The Real Problem with iOS Concept Videos

My pal Harry C. Marks writing for Macgasm recently wrote an interesting post examining the way design nerds are missing the point of iOS concept videos titled This Week in “Nerds Ruin Everything”: iOS Concepts.

It’s a well written post that cuts to the core of why designers produce things like operating system concept videos and product mock-ups:

These designs, regardless of how realistic they may be when compared with Apple’s design guidelines, are less about expectations and more about building résumés. To waste pixels and time deconstructing how un-Apple like they are misses the point entirely.

Harry’s dead right that the point of concept videos and product mock-ups is not to predict the future direction that Apple, or any company, might take their products. It’s to show what the designers themselves are capable of. Anyone judging the video or mock-up itself is missing the point in the worst way possible.

On the other hand, there is one group using these concept videos and mockup who absolutely need to be called on their bullshit. That is the gadget blogs who use these proposals as more grist for the shitty-rumor-pageviews-mill. Cases in point:

Let’s start with this shitty article from the Huffington Post UK, iOS 7 Concept Video: Is This The Future Of The iPhone? (VIDEO). I don’t know Huffington Post, could some random video that you cribbed from TUAW be the “future” of the iPhone. Wait, I do know, and the answer is fuck you.

The next example in out shit-parade comes from Tom’s Hardware (The Authority on Tech) who feels that Concept Video iOS 7 Hints at Possibilties. This turd features a staple of the current crop of shitty commentary about Apple interfaces, the retarded slam at Scott Forstall:

With the recent departure of Scott Forstall (former Senior VP of iOS Software Dev), Apple have subsequently replaced him with Jony Ive. With this change in management many people are hoping to see some major changes in the UI of iOS. Previous versions of Apple’s mobile operation system have all had their ups and downs, but with a consistent cry from the public to change the notifications system and user interface.

Yeah, that dick Forstall. I mean what did he ever do for Apple1. I have a wake-up call for the author of this crap: “People” aren’t hoping for major changes. “The public” isn’t crying out for changes to the user interface. The only people clamoring for those things are change-obsessed gadget geeks—and they aren’t people.

Moving on, TUAW takes hyperbole up another notch with iOS 7 concept video shows intriguing possibilities. Ooooh, I’m intrigued. Wait, no I’m not. What’s the opposite of “intrigued”, “outrigued? Is that a word? Fuck you, it is now.

The Next Web likes itself some overblown language with the headline A stunning concept of what Apple’s iOS 7 could (and perhaps should) be like [Video]. This particular piece is based on the Simply Zesty concept that Harry writes about in his article. Now, I grant you that the video itself is a decent enough bit of work (bearing in mind its true purpose) but the design proposed shows a complete lack of understanding of Apple and Apple’s design aesthetic. That’s fine when you’re showing a design as an example of your skills. It’s completely fucking unacceptable when you are a major tech blog proposing that this design is something that Apple (perhaps) should adopt.

I could go on — seriously I have another 5 tabs open in my browser right now with similar bullshit — but there’s really no need to. This is the problem with design concept videos. It’s not that they exist. They exist for good reasons and, when viewed in that context, can be useful. It’s when the shit-bags in the gadget press use them as yet another arrow in their quiver of rumor-mongering bullshit that they become annoying.

  1. Well, other than bring the iPhone from a concept to the most dominate smartphone is history. But other than that he was useless.