Organizing principles work as calls to action, as frames of reference, of sources of inspiration. The organizing principle of “mobile first, web second” has inspired a wave of mobile applications; but “context first” is the type of organizing principle that will lead to truly disruptive web services. People first. User first. Context first.
The Art of Apps
This is a new gallery showing on SoHo that displays beautiful apps designed for iOS. You can get The Verge’s full story at the source or watch the interviews at the video above.
The Mozilla Story
Matt Buchanan on things that should be better, or just exist
These are some of Matt Buchanan’s ideas for some things in apps that should be improved ASAP:
- Foursquare iPad app — my primary use for Foursquare isn’t to see where people are anymore, it’s to see where places to go are. This is something I’d like to do on my iPad. It’s something I’ve tried to do on my iPad, but it always make me sad, like a really insipid macchiato.
- Path iPad app — Path is supposed to feel cozy, and when I am feeling cozy, I prefer my iPad over my phone. Phone = speed and concision and smallness and genereal feelings of AGHGHHGHH. iPad = how’s it going, I’m feeling really great because it’s Sunday and sunny or at least the kind of grey outside that makes me feel very comfortable. Why yes, I would heart hearting your very cute photograph.
- Twitter direct messages — I tried DMing somebody I hadn’t DMed in a while last night and it took me like five minutes to dig up their profile and find the correct button to direct message them, which is the only way I will direct message people because I am so very paranoid about accidentally tweeting pictures of my third nipple to the whole world. It could’ve been one of the many Fabled SMS Killers, but now it’s just another broken messaging service and I feel like I’ve stepped over more of those than piles of dog poop on NYC sidewalks.
- Facebook messaging — It should be the Great AIM Slayer, but it isn’t. Nearly complete ubiquity and penetration (I truthfully know very few people who don’t have a Facebook profile), but it’s still not a very good IM service. I want to say it could be the IM service, but Facebook is so bad at making things sometimes, it is actually impressive in its complete incompetence. I mean, it couldn’t even crush Foursquare in its infancy with Places, when it so very clearly could have, since it was only 400 bajillion times larger. (I am glad it didn’t, though.)
- Pay With Square — I think out of half a dozen or so times using it, it has worked completely correctly just once. It is kind of the ideal payment service, a cyborg payment method, human and machine, but I’m about to give up on it because swiping my card is easier, and I still have to carry a million paper loyalty cards anyway.
- iMessage — Ahahahahahaha.
I agree 100% with him. Do you?
Hardcore techies want every OS to act like good old Linux. The problem? There are 7,000 million people on this planet, and most of them don’t care.
With current release of the Consumer Preview of Windows 8, people have been throwing bad comments all over the web, mostly regarding they want the old desktop back. But this kind of commentary is nothing new. With the recent release of GNOME 3 and Ubuntu’s Unity interface for Linux, hardcore geeks that liked to customize every last bit of the interface and functionality of their OS have been harsh on the backlash they make to the people behind them.
I understand why they do this. They like the customization, and they are hardcore geeks for a reason. But with the release of the iPhone and subsequently the iPad, we have observed a dramatic shift on what people want on their devices and computers. Natural, uncluttered and easy to use interfaces. Technology, as ever changing as it is, aims primarily to make the lives of people easier. People have bought billions of iPads because they are so easy to use, kids and animals can use them. Elderly people love them, disabled people love them, kids love them, medical professionals love them, and I suspect artists will start soon. So why are you so adamant to understand that Windows and Canonical would want a piece of the action as well? Apple has made it clear, people want stuff that works, not to download a bunch of utilities and customizations the moment they buy a new device to that will become less of a hassle.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Most fields of technology have seen a slew of drastic changes and revolutionary advancements in the past few years. Change and new features are introduced rapidly. New apps and services pop-up like hot cakes every two minutes. But people seem very adamant about change, and I don’t understand why. It has to become clear that this is how things work nowadays. OSes release a new version every year, some upgrades will be incremental, some will be drastic. Apps will refocus and improve as soon as a new feature is ready for the public. It’s time to get with the program and embrace it. In fact, take joy in it. Maybe spaceships are not too far ahead.
The cloud’s time to shine
It’s time to start building web apps. Native apps nowadays only have a handful of advantages compared to web based alternatives, but with new APIs and technologies are being developed to make web development better, we should start moving our apps to the cloud. A web version of Flipboard and Sparrow would provide cross-platform and easy way to distribute your app, which I may point out are already web centric as it is. It is only through the collective actions of developers the web and the future can move forward, but being stuck in native iOS and Android development, you are not only depriving other users of using your service, but also doing double the work. The web is the future, let’s bring it forward now.
Native vs. web
Over the next few weeks I will be trying native applications on Windows and see how they compare to their web based counterparts.
How much is the benefit? Is it really worthy? I often ask myself these questions. By taking a direct approach and experiencing for myself how much will the overall usability and enjoyment of such service and/or product improves, I will get to determining how far and advanced is the web and how much does it still need to catch-up on.
I rooting on the web. Who are you rooting on?
Frustrations with Google Chrome
I love Google Chrome. When it first came out I thought what better than a browser made by the dominant force of the web? It truly was as incredible as I imagined. And so far it has only got better, harboring the future of the web as the dominant system. But so far there have been a few frustrations. Mostly, the lack of guidelines and consistent approach to design and user experience.
Google Chrome’s extensions and apps all have icons with different sizes. Facebook’s is humongous, my custom Twitter looks way odd next to it. Even official icons like Springpad’s and Calculator’s, all together they seem rather disparate and unpleseant to the eyes. Also the extensions, which are rather garish looking with faux-3d elements, indulge in inconsistent behavior, and even when they are like iOS mini icons, they suffer from the same problem as the app icons.
I love Chrome, but this bothers me to no end.
Ideas on web apps
Over the past few years I have been dreaming up some ideas about were web apps should go. I am sharing them here in hopes someone will read them and make them true. These are some of the ideas that I can think of at the top of my head. I’ll add more as I think of them. Care to submit some of your own?
Over the past few years I have been dreaming up some ideas about were web apps should go. I am sharing them here in hopes someone will read them and make them true.
These are some of the ideas that I can think of at the top of my head. I’ll add more as I think of them. Care to submit some of your own?