For many years since its release, the Android OS has been behaving like a teenager in the grip of raging hormones. Growth has been nothing short of explosive and the changes have been sweeping and profound.
With the release of Ice-Cream Sandwich OS, the UI standards and design elements have changed dramatically and the platform has really matured and even stabilized somewhat.
Nevertheless, the OS has retained it’s rebellious hacker DNA with unique features that are authentically Android.
In my last blog I looked at why mobile and tablet optimisation was imperative to businesses.
In the second blog of the series I’ll explore why the time is now to optimise and I will also provide you with two of my top four considerations for tablet and mobile optimisation.
Although it may seem seamless to the naked eye, branding that is truly on-target is no easy thing to master. But effective branding can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run.
In fact, let’s imagine for a minute that you’ve just spent those thousands and as many hours working with a web developer on a website or a mobile app, or even that you’ve just created a physical product that fills a gap in the marketplace. Essentially, you’ve created the thing you want to sell to consumers and you know it can make their lives better.
So you’re all ready to go out with promotion, right? Sell that product to its fullest potential – you’ve finally perfected it, so why waste another minute? Stop right there, though. Before you spend another marketing dollar, back up and make sure your brand is solid - or risk throwing your hard-earned cash down the drain.
Web design by its very nature continues to evolve, as it must, to make the most of modern browsers and the likes of HTML5, CSS3 and JQuery, and to provide a wonderful user experience for tablet and smartphone owners.
Nowadays there is plenty of opportunity to stand out from the crowd, by being ahead of the curve, or by embracing new techniques that can help you to improve the performance of your website.
So I thought I’d round up some of the more recent trends in experiential web design. I say ‘experiential’ because I’m less interested in seeing whether drop shadows have made a comeback.
The focus of this article is primarily about the aspects of web design that directly affect the user experience, rather than particular stylistic trends to do with the look and feel.
Great designers understand how to design for user interaction, and how to encourage new user behaviours and habits. World-class designers introduce emotion and have fun along the way.
Some of these trends aren’t just-out-of-the-oven new, but they’re in here because they’ve become adopted by the mainstream. I have included other design features because they rock, and I’d like to see them on more websites.
It’s worth pointing out that user experience professionals are on the fence about some of these things. Do leave a comment if you feel strongly, one way or another, and be sure to let me know what I’ve missed.
The new iPad Mini presents another set of problems for websites looking to appeal to mobile /tablet users, as it's a new screen size between iPad and smartphone.
Having been released in time for Christmas, it's likely to sell like hotcakes, so the number of potential users means companies need to consider how they will adapt their websites for the device.
It's a challenge, since existing mobile or desktop sites won't necessarily adapt well to the screen size. It may be too small for desktop, yet too large for mobile sites.
I've been speaking to James Sherrett from Mobify, who has some suggestions on early best practices for iPad Mini design...
It is the little things in life that count, according to the old adage, and this is certainly true as far as user experience is concerned. The devil really is in the detail.
All too often some minor oversight on a website makes me furrow my brow, but more and more websites are taking a microscopic approach to user experience and interface design, and the results can be useful, amusing, fun, and functional.
I thought I’d share some of my favourites, as well as a bunch from Little Big Details, a fantastic website that collects these examples of smart user-focused design. It has hundreds to browse through, so if you're interested in UX design then do check it out.
Starbucks has come a long way since it’s first Seattle store in 1971. So it makes sense that last year it decided to task its brand team with redesigning the logo.
Steve Murray, Content Manager of Brand Strategy and Expression at Starbucks, worked as lead writer on the team that spent hours, weeks and months creating a new logo and brand identity for Starbucks and he shared what they did at Starbucks to a full room of retail marketers at the recent shop.org conference.
But how do you improve and simplify a logo that is only made of four parts and one basic colour? And why was it important to do so?
Software is a multi-billion dollar industry but that doesn't mean it hasn't changed dramatically in the past several years. From the rise of the app store to software-as-a-service, how software is bought and sold has been evolving rapidly.
That creates both opportunity and challenges for software's biggest players.
When mobile or tablet design is executed well, the device feels like the extension of our bodies. Because interfaces respond even before we consciously give them a command.
Often, the interface “dissolves in behavior” and we feel empowered, as though the device we hold in our hand is the equivalent of Iron Man’s suit of cybernetic armor, or Batman’s utility belt.
I call this empowering experience a “Magic Moment”.
Most importantly, these “Magic Moments” make people fall in love with your app, show it to their friends, telling, nay, insisting they download the app and experience the magic for themselves. These are the moments we designers live for.
And mobile and tablet devices are more suited to creating and fostering “magic moments” than any other device.
Google+ is growing rapidly: business pages are taking hold, and the platform is becoming a viable marketing channel for larger brands at least.
It's definitely short of room to manoeuvre when it comes to how your profile looks however. Each page is locked down to the same structure (for now), and so at the moment there's not a lot you can do.
Thinking creatively is therefore tough, in fact, it focuses almost solely around the photo strip that resembles Facebook's Timeline banner. I'm not talking features (rich content, engaging conversation and hangouts galore just about cover that), I'm talking design.
As such, we've compiled 20 examples of brands that have managed to stand out from the crowd with the little they have to work with.