From the start, I've dubbed iOS 7 as "nice eye candy." But I've always wondered if consumers agree. As it turns out, a recent online poll conducted by Polar proves that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) hardware design guru Jony Ive may have a knack for software, too.

iOS 7. Source: Apple.

In the survey, Polar displays images of key features on iOS 6 next to the redesigned feature on iOS 7. People taking the poll can then choose which design for a particular key feature they prefer.

Polar's poll: iOS 6 versus iOS 7. Source: 9To5Mac.

Though the survey is ongoing, 9To5Mac's last count showed that, on average, 72% of polled users prefer the iOS 7 design.

A much-needed management shake-up
Though the ultimate test comes when consumers get hands-on experience with the newly designed OS, the positive results from this poll are certainly encouraging for long-term investors -- especially in light of Apple's major management shake-up last year.

The changes to management -- especially the departure of Scott Forstall -- marked a major shift in the company's direction. Scott Forstall, the executive in charge of Apple's mobile software division, oversaw the iOS on the iPhone and iPad.

In October 2011, Businessweek called him "a mini-Steve," saying that, "He may also be the best remaining proxy for the voice of Steve Jobs, the person most likely to channel the departed co-founder's exacting vision for how technology should work."

With such an iconic executive gone, many investors wondered if the company could muster the same sort of vigor in iOS, going forward. After all, the position was filled by an executive with a background in hardware design.

Source: Apple press info.

So far, it looks like Ive's uncanny taste for impressive design in hardware is going to carry over solidly to his new role overseeing the software side, too.

What about you -- do you prefer the new iOS 7 design over iOS 6?