The Platter: 18 May 2014

The Platter: 18 May 2014

Design Principles: Space And The Figure-Ground Relationship

This article by Steven Bradley on Smashing Magazine is a treatise on the importance of the management of negative space, i.e., the part of your design canvas without any UI/UX elements on it. Making a case that consumers will consider negative space to be a part of the overall product as well, the author highlights how crucial it is to think of negative space to be a complement to active UI/UX elements. In today’s age of iOS7, and the abundance of white space in apps and websites, ensuring that negative space is considered to be an “active element, and not a passive background” is a great piece of advice for budding, as well as experienced, designers. Well worth a read.

Why and How to avoid Hamburger Menus

Hamburger Menus are as ubiquitous in apps these days as the home button is on the iPhone. It is the one UI element that even transcends mobile OSes, with some Android Apps including them as well. Without a mouse to control touch screens, the act of right-clicking to reveal further options is what the Hamburger icon brings to apps. This post aggregates the four major problems with using this design feature, as opposed to having persistent elements on screen to do the same thing. Sure, the app might look cleaner, but it also reduces the engagement the consumer has with the app itself, and it also obfuscates several crucial features of the app. While I prefer the cleanliness of apps that keep optional menus out of my face by using hamburger icons, there’s no denying the points made in this post.

The Iconfactory Website Redesign

The people at The Iconfactory are a lovely bunch of people, who have given the world such gems as Twitterrific, xScope and pretty much all of the best designed icons and UIs on the App Store’s top Apps (Radium for iOS, for instance). They’ve just redesigned their website to make it an even more gorgeous experience, and the lessons they’ve learned over twenty years in the business clearly shows. But then, you pretty much knew everything they do would be visually stunning, didn’t you? (I mean, have you SEEN Twitterrific?)

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Mac users know that one of the best things about the platform is the absolute plethora of apps, shortcuts and tweaks available to completely tailor-make every individual’s personal experience with his computer. We’re always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to boost productivity. Inevitably, one of the holdups in any workflow is when one needs to switch from keyboard to mouse/trackpad, since going back to the keyboard almost always necessitates a glance at it, breaking the rhythm one builds up. This excellent collection of native and personalised keyboard shortcuts for the Mac makes for fascinating reading. If you have a Mac, take the site for a spin, and soon, you’ll be pumping out your assignments faster than one can say ‘Cmd+Enter’.

The difference between Brand and Identity

Being a marketing person myself, this article caught my eye. It addresses an age old question that old hands in the marketing industry also sometimes struggle with. Essentially, the concept of a Brand and the Identity one associates with a product aren’t as synonymous as most people think. From addressing the basic definition of ‘Brand’ and how it is used in contemporary life to the connection between a Brand and a Logo (an element of Identity), this article explains everything in stunning simplicity. It’s a fantastic post and should hold any budding marketer/branding professional in good stead. Yours truly was very grateful for the chance to brush up on concepts learned an age ago, but extremely relevant in day-to-day life, and I’m sure you will be, too.

What we published this week

The Dialogue: Russell Ivanovic
Castro 1.1
narwhal for reddit
das Referenz — Wikipedia on your iPad
Equilibrium — A Mac App to Control your Music
Kentucky Route Zero Act III

Milan. McLaren. MICA. Beautiful Pixels.