designer Stories June 14, 2016

Alongside various new features (Siri, Auto Unlock, Apple Pay) coming in macOS Sierra, Apple’s next major desktop operating system, it also ships with the brand new version of Safari, Safari 10. Safari 10 introduces a major change in the way the browser handles plugins. In short, proprietary plugins like Adobe Flash will be disabled by default when browsing the web.

This means that websites will serve modern HTML5 representations of content as often as possible as they will not be able to detect an installation of Flash at all. Safari is smart however — it will allow you to enable Flash temporarily on demand …

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designer Stories April 29, 2016

Apple has previously partnered with designer brand Hermes for a set of premium Apple Watch bands, sold separately from $340 per strap. It now appears that a second high-profile fashion designer, Coach, is coming on board with its own range of Apple Watch bands.

David Boglin De Bautista reports a sales associate in a Coach boutique told him about the upcoming collection, set to debut as early as June. The sales representative sent photos of the as-yet-unreleased bands (shown above), priced at $150 each.

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designer Stories April 2, 2015

WIRED has posted a new story on the Apple Watch, which revolves around interviews with Apple human interface designer Alan Dye and Apple’s VP Technology Kevin Lynch, who heads Apple Watch software. The piece shines new light on the foundation of the smartwatch project at Apple as well as some new details about the product — which ships later this month.

Amusingly, Lynch did not know what he would be working on when he accepted the Apple job. He walked into the role with the project already underway; early ‘experiments’ from the iPod team with click-wheels and such. Dye says that the idea for a watch blossomed during design meetings for iOS 7, Apple’s major software overhaul.

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designer Stories May 23, 2014

The secret behind Apple’s design excellence is a simple one, says former senior designer & UX specialist

The secret behind Apple’s design excellence is a simple one, says former senior designer and user experience specialist Mark Kawano in an interview with Fast Company: it’s not just something left to the designers.

It’s actually the engineering culture, and the way the organization is structured to appreciate and support design. Everybody there is thinking about UX and design, not just the designers. And that’s what makes everything about the product so much better . . . much more than any individual designer or design team.

Kawano says that everyone on the team caring about design was how Apple was able to create its core products in the early days of the iPhone with a team of around 100 designers.

For the most part, Apple didn’t employ specialist designers. Every designer could hold their own in both creating icons and new interfaces, for instance. And thanks to the fact that Apple hires design-centric engineers, the relatively skeleton design team could rely on engineers to begin the build process on a new app interface, rather than having to initiate their own mock-up first.

He also revealed that many of the small, thoughtful touches for which Apple is famous were things that individual designers and engineers came up purely as interesting experiments and then tucked away for years. He gave the example of the password box in OS X shaking if you didn’t enter it correctly.

Say we need a good way to give feedback for a password, and we don’t want to throw up this ugly dialog–then it’s about grabbing these interaction or animation concepts that have just been kind of built for fun experiments and seeing if there’s anything there, and then applying the right ones.

designer Stories April 9, 2013

Google’s interaction designer talks revamping Google Search on iOS (Video)

In a recent “Life at Google” video (above), Interaction Designer on Google’s search team Noah Levin walks us through his work building the latest version of the Google Search app on iOS:

After just three months at Google, Interaction Designer Noah Levin helped change the way our users interact with Google Search on the iPhone and iPad. Learn how he takes a complex system and makes it a simple user experience for our most well-known product: Search.

designer Stories March 12, 2013

More interesting iWatch concepts imagine iOS on the smaller screen, curved displays

The renderings above were sent to us by Edgar Rios, and he imagined what is probably best described as the evolution of Apple’s sixth-generation iPod nano watches. With Apple’s recent patent covering a slap wristband form factor, more concepts seem to be leaning toward a longer display that would take advantage of a flexible or curved display and not one that’s square (like the sixth-generation iPod nano) or circular like more traditional watch faces.

This next set of mock ups were done by designer Martin Hajek for the upcoming issue of MacUser magazine (via Gizmodo) and imagine more traditional materials for Apple’s much rumored watch product. Like the concept above, Martin’s appears to also imagine a scaled back version of iOS and is reminiscent of the sixth-generation iPod nanos.

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