Back to Basics: On or Off
There’s a proliferation of bi-state toggle icons on the web right now, many of them for the express purpose of “liking” or “favoriting” things. Take, for instance, this list of spaces from Confluence. It’s very clear which ones have been marked as favorites and those that have not. Gray means “off”, and a star that is lit up bright gold is “on”. This utilizes two basic principles: People...
Practical Lessons from Games: Incentives
Now that I’ve upgraded to Mountain Lion, and MobileMe has closed, I’ve had to replace my iDisk. For those of you who don’t know, it offered the same functionality as DropBox, and that was the only reason I had not yet started using DropBox. So, I set up a DropBox account over the weekend, and I’m really digging their new user experience. Not only do they provide a tour of their service and...
Don’t Waste Time Teaching Tools
I finally got around to reading Jon Kolko’s post, Code is material: why designers must learn to code, which has been sitting in my Safari reading list since he wrote it back in June. If you’ve been reading my own posts here, or attended my talk, Working with Developers for Fun and Profit, you already know that I am in complete agreement with Jon. Go read his article, and don’t miss the comments by...
Interaction 13 Call for Participation
Interaction 13’s call for participation went out yesterday. Like last year, they are accepting 10 and 45 minute talks, as well as half and full-day workshops. Of course, one constant for the Interaction conferences has been the ever-changing format, and there are some new offerings this year. Posters are a staple at many conferences, but this is the first year they will be exhibited at...
Indie Game, The Movie
I took some time out yesterday morning to watch Indie Game, The Movie. To be honest, I started watching it while eating breakfast, and I had intended to get up and do the dishes while I continued watching it, but it completely sucked me in, and I spent the majority of my morning on the couch. This is an outstanding film, but first, a little background. I seem to be talking about Kickstarter quite...
99% Breaks 200%
Back in April, I discovered Roman Mars’ podcast, 99% Invisible. While I was away on vacation last week, Roman launched a Kickstarter campaign. As he explained in a recent episode, he reached his goal of $42,000 in one day, even before he had a chance to release a podcast announcing it. If we meet the goal, we will cover all the basic expenses for one-year production of the show (salaries,...
I payed $15 for a free app
Please pardon me for spending one more post on Apple’s new Podcasts app. I thought I had given it enough knocks in my initial critique, but today’s events are worth the telling. I received email from AT&T this morning, warning me that I was nearing my data plan allowance. I’m currently on the cheapest, 200 MB plan, and that is usually just enough. I certainly wasn’t expecting to be...
In the Details: Reel-to-Reel
A couple weeks ago, I critiqued the design of Apple’s new Podcasts app, and I mentioned the representation of a reel-to-reel tape player that is revealed when the cover art is tapped. I spent a little more time playing with it and wanted to point out the very detailed work that went into it. I did not realize at first that the thickness of the tape on the reels corresponds to the percentage of...
Last week’s vacation was an interesting exercise. Every summer, my family spends a week in that cabin in the woods. We do have a television antenna, so we pick up a couple of local stations, in high definition no less, but we don’t have a phone, there’s no internet, and you can’t get a cell signal. I’m well used to going the week without email, but this has really been the first year that I’ve...
Almost a month ago, I explained my affinity for the functionality in Apple’s MobileMe service. As promised, MobileMe has been shut down. There’s a “CLOSED” sign hanging from the page, with a perfect little swinging animation. I also mentioned that I was moving my church’s photo gallery to ZangZing. I had already migrated all of the photo albums. All I had left to do was change the links from the...
Change By Design
I’ve been using Tom Kelley’s The Art of Innovation as a textbook for my class about product innovation through design process for several years now. It’s 11 years old, and I was thinking about finding a contemporary replacement for it. I just read Tim Brown’s Change By Design, figuring it would be in the same vein, but fresher, considering it was published in 2009. I was a bit disappointed. Don’t...
I’ve started using Apple’s new Podcasts app, rather than listening to my podcasts in the Music app. While I do like having the ability to subscribe, download, or stream podcasts directly in the app, rather than having to make a trip to the iTunes store, there are some design decisions I don’t agree with. The first screen lists all of the podcasts you have subscribed to, but it doesn’t list them...
I took my girls to see Brave over the weekend. Pixar has another home run on their hands. As I expected, the film features a wonderful story with lovable characters and a sound, moral lesson. There’s just enough threat to keep things interesting and a healthy helping of humor. The score is also quite good, if you like music of Celtic origin. I already purchased the soundtrack. As I said, that’s...