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By Christoph Ono, builder at GBKS, and tweetable at @GBKS.

Roundup: Posts about preparing apps for iOS 7


Quite a few companies took the launch of iOS7 as an opportunity to refresh and rethink their apps, and shared some interesting details on their thought processes. Here's a list of articles I found. Each one includes some background and rationale on the respective updates.

Did I miss something? Let me know @GBKS.

Design For People


If the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the industrial designer has failed. If, on the other hand, people are made safer, more comfortable, more eager to purchase, more efficient—or just plain happier—the designer has succeeded.

The Godfather of Apple Design Spots 4 Looming Tech Trends


“Today is what’s thought about long ago... Now today we have to we have to project, think, experiment, prototype the future... OK, the future is accelerating. We know that... But look back 40 to 50 years, and make a model of what happened from then until today. That’s what compresses into the next 10 years. Then you know what to expect.”

Becoming a designer-developer


To share my own experience, I always found design and development inherently connected. For me, it was always about creating the actual thing people use, not just creating a blueprint for it. But the reason I thought this way may have been some of my very early experiences in customizing video games in my teen years. For example, I built levels for Doom and 3D models for Quake. The tools available back then were made by fans, and extremely simple and buggy. So when you're building a level or a game character as a teenager with bare-bones tools, there is nobody to hand anything off to or explain anything to you. If you didn't figure out the whole process, you couldn't do what you wanted to do, it was that simple. And with that, I learned that the process from idea to final product is a long one, with lots of friction-points in between that can affect the result. So it just made sense to me that you needed to be intimately familiar with the whole process.

The Effortless Method Of Making A Design Personal


The title is a little misleading as it's not about making designs in general, it's just about default user profile images. 37 Signals did something similar with Basecamp, but I like this idea better. Instead of a silhouette of a non-descript guy, the default avatar is a big colorful circle with the first letter of the users name in the center. It's nice, simple and colorful, and I just implemented this for Wookmark.

Videos to watch


I love watching videos recordings of conference presentations, mostly the ones that don't deal so much with technical issues, but the ones that address culture and where the speakers share their experiences and stories. They are great to play in the background during certain types of work, and you get to see all the goodness without paying thousands of dollars in conference fees and traveling around the world. Last week I saw that both Webstock 2013 and XOXO Fest 2013 have most of their presentations online. Watch and learn.

And a short documentary on Karim Rashid, a highly prolific designer immediately recognizable by his pink suits as well as his use of bold and vivid colors and shapes. Check it.

Communicating Animation Ideas


Static mockups, whether mobile or not never tell the fully story. The two main things I’ve found that help the most when implementing designs for mobile apps are: communication and animation examples. Communication meaning clearly articulating the vision of the animation and examples meaning, giving examples of your animations ideas and visions.

Designer bullshit backfire. (How designers have created a monster)


Recently SomeOne’s Hudl brand for Tesco had a rationale that was called out as ‘Designer Jargon Bullshit’ on the Creative Review blog. This struck me as entirely unfair and a clear example of bullshit backfire. The line the commenter took issue with was as follows: “[The star] is a solar system metaphor that reflects Hudl being at the centre of a digital orbit, and of family life” …Which might sound a bit overstated and outlandish, sure. But it’s the idea. Of course it’ll sound like bullshit. If you told someone Yahoo! was all about adventure, it’d sound like bullshit too. But it’s just the starting idea. It’s designers talking to other designers about where the idea came from. That’s the bit they leave out when pitching to clients for fear of sounding like a twat. Or leave in to sound incredibly artistic and insightful and blow smoke up the clients’ arses depending on how they operate. Either way, it’s the patently overblown starting point for a lot of rational decision making later on. If you start off with something really rational, you’re going to end up with a real fucking grind of a project once you’ve re-rationalised everything in a really rational way. Start with something that sounds mental and you’ve a much stronger chance of ending up with something interesting afterwards. So don’t call it bullshit. I know it certainly sounds like bullshit, but it’s actually much more delicate than that. It’s the concept made to look like bullshit so the client won’t hate it.