The z-layer in mobile designs

There are several key interactions design innovations that solve for the constraints of mobile experiences with elegance. The physics of swiping is one. What is the first interaction shown on any demo? The elegant “you can swipe it” motion. Another key area for innovation is certain app’s usage of the z-layer – pretending this stuff […]

Would you bet your bippy on it?

Assuming you had a bippy to bet, it’s an important question to ask when designing an experience… You could certainly replace ‘bippy’ with something you value more than your bippy.

Experience design is a series of choices based on assumptions. Assuming a user has a certain problem is the only way to create solutions. But what if you look at a screen and ask yourself how confident you are about each of the features represented. How would each feature rank based on your level of confidence that it is both usable and desirable? Is that layout/widget/nav etc. the _right_ choice?

Becoming comfortable with a design by acclimating yourself to the level of risk represented is a natural progression. But every once in a while you face a firing squad that forces you to stand by a decision. Thar’s when it is time to ask yourself if you have enough information to look someone in the eyes and say ‘i am confident you should do this.’ or better yet, become your own firing squad.

If you can’t recommend something with a certain level of confidence, it is a great sign that you need to go back to users. Validating your assumptions can give you confidence to move forward without losing a bippy.

Applications need content strategy too

The buttons need a strategy. The menus need a strategy. The application needs a philosophy.

I had a strange, but inspiring experience the other day. I had a meeting to discuss an app with an executive sponsor. On a particular step i accidentally left my silly text blurb that i wrote off the cuff as a placeholder. That reserves the approx space required for the actual, boring… well, professional text.

He paused to read the text and just when i was ready to explain its temporary nature, he said he liked it. It may not make the final cut, but it made someone pause because it gave the app some semblance of personality.

I dont think there is a wrong audience for content with some personality. An application with personality may even build a different kind of bond wirh users.

Feel free to skip this one… seriously, it’s ok.

I enjoy print design. I enjoy the selection of beautiful fonts, and elegant papers. I even like the smell of a freshly printed piece, fresh off the line on a print check. But the concept of designing for something that has a final state is seems like a distant memory. Designing for a digital medium required me to shift the way i go about solving problems. I’ve come to learn that, the more comfortable I am with chaos, the more successful my work becomes.Read More »