of existing iPhone apps, as well as the available layouts of the device’s home screens.
However, some enterprising iPhone owners are going even further now that Apple has given a bit more leash to device customization. From fresh screen icons to coordinated color palettes, wallpapers to the newly-launched widgets, iOS 14 users have been crafting layouts to create visual experiences all their own—even if they buck the norm set by Apple’s ecosystem-wide design language.
While the competing Android operating system has had a decidedly more laissez-faire approach to users tailoring their own on-screen experiences, Apple’s been heralded for the design of their products as much as their functionality and performance.
As we’re sure you know, over the last two decades Apple has doubled down on its sleek, minimal, and stricter design standards that govern its industrial design—and subsequently its user interfaces. That means Apple devices have been a bit more inflexible in terms of making tweaks under the hood that alter on-screen aesthetics. While jailbreaking has been an option to get more unbridled customization, it’s not a practical option for most phone-users looking to add a little personality to their device.
Apps such as Widgetsmith, Color Widgets , and Photo Widget have also appeared for purchase, which allow users to further remodel their screens—by utilizing the iPhone’s built-in Shortcut functionality, these add-on apps let users simulate additional layout options.
Show off those design chops!
We’ll admit that designers may preemptively bemoan the potential MySpace-ification of otherwise pristine devices, c’mon—there is something exciting about being able to tinker thoughtfully and make your phone your own.
So who says our attuned aesthetic sensibilities need to be threatened by or disdainful of this newfound creative freedom? Whether it’s shepherding in now-hip trends like organizing bookshelves by the color of your books’ spines, copious use of typography and letterforms as home decor, or an affinity for hand-lettered signage, designers’ bread-and-butter is very much popularly appreciated by the supposedly non-design savvy masses.
And now that reins are loosened for everybody, designers, too, have the chance to really make these new iOS 14 capabilities really shine. We’re supposed to be the experts in things like layout, color, iconography, and typography, right? Heck, let’s lean right into it! Think of it as a miniature branding project!
Theme & Layout Inspiration
Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok are any indication, designers and non-designers alike are really fired up about the changes iOS 14 allows—and they’re very much proud to show off their personalized creations. So here on the blog, we’ve rounded up some of our very favorite examples of iOS 14 home screen customization that have been recently trending across social media.
— meg ♡ (@meganegallimore) September 23, 2020
— t🤠 (@highlysubpar) September 22, 2020
— Leyla (@sevdaglow) September 21, 2020
— 🌻Lillie🌻 (@LillieRieker) September 21, 2020
— kel (@mdnght99) September 22, 2020