Dear Apple, have you lost it?
We live in a world of symmetry, or at least we tend to prefer symmetrical things to unsymmetrical things. For the sake of dramatizing let’s just call it what it is; chaos. Things that have no symmetry and no pattern, are in a state of chaos and chaos is nuts. So we prefer symmetry. We use in design, we use it in engineering, in science. It even occurs beyond our control in nature (butterflies, sea shells, snow flakes) and beyond our reach in space! Things make sense when they’re symmetrical. So when I look at my €1000 iPhone 6 Plus screen and notice that the spacing and gutters between the icons and dock are not symmetrical, I just have to ask. WTF Apple?
Why the f**k is it that when I look at my iPhone screen in portrait mode, the icon furthest to the left has 3px on its left more than the right side of the icon furthest to the right? Why are the icons to the left of the center line 2px closer to it than the icons to the right of it? What’s more, this chaos isn’t even consistent and isn’t carried through to the screen dots at the bottom of the screen. The dot on the left of the center line is 3px closer to it that the dot on the right. And the icons in the dock are all offset to the left by 1px compared to the icons that are not in the dock!
So far we have 107px, 104px, 53px, 51px, 15px 12px, 3px, 2px and 1px. Still with me?
It gets worse
Call me a fanboy, but I kinda liked that the Plus I had decided to get to replace my 4 had a landscape mode. But holy-pixel-spacing-chaos Batman! In landscape mode the chaos continues!
The icon furthest to the left has 113px on its left side. So naturally you’d expect the icon furthest to the right to have that too, but nooooo, it’s 97px off from the dock! That’s a staggering 16px difference! Maybe its because the dock is on the side of the screen and the dock icons will line up correctly? Wrong again. The dock icon has 60px to its right and 48px to its left towards the dock’s edge.
At this point I’ve given up all hope. I drew out two center lines. One for the screenshot and the other for the area excluding the dock area. ‘Naturally’ the icons to the left and right of the second center line have different gutter spacings; 55px and 71px respectively. And the screen dots, well, they don’t even line up with the same center line, they don’t even line up with their own center line. It’s a lost cause really.
It’s not that big of a deal
Truth be told, I noticed this shit storm a whopping 6 months after owning my 6 Plus since January. So it’s not like I’ve been suffering from eye twitches or anything. It just seems weird that in the world of design and webdesign in particular, where we have gutters and frameworks and columns, that something like that isn’t carried over into product design by Apple, of all companies.
And if you’ve ever seen a video from Apple where the various senior staff members (specifically Johnny Ive) talk about how meticulously they pay attention to every detail of every product they make (“we make the hardware and the software, blah blah blah”), you can’t help but think they seriously missed the target on this one!
Oh, and to sum up, we have 113px, 107px, 104px, 97px, 71px, 60px, 55px, 53px, 51px, 48px 16px, 15px, 12px, 3px, 2px and 1px gutter spacings and pixel differences throughout a single screen. F**k yeah!