Design Stories March 13, 2016

AAPL: 102.26

1.09

It is new iPhone rumor season once again: Following case leaks for Apple’s next-generation iPhone models last week, expected to debut in fall, an image purports to show technical drawings for the iPhone 7 chassis (via NowhereElse.fr).

The images show the back of the phone. At first glance, it’s worth noting that the horizontal antenna lines on the back of the phone are gone completely. There are still lines along the bottom edge of the device, represented by the lighter line following the curve of the body, but the main straight antenna lines seen on iPhone 6s are not present in these drawings. Looking closely, the images also suggest that the camera has changed for the iPhone 7 …

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Design Stories February 24, 2016

AAPL: 96.10

1.41

We have been reporting since earlier this year that Apple is preparing to launch a new 4-inch iPhone called the iPhone 5se. Our sources have said that the new device is essentially the 2013 iPhone 5s with significant internal hardware and software upgrades. Earlier rumors about a next-generation smaller iPhone model called the device an “iPhone 6c” and said that it would look similar to the iPhone 6 in appearance.

Today, a case maker source provided us with schematics that line up with what we have been hearing from our sources who have used the iPhone 5se: the device looks nearly like a 5s.

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Design Stories January 22, 2016

AAPL: 101.42

5.12

Even though I’ve owned a Mac for going on 5+ years now, I never thought I would actually end up using screen savers. But the launch of Aerial a few months ago, which I’ve been using daily ever since, has definitely changed my mind. Awesome Apple TV screen savers on the Mac is a win. And today I came across the Apple Watch Screen Saver for OS X by Rasmus Nielsen and immediately knew it would be my next screen saver of choice.

Incorporating over 80 combinations of the already recognizable and well designed Apple Watch faces, all in Retina display quality, it makes a great additional screen saver to have installed. For those unfamiliar with the process of installing new screen savers on the Mac, or just want an overview before starting, I’ve put together a small guide below to walk you through the process:

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Design Stories January 13, 2016

AAPL: 97.39

-2.57

Apple’s rocky iAd advertising platform is about to see some major changes, says Buzzfeed’s John Paczkowski. According to the report, Apple plans to dismantle its iAd sales team and stop its role as a middleman between publishers and customers:

While iAd itself isn’t going anywhere, Apple’s direct involvement in the selling and creation of iAd units is ending. “It’s just not something we’re good at,” one source told BuzzFeed News. And so Apple is leaving the creation, selling, and management of iAds to the folks who do it best: the publishers.

Apple is phasing out its iAd sales force entirely and updating the iAds platform so that publishers can sell through it directly.

The big news, Buzzfeed notes, is publishers that play ball will take home 100% of the ad revenue generated rather than a 70/30 split with Apple.

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Design Stories December 8, 2015

AAPL: 118.28

-0.75

Like many this morning, my first reaction to Apple’s Smart Battery Case was … what the heck? Albeit not expressed in those exact words. Seth tweeted that it seemed to be evidence that Jony Ive has left the building.

My colleague Jeremy has addressed the battery case specifically, but I think there’s a broader issue here. Apple claims to sweat the details when it comes to the design of its devices, and – a few grumbles aside – I think that’s a legitimate claim on the aesthetic front. It does go to obsessive lengths when it comes to making its devices as visually pleasing as possible. One part of that obsession is making iPhones as thin as it can.

But, to my mind, the company has an almost schizophrenic attitude here. It goes to all that trouble to make the phones as slim and sleek as humanly possible, yet it knows full well that the first thing the vast majority of owners do when they take delivery is to slip the phone into a case. Those cases substantially increase the thickness, and hide the design.

Which brings us to problem two …  expand full story

Design Stories November 16, 2015

AAPL: 114.18

1.84

Early Mac UI designers say Apple has abandoned many of its human interface design principles

Two of the early Mac user-interface designers argue in a lengthy FastCo piece that Apple has abandoned many of its original human interface design principles in both OS X and iOS, and a switch to an alphabetic rather than hierarchical list seemingly puts aesthetics above all else.

Don Norman and Bruce Tognazzini say that five of “the most important principles” are now “largely or completely missing in iOS”:

  • discoverability – having all possible actions be visible
  • feedback & feedforward – making it obvious what a function will do, and what it has done
  • recovery – the ability to undo a mistake, or get back to where you were before
  • consistency – using the same gestures across platforms and hardware
  • encouraging growth – helping people tackle more complex tasks when they’ve mastered the basics

Norman and Tognazzini also say that Apple violates many of Dieter Rams’ design principles, a German designer who Steve Jobs has said greatly influenced his own thinking. They say that Apple prioritizes Rams’ 10th principle – “good design is as little design as possible” – over the other nine.

I’d note that iOS 9 tackles one of their criticisms, offering an easy ‘Back to’ function when a link has taken you out of the app you were using, but it’s an interesting read.

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