I recently stumbled across screenshots of old websites of mine and was hurled into a state of reminiscent shock. I knew they were bad, but wow they were outstandingly horrible (redeemed only by their microformats support! I kid, I kid). Several years and a few Georgia Tech design and HCI courses have passed since those atrocities graced the web but I archived them in a sort of reverse portfolio as a personal reminder of how much my design sensibilities have matured. Only in the last year have I begun feeling slightly more confident about my design quality and process.
Monet’s paintings evoke a sense of energy and life, they leap off the canvas with color and contrast, but Monet somehow managed to avoid using the color black for nearly his entire painting career. By avoiding black in your own designs, you can replicate some of this dynamism. Monet and Other Impressionists Explored Their Medium Even when creating dramatic shadows, Monet avoided black, and instead manipulated the powerful relationships between colors Design for Hackers: Why Monet Never Used Black, & Why You Shouldn’t Either
I should begin by explaining why I’m doing this guide in the first place. I believe that every designer has a right to know what many of us have learned via trial-and-error and word-of-mouth teachings. I’m quite aware that this is not the first UI guide that has ever been published, nor do I expect it to be the last. The UI Guide | Part 1: Buttons » Galpin Industries - Pixels Straight From Canada
Articles about the App Store, design and Bjango
Update: I've added some comments about the -[CALayer shadowPath] approach that I missed before. I've just pushed a new sample to the OmniGroup? source on github which shows several drop shadow approaches, with an eye towards performance, particularly while the shadow casting object's frame is being animated. One of these is a pair of functions vended by OmniUI, OUIViewAddShadowEdges? shadow performance