The subtlty of Search

If you are interested in little UI/UX details I recommend you head over to Little Big Details to check out some of their postings. One that I really liked was regarding the search utility found on Designspiration.

 Designspiration Designspiration

When you go to the search page you are presented with a white screen. There really is only one visual que and that is a large blinking cursor. Once you start typing the search begins and gets more accurate the more you type.

 Search Search

Its very minimal and subtle. I was pleasantly surprised after I migrated my site to SquareSpace version 6 and there is something very similar.

 Search from ThoughtfulDesign Search from ThoughtfulDesign

Nice touch !

Making the move

I have been using SquareSpace for some time now. I was part of the beta to test V6. The changes are very nice in terms of functionality with more coming. I think the full support of Markdown and the Link post options are welcome editions. As a result I took this opportunity to clean up and stream line my site a little more. I will be tweaking it over the next week or so. Let me know what you think.?

Andrew Kim Rebrands Microsoft

Matt Alexander at points out this brilliant Microsoft rebranding idea from art student Andrew Kim.  This article is a must read. There are some great ideas and all of the works was created and executed over a 3 day self created project.  If nothing else Microsoft should hire Andrew to help with the overall branding.

Andrew Kim Rebrands Microsoft:

Next Microsoft

Andrew Kim has produced an extensive, thoughtful, and thoroughly impressive rebranding of Microsoft. Although obviously unofficial, the expression of minimalistic tendencies, the simplification of product names, and the liberal use of color each make me woefully wish this project were real.

Today, the unification of Microsoft’s product-line is sorely needed. Regardless of the promise of any one of Microsoft’s products or the increasing aesthetic seamlessness across the board, there is a distinct lack of a cohesive narrative across the company’s outward facade. Further, as is highlighted by Andrew, Microsoft’s misplaced efforts toward endearing the customer through lighthearted and colorful imagery is utterly ill-conceived.

Combining a modern — borderline science-fiction-esque — tone with a contemporary naming scheme, I cannot help but think Andrew has latched onto a fantastic concept for the entirety of Microsoft’s brand.

I highly recommend you peruse the entirety of Andrew’s ‘Next Microsoft’ concept. It’s fantastic.

(Via ONE37)

Mac and iOS App Icons Compared

Really great article from pxldot on Mac versus iOS app icons. 

The much more interesting icons are those that have focused their design on communicating more clearly by getting rid of, or greatly reducing the visibility of, non-key details. I love this technique in that it mirrors the overall process of transitioning an app from the Mac to the iPhone/ iPad – not every detail can be transferred, and a careful focus on which to highlight can vastly improve the experience by optimizing each device for the subset of features users are most likely to need. I doubt that the icon designers intended to mirror the entire development process in their design, but I like it nonetheless.

(Via Daring Fireball)

The most un-Apple like image

Yesterday’s WWDC Keynote brought a lot of new exciting things.  New hardware, iOS 6 preview and the more details about Mountain Lion.  All great news and I am still letting it soak in.  Moutain Lion will bring cross device playing to game center which is nice if you play a lot of games.  But the one thing that I still dont like is the Game Center screens.  I think it is so un-apple like and ugly.

Game Center screen shot

The turd is dead

Dave Caolo at 52Tiger linked to this piece form the NY Times today.  A few things crossed my mind:

  1. What took so long? (6 years)

  2. Who is the marketing genius that thought brown was a good color? and does he still have a job?

  3. Does anyone know someone who has one?

  4. What took so long to kill it?

Microsoft kills the Zune:

The New York Times:

“Microsoft spokeswoman, Melissa Stewart, confirmed [at E3] that the Zune brand is going away so Microsoft can use the better-known Xbox brand for its entertainment services, including its online video service.”

It was a bad idea to make the Zune brown (it resembled a turd), but even worse to “chase Apple,” as former Microsoft executive Robbie Bach explained at a Northwest Entrepreneur Network in May:

“We just weren’t brave enough, honestly, and we ended up chasing Apple with a product that actually wasn’t a bad product, but it was still a chasing product, and there wasn’t a reason for somebody to say, oh, I have to go out and get that thing.”

Users who’ve created playlists will find them intact in the new Xbox Music Service.

(Via 52 Tiger)

The Making of the Leica M9-P

This is a video Shawn Blanc posted last week that I have been meaning to link to.  Personally I love videos that are created like this which show an item being made.  Shawn says this is classy.  I have to agree.  The care and detail that go into making this Leica kit is amazing.  No detail is left untouched.  The leather case, the lens shades and the box are all treated with the same level of precision, there is no differentiation in parts and quality of fabrication.

If you want to see a real thing of beauty spend 3:00 minutes and watch this.  If you don’t enjoy it I would be shocked.

(Via Shawn Blanc)

What do you call yourself?

A week ago I was listening to the live version of  “Lets Make Mistakes” podcast from and a woman emailed in to say she needed some design experience so she could do more in-house. It was more of how to I get started question and where do I look for training.  It got me thinking a lot so I sent in a question to Mike and Katie in the hopes it would get answered.

My question was this:

What do you call a person – who asks the correct questions for problem solving, can do wire frames and flows of how something should work, knows how to make sure you are not complicating things when trying to solve a design problem but perhaps is not the the person doing the Photoshop, InDesign, PHP programming or any other hands on aspect of the job?

Are they a designer? creative? or something else?

The episode is apply titled “Abandonment Issues and Identity Crisis“. This is something I have struggled with for years as to how to place a moniker on some of the work I do, and to do it in a fashion that will not anger other “hands on creative people”.

According to Mike using the term Designer is fine.  And he goes on to provide nice examples and definitions of how and why that is the case. The question comes in at 17:05 in the podcast.  You can listen to Episode #50 here.