Here’s a great post on smartphone UI (in particular, iOS UI), and how to improve it. As anyone with an iPhone can testify, the grid of icons is definitely not the greatest of UIs. It may seem more appealing (to some) than Android’s jagged edges and sharp corners, but it is often lacking when it comes to intuitiveness. Muscle memory aside, remembering where each icon is relative to each other is a bit of a pain, especially with new and better apps for the same actions coming out almost weekly.
This post introduces a new paradigm: instead of apps, how about having a grid of actions? It’s a fascinating idea, and while I don’t believe it will show up on any mobile OS anytime soon, the post itself makes for some fascinating reading.
Here’s an idea: how about replacing pixel graphics with vector graphics? This Google Slide Presentation makes a case for putting all your eggs in the SVG basket, and makes quite the case at that. If you’re a designer, you’re probably already aware of the scaling issues associated with pixel-based images. Not to mention how many SVG icon sets are available, ready to use. We like the way the presentation makes great points, and yet stays lively and light, thanks to the liberal sprinkling of GIFs. This is a great presentation, definitely worth the five-odd minutes of your time it would take for you to go through it.
Apps these days have become more and more complex, and are lightyears away in terms of intuitiveness and polish from the initial set of apps that inundated the App Store. Look no further than Facebook Paper, the benchmark for this exciting new age of app design.
This crash course of lessons on how to get started with Quartz Composer and Facebook Origami is a great place to start your app design prototyping journey. The entire set is available for a weekend launch special price of $60 (Regular Price – $75), and comes with 39 videos, 12 compositions and 5 lessons. If you’re interested, the first lesson is available for free to try.
As anyone who is working/has worked for a startup can testify, the greatest challenge is getting noticed. In this endeavour, even the best of ideas can sometimes be lost to the world, if the idea itself isn’t packaged in a great design. This post makes the case for tech startups to have one great designer on staff, so that they can make use of his/her innate ability to know what people would respond to. Some great examples have been used to make a case for this staffing arrangement.
You think iA Writer is minimalist? Get a load of this app. Typewriter is, as the website says, ‘A text editor with no features’. Intrigued, we decided to take a further look at the app. It is, indeed, without any features except for typing. No distraction free environment has come closer than Typewriter in simplicity. You can’t even delete/replace your own typos, kind of like… A Typewriter. This makes for completely uninterrupted, free flowing writing, and we loved it. As a case in point, all of this (rather more verbose than usual) Platter has been written in Typewriter before being formatted for the site. Typewriter is definitely worth a look if you’re one of those people who needs to have a constant flow while writing.