Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Designing Wildcard 2.0

Khoi Vinh has shared some of his thoughts on his design process behind Wildcard 2.0. There are plenty of clever ideas in here, starting with the method they’re using to make text legible when laid overtop an arbitrary image:

Like it says in the title of this post: blurring is the Auto-Tune of UI design. That is, it creates a pleasant enough effect, but it’s heavily overused (to put it politely). We set out to create an alternative and, given our new focus on news, decided to borrow from the print world by using a halftone effect that emulates the way photographs appear in newspapers. You’ll see it in full color in the headlines we have at the top of the app’s home screen and in monotone throughout the rest of the app.

Very nice. I very much appreciate the current ethos of pushing the content1 forward in UI, app, and web design, but it feels a bit samey. The current trends are pleasant enough, like someone dressed in a plaid shirt and dark denim, but a uniform approach isn’t necessarily effective. Good on the Wildcard team for thinking critically.


  1. [shudder↩︎