Skeuomorphism in User Interface Design, What is It? In the last few weeks the debate over skeuomorphism has been getting more and more heated. I would like to make two points for you in this post. First, what skeuomorphism actually is – as I’ve seen so many people not fully understand it – and two some examples of it for you to get inspired by. What skeuomorphism actually is? Skeuomorphism is the imitation of another object by copying its material AND shape AND functionality. I have noticed way too many people assume that skeuomorphism is only about the texture like faux leather or faux wood. Let’s take a look at the famous – or infamous if you prefer – Apple newsstand bookshelf. What is it not? Some things are sometimes confused to be skeuomorphism when they are not. So anything that was created for the digital world without being first a physical object is not skeuomorphism. Of course, this is following the definition very strictly. Is it bad or good? It is ever going to go away? Personally, it is like country music to me…
Designing Screens Using Cores and Paths Imagine you’re on one side of a grass lawn and you want to reach the bus stop on the opposite side. Do you walk on the sidewalk around the edges or cross in the middle? Assuming the grass is dry and it’s not prohibited, you’d probably take the shortest path and walk across the lawn to the bus stop. If others have done so before, you may see a beaten path that you could follow. Such unplanned paths connect the shortest distance between two points, and we can find them everywhere in our surroundings. Architect Christopher Alexander recognizes desire lines in his renowned book, A Pattern Language (1976). To lay out paths, first place goals at natural points of interest. In principle, Alexander’s approach is to begin with the goals—the things people ultimately want—and then link them together in the most useful way. Typically in web design, the opposite approach is the rule: designers begin with the homepage. Inspired by “desire lines”, we can reverse this tendency in Web design. 1. 2.
From Frog, How To Collect Consumers' Data Without Freaking Them Out Personally, I’m having trouble giving it up. By "it," I mean information about me, details that I’ve worked hard to safeguard and keep private. In fact, the same companies that are now soliciting, or simply taking, my personal data still encourage me to create strong user IDs and passwords to protect my privacy. After working in the product strategy, design, and development industries for nearly 25 years, I’ve seen how relinquishing some of my autonomy can be a good thing. Here are five tips for brand leaders to consider when harvesting personal data so consumers feel okay about giving it up. Listen to Your Consumers Successful dental visits and successful data withdrawal have one thing in common—when performed by experts, they can be pain-free and both parties benefit from the experience. Disney is a good example of this. Be Transparent About Data Usage In any relationship, shady maneuvers raise eyebrows and suspicion. Offer Elective Data Sharing Offer Consumer Benefits
Flat Design: Can You Benefit from the Trend? Flat design – a concept popular many years ago in design – is making a comeback. With many redesigns and new websites employing a flat design scheme, the trend is appearing almost everywhere, both on websites and in app design. Its popularity has been made even more popular by the releases of Windows 8 and the new Google design, which includes a completely flat aesthetic. And other popular sites use this theme as well. Can you make it work for your project? Flat design can be both beautiful and charming. What is Flat Design? Flat design is a method that does not use any extra effects to create a scheme that does not include any three-dimensional attributes. Flat design is just that – flat. Flat design is not completely without effects, it just lacks added extras to create “artificial” depth and dimension. Techniques Forget all the decorations. Focus on the color. Focus on typography. Focus on the words. Simple user interface and UI elements. Create hierarchy. Naming Flat Design Conclusion
From Google Ventures: 5 Rules For Writing Great Interface Copy For many technology companies, design is mysterious. So when I work with startups, I try to demystify design by talking about processes and skills. The idea is: Design is not a magical creative thing that designers are blessed to do. It's rational and objective, and the components are pretty easy to understand. People are often surprised when I tell them writing is a design skill. I used to work with an excellent visual designer who hated being called a visual designer. At Google Ventures, my partners and I get to try different approaches to design all the time—we work with different startups every week. We think this is pretty amazing—and no one is more amazed than me! (What’s interface copy? 1. Some say short is best. My principle: Clarity is king. • Be specific. • Watch for jargon and abbreviations. • Front-load your labels (i.e., put the important words up front). • Don’t be lazy. These are small things, for sure. 2. Everyone wants to stand out. 3. 4. 5.
