Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Archive for February 24th, 2012

Every Mobile Social App Site, Ever

The pseudonymous Visual Idiot [1]:

Connect with friends you don’t like, take vintage photographs, read illiterately-authored comments, and much more. This is the app you’ve been waiting for.

Vague comment on innovation, despite never committing to using it.

  1. I cannot find this guy’s real name anywhere to attribute this to.

Please, Keep It Simple

Ben Werdmuller:

In other words, differentiate your product by making it the best damn product of its kind. Anything else is disingenuous.

Precisely. In the update, Werdmuller clarifies that he doesn’t have a problem with brands—Google doesn’t need to be named “Search”, for instance—but the overuse of branding. Differentiation for the sake of creating something different is stupid. Differentiate to create something better.

Why a New iOS Home Screen is a Big Deal

Shawn Blanc:

A new iOS Home screen is Apple’s chance to get the “front-door interface” right. When they change the Home screen it’s going to be a big deal, and it will become a core part of iOS for the next decade. […]

Put another way: I don’t see Apple just stealing ideas from Android and Windows Phone and implementing “live widgets” onto the iOS Home screen. When they update the Home screen they’ll have skated to where the puck is going to be.

I agree completely. The current iOS Home screen simply doesn’t work for the myriad of functions Apple has since grafted onto it. I don’t have any ideas on how they’ll change it, and I’m not convinced it’s slated for the next major version of iOS (or even the version after that). However, it will change, and it’ll be in a big way.

What’s the Waiter Doing With the Computer Screen?

Richard Gatarski, quoting a maître d’hôtel:

You can check off a reservation in the system, with the mouse, but hey, it’s at least four clicks away from this screen. And you can’t tell if the guests have been showed to their table or are waiting in the bar. So it’s much easier just to draw on the screen [with a whiteboard pen]. (And when the evening is over you just wipe the screen with a cloth.)

A real-world example of where it becomes clear nobody has actually tested the user interface.

TV Is Broken

Patrick Rhone explains television to his four year-old daughter:

“Can I choose?”, Beatrix asks. She’s still confused. She thinks this is like home where one can choose from a selection of things to watch. A well organized list of suggestions and options with clear box cover shots of all of her favorites. I have to explain again that it does not work that way on television. That we have to watch whatever is on and, if there is nothing you want to watch that is on then you just have to turn it off.

An astoundingly simple reflection on why television is so poor, and so unlike what we expect. It is a relic of when we had little choice, and since that has changed, media companies are struggling to catch up.