I’ve been noticing the rise of small batch media recently. The NYTimes Now app have editors curating stories from their main org, breaking articles down into photos, videos and quotes and linking them back to the full articles. Just like Tumblr’s dashboard.

It’s a good thing for users. It’s engaging.

But mobile design is in this weird state where everything starts to look the same - designers are basically shuffling a media object (photo, quote, link, etc.), attribution and timestamp around. And if they’re not using a grid, they’re futzing with pixels in a feed/list format.  There are only so many ways to perfect the schema. And pretty soon, every service will converge on full bleed photos, flat little sharing icons, dark text for content and light text for everything else. I’m surprised that Tumblr didn’t have full bleed photos until iOS8.

Convergence makes differentiation a lot harder. The mobile interface is basically a rectangular piece of glass. I wonder if we’re at the tail end of something - have we all reached the finish line of how to display content on a mobile screen? If so, I’m excited to see if we’re at the beginning of another revolution.

One of my biggest pet peeves is an overstuffed wallet. Hopefully Coin will solve some of the problem.

Still, I need to carry my metro card, ID and since I love street food, always some cash on hand. Enter Raphael Quality Goods. I saw a post on Twitter a few weeks ago, and this is an elegant solution. James hand crafts these wallets from one piece of leather to create a slim and simple solution for organization.

I love leather goods because they are lifetime buys, and they really adapt to your usage. I was very excited to receive my new wallet in the mail today.

I am a recent convert to the NY Times excellent multimedia offerings as a way to enhance news. It’s a great example of how journalistic expertise, editorial command and innovation can coexist and create a product whose sum of its parts is greater than the bite-size, listicle, lowest common denominator content that invades our screens.
I’ve been viewing many more videos from the NY Times recently - and the logo animation before each piece is wonderful.  The logo is a perfect synthesis of brand history and modern currency - simplicity after many many complex drafts.  I love it.  I am glad that for all the problems journalism is facing, that there is room for quality like the NY Times.  Kudos to all the unsung people who make it happen.
Great work with the logo tweak from Work Order.

I am a recent convert to the NY Times excellent multimedia offerings as a way to enhance news. It’s a great example of how journalistic expertise, editorial command and innovation can coexist and create a product whose sum of its parts is greater than the bite-size, listicle, lowest common denominator content that invades our screens.

I’ve been viewing many more videos from the NY Times recently - and the logo animation before each piece is wonderful.  The logo is a perfect synthesis of brand history and modern currency - simplicity after many many complex drafts.  I love it.  I am glad that for all the problems journalism is facing, that there is room for quality like the NY Times.  Kudos to all the unsung people who make it happen.

Great work with the logo tweak from Work Order.

Coming up with a logo is hard.

You want something that’s flexible, of course. Simple, but meaningful. You go through ten, twenty, fifty, hundreds of variations, only to have people say “Um, I dunno. It’s not quite right.” Different backgrounds,  colors - does it work in grayscale.  Can it go on a t-shirt? You run through metaphors, sometimes stretching them to make it work (and to make yourself feel better). You shudder at typographic decisions. A logo certainly not the most important part of the product, but you do it because you love it. You’re training yourself to break down ideas into shapes and colors and forms, then put them back together again.

You’re not sure, you’re never sure, because you’re training yourself by looking at people who are so much better than you. You go by what feels right, grabbing onto patterns that emerge, latching onto ideas at random and stuffing them into your pockets, hoping that they start to fuse together.  You’re learning as you go. Inevitably a few months from now, you’ll look back and will hate what you’ve done. And you’ll hate yourself for not being better.

