Compared to the iPhone, most of the WP7S organizing screens have lower content resolution, which violates flatness and leads to hierarchical stacking and temporal sequencing of screens. In day-to-day use, maybe the panorama screens will solve the stacking/sequencing problem, or maybe they will just clutter up the flow of information. Of course Microsoft’s customers are already familiar with deep layerings and complex hierarchies.
One of the things that we were interested in doing is, despite people talked about this being “flat,” is that it’s very, very deep. It’s constructed and architected visually and from an informational point of view as a very deep UI, but we didn’t want to rely on shadows or how big your highlights could get. Where do you go? I mean, there is only so long you can make your shadows.
It wasn’t an aesthetic idea to try to create layers. It was a way of trying to sort of deal with different levels of information that existed and to try to give you a sense of where you were.
Something I consider myself fluent at is being able to look at an array of interfaces and pick up on subtle nuances amongst design decisions, trends, and practices. When you are always conscious of the interface, it quickly becomes apparent how the designers are influenced by a.) specific other designs b.) industry practices and c.) personal taste.
Recently I have been studying iOS7 from a purely speculative approach. And instead of just looking at screenshots and dismissing the brightly colored app-icons, or mocking some of the animations or effects, I like to enjoy the work that has been put into it. Which is something I would recommend to anyone involved in both design and development. That is to take it in first, really digest it before reacting. Use it a more-than-healthy amount.
A common thought i’ve read on iOS7 is that it brings together many great things from Android, Windows Phone, and even WebOS. I would argue that as a generalization it goes much deeper than that. The designers at Apple are studying day in and day out what works, and what doesn’t work. Looking at the work of many folks, both inside and outside the firm. Influence runs deep.
As a neat anecdote of this, take a look at the gradient in iA Writer’s cursor and then look at the app gradient-background on the App Store icon. I didn’t do any actual color comparison in photoshop but it’s fairly easy to see the similarities. This may be a bit of a stretch and likely just a coincidence but interesting nonetheless. iA Writer has been available since 2011 and hasn’t changed a bit other than adding new features, yet iA Writer looks like it was born on iOS7.
The Treaty of Paris in 1783 was interrupted by an argument between Benjamin Franklin and Louis XVI’s printer over whether to set the treaty in Baskerville or Caslon. Benjamin Franklin, mocking the Frenchman, contended Caslon was “passé” and began singing “Le Poisson” from The Little Mermaid. The fight was broken up by Franklin’s mistress. A patina statue off the coast of New Jersey marks the occasion.
I was scooting around on my Apple TV after the update that brought HBO Go and I noticed that you can select a picture screensaver that randomly cycles through new/upcoming movie posters. After trying it out I realized how nice it was. Movie posters reveal a lot and having a scrolling canvas of upcoming ones is a great idea. I could see this being ideal for home theaters that like to build on the cinema experience.
Simplicity is great, as iOS has shown. But there’s a difference between conceptual simplicity and visual simplicity. Just hiding controls does make things appear simpler, but it doesn’t actually make them any simpler. The complexity is now just hidden. Similarly, removing features that few people use is a good idea, but like any good idea, it can be taken too far. At a certain point, you’re just making your application worse for everyone, even new users.
It’s called “Project Loon,” and as reported last month, it involved sending up a huge number of giant balloons to beam down internet access to remote regions around the globe. Google says that balloons make sense for this purpose — they’re cheap to deploy and can provide wireless coverage in areas that would otherwise be difficult to serve due to geography.
The Aeropress coffee maker makes a great cup of coffee, and making it is a nice experience but nice != great. You don’t settle for a nice cup of coffee so the experience making it should be as good as the result. My idea is simple: A station to elegantly hold all of the pieces of the Aeropress. Just a butchers block of wood with cut outs for each individual part. I don’t have a good diagram, but it’s not hard to visualize how this would look with different cuts on both the front and top for each component.
It seems so very obvious to me when im making coffee via the Aeropress that there needs to be something like this created. So im releasing my idea to the wild. If there is enough interest, I may try to develop a prototype and head to Kickstarter. Alternatively, I would we willing to work with someone who has the wherwithal to make this happen. I have a pretty good idea of exactly how the block would need to be cut to accommodate for each component.
Trying to use inventor fusion, I created the mock-up below but it doesn’t really come across exactly how I want it to. As well, this would be something I would research more to see how folks are actually using them. I know how I use mine and I will keep the two primary tubes together after a “press,” but I don’t expect this in every case. So it would require some more development to find the “just right” layout.
The Aeropress Station Prototype
Reach out to me on twitter @tbolt if you want to know more and/or are interested in helping.
The hot topic of the month is flat design and expectations that it will appear in iOS7. What I want to know is, why hasn’t anyone pointed out that Windows Phone 7/8 is a quintessential model for flat design, and that it’s failing?