In this case study, I decided to take on the challenge to re-think the Control Center from an Apple product designer point-of-view. Thinking about the constraints and the design language of Apple iOS 11, but also daring to be more task oriented.
About the project
The evolution of the Control Center between the years 2013 to 2017
The more things changed, the more they stayed the same.
The problems of the current Control Center as I see them
#1 — Why not edit the Control Center In the Control Center?
In its present state, I am compelled to go through time-wasting multiple functions to get to where I want to be.
#2 — It’s not fully customizable
There are still a few permanent, unmovable features there that are irrelevant to my daily use of the Control Center. I could do without many of them, but yet I can’t remove them.
#3 — The limited ability of actions
Here’s one example: Wouldn’t you rather be able to also control the Wi-Fi settings directly from the Control Center??The on/off button on the Wi-Fi should not be the only option available to me.
A few words about the design process
During the design process, my goal was not to create an entirely new Control Center interface.
Instead, my goal was to create a natural look and feel to the existing iPhone interface.
That same mindset leads me to design short, quick and playful animations to keep the user amused and empowered. It’s also my job as a product designer to blend in with a brand’s design system and not redesign anything, while still offering some minor add-ons and tweaks here and there to create a more delightful, emotional experience for all users.
User interviews and sketching things out
I personally interviewed 10 different iOS users, across different genders and age (all living in Israel though) to ask about their experience with the new Control Center, and hear what they would like to have the option to do with it but can’t.
Before I move on to the digital tools, I started with sketching the solutions that I thought could work.
The designed solutions
#1 — Almost fully customizable
Every feature in the Control Center, other than the volume and light, is editable. I can add, remove and move the apps and controls icons.
#2 —Editing the Control Center inside the Control Center
#3 — Expanded options upon force touch
Going beyond the restrictive on/off choice. Wouldn’t you want to add, remove, and connect to available Wi-Fi networks? How about Bluetooth devices?
#4 — Quick access to the iPhone settings
installing the Setting Icon in the Control Center will get you where you want to go. Faster!
Going the Extra Mile
Once I pulled the first string, it led me to other improvements on my wish-list.
Accessing my ‘Favorites’, navigating with Waze ‘Take Me Home’, or doing a Google search are now a force touch away from the Control Center.
I believe that, as designers, we should always question and attempt to improve any product we interact with.