But you will get better. Because there are always better ideas. You just have to go find them

What do you think of the new Flickr photo page? I like the big image.
The dark theme is a bit like 500px or SmugSmug. Flickr was one of those places where the white background - if I remember correctly - elicited strong and philosophical opinions from the old-timers.
The design also reminds me of photo editing software like Lightroom. Which makes sense. The primacy is on the photo now versus context, mamby pamby concepts like stories, conversations, or moments. It feels very mechanical and functional versus the “Zoinks” and “Egads” of yesteryears. It’s more like a dashboard instead of a gallery, more tool than community.  Given Yahoo’s size, it makes sense to compete on storage and management of all your photos versus interactions (Instagram I think is the current leader here).
As an aside, when will visual design move past the tables and boxes of basic HTML? There are a lot we can learn from print and magazine layouts, now that we have the tools to translate that understanding into the proper digital language… anyways, I digress.
One of these days when I don’t have 5 billion projects, I want to write something called “Social networks are like relationships” or “The Flickr I used to Know” or something like that.
Flickr, a place to store your photos. Now with a terabyte. That’s pretty decent marketing.
Oh wait, this is on Flickr’s blog:

Flickr is a revolution in photo storage, sharing and organization, making photo management an easy, natural and collaborative process.

Seems like storage is the main priority.
Full disclosure: I was the product guy in charge of the design of Flickr’s photo page in 2010.  The mamby pamby ideas of photos as mini stories are mine, and sadly, I never got to see them realized in the larger Flickr ecosystem (photostream, activity feed, groups, sets, favorites, galleries, and more) before I was frustrated with Yahoo and moved to NYC and Tumblr. It’s been a few years now, and I wish the current team at Flickr well. Excited to see what comes ahead!
PS - I miss the map :(

What do you think of the new Flickr photo page? I like the big image.

The dark theme is a bit like 500px or SmugSmug. Flickr was one of those places where the white background - if I remember correctly - elicited strong and philosophical opinions from the old-timers.

The design also reminds me of photo editing software like Lightroom. Which makes sense. The primacy is on the photo now versus context, mamby pamby concepts like stories, conversations, or moments. It feels very mechanical and functional versus the “Zoinks” and “Egads” of yesteryears. It’s more like a dashboard instead of a gallery, more tool than community.  Given Yahoo’s size, it makes sense to compete on storage and management of all your photos versus interactions (Instagram I think is the current leader here).

As an aside, when will visual design move past the tables and boxes of basic HTML? There are a lot we can learn from print and magazine layouts, now that we have the tools to translate that understanding into the proper digital language… anyways, I digress.

One of these days when I don’t have 5 billion projects, I want to write something called “Social networks are like relationships” or “The Flickr I used to Know” or something like that.

Flickr, a place to store your photos. Now with a terabyte. That’s pretty decent marketing.

Oh wait, this is on Flickr’s blog:

Flickr is a revolution in photo storage, sharing and organization, making photo management an easy, natural and collaborative process.

Seems like storage is the main priority.

Full disclosure: I was the product guy in charge of the design of Flickr’s photo page in 2010.  The mamby pamby ideas of photos as mini stories are mine, and sadly, I never got to see them realized in the larger Flickr ecosystem (photostream, activity feed, groups, sets, favorites, galleries, and more) before I was frustrated with Yahoo and moved to NYC and Tumblr. It’s been a few years now, and I wish the current team at Flickr well. Excited to see what comes ahead!

PS - I miss the map :(

imagistlabs

imagistapp:

Designing Selfie

When building Selfie, we considered design very seriously. Only the product with the highest standards of beauty, pixel-perfection, and Jony Ive form-function of shapes, colors and brushed metal was allowed to grace the hands of users. And we also had rules. We love rules here at Imagist Labs.

  1. Icons: Conform to Apple’s guidelines for icons. Icons are the first bits of your product a user interacts with. It’s important.
  2. Colors: Use the defaults whenever possible. They’re defaults because they have been tested by experts smarter than you.
  3. Buttons: If you must have text, make sure they’re really small. They’re buttons for chrissakes. If you can’t make users feel the want to tap your button, all the copy in the world won’t change that.
  4. Core product value: For us, it’s about the faces (stupid.)
  5. Shapes: Circles and squares go perfectly well together. Don’t be afraid to mix things up, like having avatars be circles and squares. 
  6. There are no constants but exceptions: Ugly is the new pretty. Flat is the new texture. Getting the product out kicks pixel perfection’s ass.

Capital D for design ya’ll.