Microsoft is now more innovative than Apple. A year ago that would have sounded as ludicrous as, say… president Donald Trump. But after both tech giants unveiled their new devices for professionals this October, the tide has turned. Journalists and techies proclaimed Surface Studio a bolder, more innovative, and more complete product than the new MacBook Pro.
Wireframing for SanDisk’s iXpand was a unique challenge. One that provided our team with the chance to really flex our creative problem solving muscles.
Working against an aggressive deadline from the start, we had to design, test, build, and launch both the iPhone and iPad apps (for Japan and the U.S.) in just six months. On top of it all, the time line ran through the last months of the year — a.k.a the holiday season.
Humans are deeply emotional creatures. A warm handshake can make a stranger seem kinder, while a white room can feel sterile regardless of whether or not it’s actually clean. We might not always be conscious of it, but the world around us is designed and that design affects our feelings and actions in big ways. This is important when talking about emotional design.
When we sat down to design the user interface of SanDisk’s new iXpand app, we knew we needed to make sophisticated, complex software that felt simple and intuitive.
The problem that SanDisk was out to solve with the iXpand was a universal one: Though our smartphones have become an integral part of everyday life, they never seem to come with enough storage. A 16GB iPhone can only store about 2,000 photos, and live photos cut that number in half, and 4K video can eat up a 16GB hard drive in no time. It’s just not enough for the modern iPhone user, who is taking 20% more photos each year than they did the year before.
It’s painful to release the first version of a product, even if —as Reid Hoffman says— the absence of pain means you waited too long. Apple Watch is evidently being released before several sensors intended for inclusion could be perfected, reducing its impact as a health-aiding device , for example.
For years, Twitter itself has been struggling with the problems of hashtags and @names, which while effectual are kludgy and off-putting to new users. In 2014, a Twitter executive seemed to indicate their coming demise:
Ideas —especially in consumer software— tend to be worthless. As is well-known, execution, distribution, and lots of other prosaic factors are decisive. Being realistic about competitive landscapes, model necessities, and market forces is hard when you’re excited about a product idea, but as the man said: the better part of valor is discretion. That’s why, earlier this year, we at Mokriya decided not to proceed with developing a chat app we called Rooms. Today, Facebook launched a chat app called Rooms, and it gave us a big kick, so we thought we’d share the story.
I’ve seen many sound analyses of the Apple Watch —or rather, of what little we know about its features and functions— already. But until its launch, what’s most fascinating about it isn’t how much RAM it has or whether its apps will really be displayed in a grape-bunch of moving icons, but rather what it tells us about Apple’s strategies, especially for creating, entering, and attempting to own new categories.
Toward what end do interfaces evolve? What are the trade-offs in the problem-solving process that drives their evolution? And what can we anticipate in future interfaces based on these patterns of evolutionary exchange?
If design hadn’t triumphed by 2012, it had by 2013. Three years after launching the iPad, Apple was the world’s most valuable company, and even second-order pundits knew why:design. Steve Jobs’ remark that design was “how it works” had achieved what seemed like widespread comprehension, and recruiting wars for top designers rivaled those for top engineers. Salaries escalated, but cachet escalated faster; entire funds emerged whose only purpose was to invest in designer founders, and with money and esteem came the fetishization of design, the reduction of designers into archetypes, the establishment of trade cliques and the ever-increasing popularity of trend-ecosystems.