Creativity is just connecting things.
— Steve Jobs

Category Archives: Experience Design

Facebook’s New Layout Vote

38,300 votes approve
612,128 votes do not

Only 6% of the voters approve of the redesign.

Damn that’s rough. Hate to be the UI designer who worked on that one. Didn’t they do any user testing and analysis? My guess is yes…with hardcore FB users, not average joes. Me thinks a new FB design will be heading down the pike any day now.

Safari 4 Reaction

I’ve been using the Safari 4 beta since the day it was released and I have a few comments to make.

1. The page loading UI device is just too hidden. The current spinner approach is worse than the previous aqua background animation in the address bar. Users look at the page itself to see if anything is happening, not the right end of the address bar. I suggest Apple consider either layering something on top of the center of the page (dimming it a little and showing the spinner).

2. The Top Sites feature is neat but not terribly useful. It’s basically a graphical bookmark folder. I’d suggest adding a tracking feature to the bookmarks menu that lets you identify URLs that you haven’t visited in X months/days so you can prune your list.

3. The history page just doesn’t need a cover flow UI. It’s totally useless because pages from the same site can look almost identical, therefore forcing the user to jack up the cover flow icon view to full size. I’d rather have the history break things down by hour if possible. I frequently try to recall pages in terms of time: “I saw that yesterday around 9am.

4. The new tab button in the top right corner is just not useful. It’s dimmed to a darker gray and makes the user think they will get a new window, not a new tab. If the new tab glyph must be there, why not add “New Tab” to it as well?

5. The tab bar at the top of a window was very jarring at first. I think it would be interesting for Apple to allow users the option to revert functionality and then track it (with the user’s consent) to better evaluate major changes like this.

Apple Store Disconnect

If I had to look at all of the Apple .com properties I think the Apple Store is in the biggest need of redesign. For one, it is the direct philosophical opposite of the physical experience. Secondly, it’s not remotely iPhone-ready. I’ve tried to browse the store several times on my iPhone and it’s damn near impossible.

 Iconic Physical Apple Store:

appleretail

Congested Apple .com store:

applestore

iWork In The Sky

I’d like to chime in on the latest rumor that the update to iWork, including Keynote, will have a “cloud” version. This is a horrible idea. I can’t imagine why I would want to have this option, especially when presenting at client sites is always a nasty hit-or-miss wifi scenario. I have no interest in relying on a buggy browser to deliver the visual goods that my trusty desktop app can do in it’s sleep-mode. Note to Steve, not everyone uses Safari and presents in an ultimate wifi enabled conference room like you do. Sometimes there isn’t a network at all!

Custom Color

I never noticed this before. If you make your window size bigger than the actual image you’re working on in Photoshop, the areas around the image will fill with a gray color. Did you know you could change the gray fill to whatever you want? I had no idea. Control-click in the gray area and you’ll see this: