September 20, 2013, 8:00 AM — It’s as predictable as it is ridiculous. Whenever a popular product undergoes a drastic redesign, users and nonusers alike come out of the woodwork to declare the death of the entire company. In a shocking surprise to nobody, Wednesday’s release of iOS7 prompted overreactions across the web.
Any time you introduce change you’re going to face resistance. I don’t know if it’s human nature or just a modern culture of short-sightedness. People have deep attachments to the familiar and when that familiarity becomes threatened they tend to overreact initially. After some time the new becomes the familiar and the hysteria is forgotten. It happens every time.
Remember the Facebook redesign(s)? People went ballistic. TechCrunch, The Gawker Network, Windows Vista, Windows 8, Yahoo Sports, YouTube, Flickr the list is endless. The most frustrating part is that each time is like the first time for everyone. They completely forget how this plays out and it becomes an end of the world scenario all over again.
Today is Apple’s turn with iOS7 being released on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch this week. Apple calls this upgrade the most significant since the inception of iOS. It’s hard to argue with that since major changes have been basically non existent until now, but visually the OS has changed in a variety of ways. Functionality has been altered, features rearranged, the entire feel is different. But that is what progressive companies do to make...progress. It’s essential for companies to take you out of your comfort zone every few years, otherwise nothing would ever improve. Take the medical industry which lags the general population by roughly 10 years; the vast majority are still running Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 or 7. This prevents the field as a whole from taking advantage of the wealth of new technologies now available which could provide support to their profession.
Just like every other time in history, people will acclimate. Their lives will be improved. Today’s scary change will become tomorrow’s comforting normality. In the meantime, bask in the absurdity of it all courtesy of Twitter and @MiddleClassProb: