17 Nov
   Filed Under: Design, doubleTwist, News   

So today, I read this post showing Samsung’s current product lineup. It reminded me of my lovely mother-in-law (no, she really is lovely!) asking me about Android phones a few weeks ago. And of course, it *is* confusing to the average consumer what phone to get. I mean, there’s a lot of options. Do you want the Samsung Galaxy S™ II Epic™ 4G Touch (this is an actual product name. No, seriously, someone actually calls their phone that.), a Kyocera Milano? How about a Huawei M835? The Shenyang J-11? Whoops, that last one is actually a Chinese air superiority fighter, not a phone. I get confused sometimes.

So how many options are there exactly? Let’s limit ourselves to the US. And AT&T, MetroPCS, T-Mobile and Verizon. And I won’t show all the options of colors.

Take your pick.

28 Feb
   Filed Under: Apple, Design, News, webOS   

There’s some discussion on Apple-centric and tech news websites about a video that’s doing the rounds with a new approach to notifications for iOS. While the system in the video is really nothing new (there’s been at least one alternative notification system in the App-Store-for-jailbroken-phones “Cydia” since 2010) it is getting a lot of attention, presumably because iOS users are quite satisfied with almost all the interactions of the OS except those dang stacking modal dialogs that interrupt your game of Angry Birds every time you get a text message.

And I can relate: when I am abroad, with my three email accounts, whenever I open Mail on my iPhone, I have to dismiss three ‘data roaming is off’ dialogs, and three ‘cannot get mail’ dialogs ( — that’s one per mail account). On an iPad, it can be even more jarring, with a tiny alert disabling the whole 9.7″ screen until you act on it.

This is a real issue. I have no doubt Apple is aware of this, like they were aware of copy and paste and multi-tasking.

This is not a post about what Apple will or should do to improve notifications on iOS. It’s a post talking about what solutions other platforms currently use to notify the user, and why Apple is (possibly, probably) taking such a while to create an optimal solution to the notification problem.

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09 Jun
   Filed Under: Apple, Design, Goodies, Icon Design, Personal Work   

I’ve updated the iPhone / iPad icon PSD I released not too long ago with some fixes and a 114×114 pixel icon template for designing icons for Apple’s hottest new device.

Download it here. I cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies, flaws and errors in this this PSD I might have overlooked, but if you notice anything please let me know in the comments.

Again, if you appreciate it, tweet this to help your fellow designers and developers make nicer icons for iPhone 4 (and beyond).

16 Mar
   Filed Under: Commercial Work, Design, Icon Design, News   

Interarchy is a Mac app that’s almost as old as I am: it was first created in 1993 as one of the first FTP clients for the Mac, and in 2007 it was sold to its current owner and long-time developer of Interarchy, Matthew Drayton of Nolobe. Matthew contacted me with a request for new icons for the big upcoming version 10. This was no small release, so it had to be worth it.

Like several other FTP clients, Interarchy has always been known and discerned by its icon. By now, it’s a powerful brand. Matthew also expressed his desire to maintain the filing cabinet metaphor in the application icon, and I agreed. Changing the icon now would mean neglecting its long history and evolution.

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13 Mar
   Filed Under: Commercial Work, Design, Icon Design, iPhone   

A while ago Buck Wilson, the designer in a small team of Portland-bound guys, contacted me about icon design for Here, File File!, an iPhone app that lets you connect back to your Mac from anywhere and read, view, and stream your files. As opposed to the popular Dropbox and iDisk apps, it allows full access to all the files on your Mac, instead of just a few hand-picked ones.

I happily started working for them to make a kick-ass icon. There was an additional challenge as multiple icons were required: a Mac icon, a menubar icon, and an iPhone icon, which required a metaphorical connection between all of them. Buck mentioned they had an idea for using a doghouse for the Mac app and a dog with files on the iPhone, but I recommended against using animal motifs. Not only do we have the classic divide between ‘dog people’ and ‘cat people’ to worry about; animal motifs are just not very suitable in iPhone icons.

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01 Feb
   Filed Under: Apple, Design   

Mike Matas is a very talented 23-year old designer from the United States, currently living in San Francisco. He’s best known for his design work on the original Delicious Library, and working at Apple, designing key parts of Mac OS X and iPhone OS. He’s even been listed as co-inventor on patents Apple has filed.

In 2009, he left Apple. Lately, he uploads the fruits of his also impressive photography skills to his website and blog, mikematas.com.

I’ve asked him a few questions in this interview to learn more of one of the designers of the most innovative and beautiful interfaces of the last decade. Unfortunately, he wasn’t willing to disclose what he’s working on these days, but I’m sure we’ll see a lot of quality design from his hand in the future.

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