Tag Archives: Design

The Ah-Ha Moment….and what comes after

09.30.2013

Two Wednesdays ago – Apple held their keynote.

The public got to hear about what developers had been privately talking about ever since WWDC. New iOS7, drastically new design, new phone colors, new cases, new everything. After all the news stories, podcasts, dinner conversations, and tweets – I will be glad if I never have to hear about iOS7 again. (side note: I do not worship at the foot of the giant golden apple like some members of LunarLincoln).

Something that I had been very vocal about, since seeing the beta iOS on Wiley’s phone weeks ago, was the lack of forethought put into the new OS.  The day-glo colors, the hyper thin fonts, the icon redesigns – some of it seemed…first draft/rookie. There were a lot of changes, and I’m not sure every single aspect had been vetted to a Job-sian standard. Now, the general public may not be as finely attuned as I am to these things and will never bat an eye at the changes, but one thing everyone DID notice was this:

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 10.33.27 AMSeriously? There are at least 5 quick fixes to this issue. – No circles, Fill in those circles, Move the circles, Move the regs, Don’t get into the case industry.

But, whats done is done. Aaaaand, why not benefit from other’s missteps?

Here comes the ah-ha moment….can’t someone just cover up the “hon”? What if the circles were frames…what if…we built an app to fix this.

IN A WEEK.

Obviously, we didn’t do it in a week. WE DID IT IN TWO. BAMMMMMMM.

I do not suggest ever building an app in two weeks if you value your free-time, sanity, household cleanliness, or personal relationships with business partners. That said, our app is currently in review and I feel pretty damn excited about it.

Things I learned when building an app in a condensed timeline:
- You don’t get to “sit” on your design. Don’t let it ruminate. Don’t edit it with the clear eyes of the next morning. Nope – slap that crap together at 11pm
- You have to edit on the fly a lot. How many times have I rebuilt the photoslider? Or resized/recolored icons – do not ask.
- To quote the Real World, you will “stop being polite and start being real” (And NO we do not need 10 tutorial screens (but I will make you one, if you just shut up uuuughhh))
- You will have to compromise on concept. Our platonic ideal is about 2 more updates down the road, but 1.0 isn’t half bad.
- There is a lot more design to an app than just UI. We need an icon, a facebook cover image, a twitter background, a website, a landing page, some mockups, a press kit. Oh hey, what about a video?
- You will lie to yourself again and again about what “almost done” really means.

We’re almost done you guys! Hopefully, the powers that be will look at our app, approve its excellence – even if it is poking at their failure – and everything can go public. Now we just have to wait and see.

Poly Poly Poly

08.15.2013

So, I have been seeing this style of design for awhile now and have really loved it. It was one of those things where I couldn’t find the right “google-magic” to really know what it was called. “Triangle+abstract+shattered+folded paper+art+design” was just not cutting it.

Luckily, one of my many random “sign up for this stupid newsletter to get this free download” e-blasts was actually useful this week. (And yes, I do read ALL of my e-mail, ALL of the time) It’s called….

LOW POLY. Now. What does low poly look like? Like these excellent examples:

low-poly-timothy-reynolds-1b
lowpolysphere
low-poly-JR-Schmidt-3

It seems that the programs you use to create these beauties lies more in the realm of video editing. But with the help of this refreshingly, wonderful tutorial (it actually includes all steps, clear, quick commentary, and nice/realistic examples), I am going to make myself a ton of these awesome pointy and colorful things. New art to come!

Font-tastic

07.05.2013

Similar to colors, font’s can make or break your design. It’s often the things that are the most subtle, that make the most impact.

Font selection, kerning, line height, style, these are all things you definitely should be thinking about. With the wonderful invention of FontFace, you no longer are limited to the standard web fonts.

Comic sans the whole site! Or don’t. Please don’t.

Or use this wonderful resource of “new” webfonts. Or convert one of your favorite fonts to a “webfont” with FontSquirrel (a font aggregator with great taste).

Now, I recognize I have a serious problem with fonts – similar to Pokemon, I feel, I’ve “gotta collect them all”. 52 body styles of Neutra? Bring it on! 100 different “handwriting fonts”? Why not? Fonts based purely on dingbats? Sh’yeah.

At the end of the day, though, less is more.
Build your app or website with no more than 3 fonts:

  • A display font (the fun/elaborate one for titles & big things)
  • A body font (basic serif or sans serif)
  • And maybe a third one for variation – pull quotes, sidebars, submenus, etc (another simple complementary serif/sans to pair with the body).

After selecting the “look” of your fonts, then you can get down the nitty-gritty – the “science of fonts” if you will. This article pretty much sums up the extremes you can go to, in creating the ideal font spacing, sizing, etc. Review it, think upon it, and go forth and make beautiful typography. 

Color Palettes

06.21.2013

So, as you may have seen on the twitter, I am not a fan of the color palette’s used in the new iOS redesign. I get where they are going with the flatt-er UI and the simplification – that is all well and good (though they put out what seems to be rough, first drafts). But I cannot get the Lisa Frank color gradients. I loved Lisa Frank – it was the only coloring book that I colored EVERY SINGLE PAGE of in elementary school, but that’s just it love”ED”. The neon gradients need to stay in the 90′s along with stirrup pants and windsuits.

Why so annoyed? Color is important, color can be the critical point between meh and yeh. With the Lunchtimer app, we spent a lot of time looking at color palettes – and a lot of time lining up screen shots of combos next to each other until my desktop looked like the paint-chip counter at Home Depot. I actually like to look at home decorating sites to get ideas – the colors are broader and more varied there than the tiny little squares most palette sites give you. I think we finally settled on something really nice and fresh but not too trendy. Sneak peek to the left here.

Anyways, aside from designing and selecting color palettes, below are some links to some interesting things I’ve been enjoying lately (and are thematically related)

DesignSponge – History of Colors Series
RadioLab Colors Podcast – Which I reference at least once a month
HowAboutOrange – a design blog I love, that happens to feature A LOT of orange.

Another Single Interesting Post

04.16.2013

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