Making it Work: Flat Design and Color Trends We’ve talked a lot here about the flat design trend here at Designmodo. We’ve raved about it, showed you plenty of cool examples and even developed a free user interface kit for you to download and use for projects. But what if you want to do it yourself? Flat Design Refresher Flat design is a technique that uses simple effects – or lack thereof – to create a design scheme that does not include three-dimensional attributes. Some call the look of flat design simple, although it can be quite complex. Learn more about the flat design trend in a previous Designmodo article. Defining a Color Palette When it comes to color, flat design works with a variety of colors, but most commonly designers are choosing to go bold and bright. The other thing that makes flat design different in terms of color? When it comes to color and flat design, many of the traditional rules about color pairing and matching are thrown out of the window in favor of palettes that span the rainbow with lots of pop. Retro Colors
Mind Reading Comes One Step Closer To Reality With The Glass Brain What if you could see inside someone’s mind? It’s not possible to know exactly what another person is thinking, but neuroscientists from UCSD and UCSF are on their way. They created a “glass brain”: software that shows a person’s brain reacting to stimuli in real time. The implications for virtual reality and digital communication are tremendous, according to Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life, who has been collaborating with the neuroscientists. “We’re trying to identify which critical factors can most help people feel like they’re face to face,” says Rosedale, whose new company, High Fidelity, is currently working on a next generation virtual world. The neuroscientists used an MRI to scan the brain of Rosedale’s wife, Yvette. This moment was particularly powerful for Rosedale, because it neurologically demonstrated the physical intimacy between himself and his wife.
LevelEleven redesigns & rebrands its Salesforce app that cleverly gamifies sales Sales people are an incredibly important resource, but how do you motivate them to close more deals without being an aggressive, insulting prig? LevelEleven believes its flagship app that gamifies the sales process is the answer to that problem. Detroit-based LevelEleven recently caught our eye when it raised $500,000 in additional seed funding from Detroit Venture Partners and others. The company’s flagship application encourages sales people to meet certain goals like following up on leads, increasing numbers of face-to-face meetings, making calls, and logging events. Now the company has rebranded the flagship app from the name Contest Builder to (fittingly) Compete. LevelEleven CEO Bob Marsh told VentureBeat that the name change was important because the core product was more about creating competitions than creating contests. “One of the most frustrating things of sales is having so much data but still finding it hard to motivate sales people,” Marsh said. Photo via LevelEleven
7 | Think Of Your Life As A Game. This Strategy Guide Tells You How To Win It At times, maybe in our darker moments, some of us have probably entertained the thought that our earthly existence is just a game. And others among us may have "gamified" certain parts of our life--fitness, let's say. But what if you actually did view your whole life as a game--a video game--and used gaming strategy to make every decision? Oliver Emberton is the founder of Silktide, a company whose software improves website functionality and efficiency. Now the blogger and programmer has turned life coach, and his goal is to improve the functionality and efficiency of your daily existence. He's done so with a "Strategy Guide to Life": a faux RPG instruction sheet on how to navigate the real world. "In a way I'm writing for myself 10 years ago," Emberton tells us. At first read, the advice is all very obvious. The strategy guide includes insight on getting stuff done: "Your willpower level is especially important. Emberton says the Sims was a major inspiration for the strategy guide.
is not available Android UX and interaction design leads Helena Roeber and Rachel Garb gave a talk at Google I/O this year about the Android Design Principles (ADP) they helped create and introduced back in 2012 with the launch of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The ADP foll three simple principles, essentially “enchat, simplify and amaze,” but there’s much more to those principles that that relatively slippery and non-scientific language might lead you to believe. In fact, Garb and Roeber have based the ADP on compelling recent research that suggests eliciting negative emotional responses have an outsized effect on user experience, and require lots more counterbalance in terms of positive experiences to achieve a net positive, or even net zero lasting impression. The Math Of Joy They cited a John Gottman study that found successful marriages maintain around a 5:1 ration of pleasant feelings to bad, whereas those with more like a 1:1 ration have a far greater chance of ending in divorce.