January 7, 2013
Max Themes Blog: ✎ If you see a UI walkthrough, they blew it


Clear, Rise and Solar are three examples of a trend of “gesture driven” apps with a flat UI. These are novelty apps for people lusting for the very latest in app design. …

These apps have chosen to reduce details to achieve a minimal UI, but in the process the UI has also become harder to use. Unfortunately a UI walkthrough is quite an inelegant way to explain the core functionality of an app. It can be a frustrating obstacle before you can dive into an app, and you have to remember all of those new ways of using it once you get in. 

I agree that the more subtle approach is usually the best for slightly hidden or ou of place features but when you try to push the boundaries of touch based interactions and not include some tutorial or walkthrough, you run the risk of fatally slow discovery of features.  Max also states that when you move to a minimal UI you reduce details, to which I disagree.  

You can certainly achieve a minimal UI without reducing details. have a look at Check The Weather app on iOS which does an amazing job of packing in nothing but details combined with a minimal UI.  They are a gesture based system which has a UI walkthrough hidden in the help menu.

When it comes to teaching users to use your UIs, I would recommend to do so mainly by progressive disclosure with slight visual cues and subtle animations - only use a walkthrough as a final resort.

If you app is complex and deep or an entirely new “system”, taking the suggested approach would result in constantly bombarding the user with moving elements which hint at hidden features. Imagine if Check the Weather  Had all of its hidden features pop up and down to ‘remind you’ they are there.

In Max’s own app example, he uses the subtle visual cue approach to basically tell the user “Hey, The Ingredient List which is usually the first thing you see on a recipe card is actually hidden on this piece of paper which we are making you swipe over to find”  This works well because the user is probably looking for the ingredient list to begin with and seeing the paper slide in is a good visual cue.  That whole interaction seems unnecessary to me but the visual cue works fine. 

In summary, I agree that when you are providing access to features or options, using slight visual cues are a good idea, but would be ridiculous in practice when all of your “gesture based” app’s features are hidden and you are attempting to achieve a minimal UI. I think that a better approach for these more deep and more complex systems which attempt a minimal UI would be a UI walkthrough within the help system.  

11:48am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z6oLOxbCLhCe
Filed under: UX UI iOS 
December 26, 2012
Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek - Multimedia Feature - NYTimes.com

This is one of the most amazing mixes of amazingly executed technology and story telling i’ve ever seen.  The use of animated GIFS is extremely well done and makes for a compelling way to progress through the experience.  

I don’t have much experience with rich HTML5 based ebooks, but if they work as well as this and provide as much engagement and payoff they have a brite future indeed.

10:48am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z6oLOxaCunym
Filed under: UI UX nytimes best of 2012 
November 8, 2012
Scriptkiddie Chronicles: The better ui choice is actually worse

Looking better does not equal better functioning. 


Just a minute ago I did not have blog, but just now I read an article featured on Hacker News, written by Chris Norström and titled: “Invention: Multiple-Choice “Windowed Slider” UI” . I wanted to reply in a comment because I do not agree with Chris. While typing my comment, I realised it…

Great analysis of what seems on the surface to be a clever UI design.  In truth the idea is too vague to be applied to such different set of control elements and doesn’t hold up.  

11:14am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z6oLOxWsY8NF
Filed under: UX Design 
October 12, 2012


Bloomberg Flexible Display / Antenna Design New York Inc.

Two ultra thin displays are mounted on an elegant arm that can be easily rotated from horizontal to vertical position, with software automatically adjusting screen orientation. Display heads can be separately rotated for horizontal or vertical orientation, allowing for multiple display configurations.

(via thenextweb)

10:19am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z6oLOxV8XaAp
Filed under: ux displays 
October 10, 2012
"Taking it one step further, Apple could implement the portrait interface they use for app categories and present a few horizontal list views. The first could present search results filtered by keyword relevance, the second by rating, the third by how many “friends” have the app, the fourth by recency of release, etc. So, for example, a search for “Twitter” could result in the official Twitter for iPhone app showing up first for relevancy, Tweetbot first for friends who have the app, and Flurry for most recent."

Via ~ iOS 6 Concepts: Multitasking and App Store

2:56pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z6oLOxV1Rrc1
Filed under: ux ui apple ios6 
September 10, 2012
"Design from the “bottom up” (vs “top down”). What do I mean by this? In web apps, the structure of your app (IA) will emerge over time—don’t start with structure or navigation. Think about flows, scenarios, and activities. The structure of the site will emerge from specific page level designs. Start with a laser focus on a specific activity, then follow that thread into other areas of the app. Starting with a top down focus on structure and consistent UI elements often glosses over the details and minutiae that set apart a stellar product. And don’t get hung up on inconsistent interaction and visual details that come about from this bottom up focus—these details will be ironed out as time goes on."

29 Things I, as a designer, wish more tech startups knew

Stephen Anderson @ The Pastry Box Project

(via caneelian)

(via caneelian)

September 3, 2012
‘Text is a UI’: How Journalists Can Work Usability into Online Words - 10,000 Words

Important Stuff.

1:39pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z6oLOxSiMbIC
Filed under: UX User Experience UI 
August 30, 2012
Dear Dustin Curtis - A response from UX lead at American Airlines

Dustin Curtis is a smart guy.  However, he foolishly assumed that redesigns in the corporate space are things that giant companies just able to roll out.  On the contrary and as pointed out in a response to his proposed refresh, the lead UX designer at AA.com does a great job pointing out the insane web of approvals, cost benefit analysis and time sinks associated with being part of a large organization.

I have some experience with this as well.  As a UX designer i’ve been at large corporations with multiple products who even thought their main focus was on digital products, still fell into the same pitfalls described above and in the article.  I’ve also been part of smaller companies and agencies where it was not as difficult to get a crazy idea heard by the product owner or manager.  In the hands of a good experience designer, a crazy idea, when backed by solid logic and a desire to push the envelope, can often inspire change and a new direction at a company of any size.  

11:12am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z6oLOxSRI4Pk
Filed under: user experience UX 
July 25, 2012

Original progress bar #UX (Taken with Instagram)

Nailed it


Original progress bar #UX (Taken with Instagram)

Nailed it

(Source: johnnyschroepferorg)

July 5, 2012

Jonah Lehrer: The Origins of Creative Insight & Why You Need Grit(via Jonah Lehrer: The Origins of Creative Insight & Why You Need Grit :: Videos :: The 99 Percent)