Creativity is just connecting things.
— Steve Jobs

Tag Archives: UI

iPhone 3.0 Nits

Some quick notes on what I think can be improved:

1. Why do we now have two separate applications for note taking? One is verbal (Voice Memos) and the other is textual (Notes). I could easily imagine a Notes interface button with the old style microphone as its icon that brings up the audio recording interface.

2. Why does SMS get renamed Messages and still stay separate from Mail?

3. The idea that swiping to the left to get to a simple search function is a sad solution. The ultra tiny magnifying glass icon tucked into the list of open windows blows that UI metaphor apart. Why not have the user pinch the screen? We do* have more than just left/right swipes at our disposal right? The pinch could use the same zoom+fade in motion as found on the desktop OS.

4. Why does the Contacts app support screen rotation and re-orientation but the Phone app doesn’t?

5. Because Mail is such a monstrous piece of shit, I’ll tackle that in a separate post when I have time to redesign the whole fucking thing. I’m tired of that app and wish it was more useful than it is.

6. Can we please have more information in the top status bar throughout the OS? Why do I have to back all the way out to the home screen to see if any Pushed emails are present? Why can’t I tap the battery icon in the top right and get a percentage? I know it’s there because it was shown to be so in a hack. Obviously, don’t repeat info shown when on the Springboard but that goes without saying.

7. Is YouTube still so fucking important that it needs to reside on the home screen? Why can’t this be on a second page of lame apps like Stocks or the Weather widget?

8. Why can’t we hide apps from the Springboard? Sorry Apple but not every app you make is something everyone wants. Let us decide please.

9. Why doesn’t the Calendar app icon on the Springboard display a badge when an appointment is nearing?

10. Why in the iPod app’s Artists and Songs screen do you hide the search field at the top? Same goes for Audiobooks, Composers, Genres.

11. If you don’t have a certain type of content on your iPhone, wouldn’t it make sense to provide a button to the iTunes store from the iPod’s Videos, Audiobooks, and Podcasts screens instead of just saying “You can download something from iTunes.” Guess you’re really not trying to sell content to users.

12. Why not share the same iconography from the iTunes store when browsing Genres in the iPod app? Reading text lists in the iPod app is not sexy or fun.

13. At what point in the future will you standardize the placement of the Edit and Create New Item buttons in your apps?

Messages: Create New is top right and is a Pencil icon in a button.
Calendar: Create New is top right and a Plus icon in a button.
Mail: Create New is lower right and a Pencil and “paper” shape – no button.
Notes: Create New is top right and a Plus icon in a button (but it’s brown!)
Contacts: Create New is top right and a Plus icon in a button.
Clock: Create New is top right and a Plus icon in a button.
Voice Memos. WTF

14. Photos. Why can’t I create a photo album on the phone and assign photos to it from the camera roll? And why is the “Photo Albums” header background transparent? What is the benefit of doing this?

15. Mail, can we please mark a message as read without having to literally tap into it? One would think that the Edit button would offer this option, but it doesn’t.

So how’s that for a 15 minute evaluation? 😉

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.

DRAG THIS!

Leopard is coming and Apple has done a nice job adding the new QuickLook functionality in the Finder.

Now you can drag any item that is showing in the CoverFlow view to a folder or disk or whatever. That’s not new because iTunes lets you do the same thing (not that I ever tried it until I began writing this post). Here’s what it looks like in iTunes:

Let’s compare that to the new Finder’s implementation as shown in the new Leopard tour video:

DAMN!

I find it very hard to read the text in the window’s sidebar, don’t you? I mean, obviously the code is simply following its own rules, but wouldn’t you agree that the Finder UI team should reconsider this one and replace the dragged object with a representation of the object at a smaller scale? Forget about a generic icon. Just make the thing animate to a smaller size when you start the drag so the application window behind the object isn’t blown out in the process.