So far, Ianus, Alexander and I have announced three of the four people who’ll be speaking at the first Dutch This happened. They are Fabian of Ronimo Games, Philine of Supernana and Dirk of IR labs The final addition to this wonderful line-up is Werner Jainek of Cultured Code, the developers of Things, a task management application for Mac OS X as well as the iPhone and iPod Touch.
When I first got in touch with the guys at Cultured Code, I asked who of the four principals was responsible for interaction design. I was surprised to hear that a large part of the interaction design is a collaborative effort. This flies in the face of conventional wisdom in design circles: You’re not supposed to design by committee. Yet no-one can deny Things’ interaction design is solid, focused and cohesive.
Werner and his associates collaborate through vigorous sketching. Sometimes they produce many mock-ups to iron out apparently simple bits of the application. A prime example being this recurring tasks dialog. Just look at all the alternatives they explored. Their attention to detail is admirable. Also, take a look at the photos they posted when they announced Things touch. I’m sure that, if you’re a designer, you can’t help but love carefully examining the details of such work in progress.
Werner tells me he’s been busy scanning lots of sketches to share at This happened – Utrecht #1. I can’t wait to hear his stories about how the design of both the desktop and mobile app have happened.
Werner completes our line-up. Which you can see in full at thishappened.nl. There, you’ll also be able to register for the event starting this Monday (20 October). I hope to see you on 3 November, it promises to be a lovely filled with the stories behind interaction design.
There have been so many posts on the iPhone lately that I’ll try not to add to the noise with things that have already been said. Web designer Jeremy Keith and interaction designer Dan Saffer have both tried to gather all the worthwhile posts on the topic, from differing perspectives. I’m sure they’ll make for plenty of (more or less interesting) reading.
My own view is that Apple have proven once again that they’re great at integrating tech that was already out there in a package that offers a pleasing user experience. I’m curious about the -touch screen and the apparent gestural and tangible interaction it offers. I’m underwhelmed by their choice to have the device work only with Cingular (which apparently is kind of crap) and am curious if they’ll do the same when it’s introduced on this side of the ocean.
In short: I’ll have to actually use the thing to decide whether it’s as good as it seems; it’ll come down to not just the UI, but also the performance of the GSM, WiFi, camera, and on and on. For now, I’m having fun watching the online demos (at least that’s one thing Apple is very good at).
So today I dropped by both Apple stores that have recently sprung up in the centre of my hometown to check out the new MacBook. My thoughts in a nutshell:
The shiny screen isn’t as shiny as the xblack ones on Sony’s Vaios, I actually kind of liked it.
The matte finish on the black MacBook really does get all oily and smudgy, like Derek already pointed out a while ago.
The new keyboard looks great. The spacing between the keys doesn’t bother me since I have big hands, but the flat surface of the keys is an annoyance. Interestingly, the guy at the shop told me that the new keyboard is supposed to prevent the keys from touching the screen when closed – which is the only real problem I have with my current 12” iBook G4.
All in all it looks like a really sweet piece of hardware. Nevertheless I think I’ll wait to see what problems spring up with the first generation and when those are fixed, probably take the plunge.
“Brushed Metal: Calculator? I’m out of iTunes and you tell me I’ve still got Calculator? When is the Special Event scheduled for the next version of Calculator? Oh, that’s right, there is none, because no one gives a shit about Calculator.”