via Tobias Ahlin
The answer is quite simple: an exhaustive process of testing. Android devices come with TFT-LCD panels of varying quality and with various technologies: (S/)PVA, (S/H-)IPS, AFFS, each with their own unique dynamics and often manufacturer-calibrated specifically (yes, there’s different gamma curves), as well as AMOLED displays with similar varying characteristics. We tested them. Using remote viewing applications and a variety of lighting conditions, we verified gamma curves, color reproduction and our applications’ UI legibility and quality individually, time and time again.
Did we find a perfect solution? No. With this much variety, you have to surrender your notion of designing for perfection in one place, and find what is the best in all places.
Everybody who is even remotely related to mobile app development knows that it’s almost impossible to design a good looking app for Android because of the overwhelming number of Android devices. De With points out that some hardware manufacturers didn’t even seem to care about proper color reproduction:
…I decided we simply have to settle on a large group of devices not showing all intricate details of the clock; due to its extremely poor reproduction of dark grey colors — they often show up as a dark purple or vivid dark green, it’s really atrocious — I made dark details so dark that they display very subtly on regular LCD screens, but not on AMOLED. It’s a compromise one must make.
What this basically means is that De With went through all this trouble to create an app with so much attention to detail and in the end he realized that a significant number of Android users will miss most of it.
Designing a great app begins with the hardware. Apple has created a hardware ecosystem that allows this level of detail and effort to stand out and get noticed by all of it’s users. And that’s one of the main reasons so many talented designers and developers prefer iOS.
In this short documentary, Swedish furniture designer Staffan Holm talks about an innovative technique that allows him to create beautiful pieces of furniture made of bent wood. In the end he talks a little bit about his style:
I think everyone has a hard time seeing their own style especially in the beginning, because I think many people, especially me, use a style or use the aesthetics that the products need and maybe after a few years you start to see that there’s kind of a red thread maybe running through all the products.
[...] I just want to grow into my own style in peace, I just want to work and see where the work takes me and in 20 years or something we will have this talk again and we can have a look at what my style was.
This is actually my favorite part of this documentary. As a designer myself I couldn’t agree more with this point of view. I believe there’s always this little red thread running through the creative work of an individual during the course of his career, regardless of how conscious he/she is of it’s existence. There are many cases where I’ve seen designers trying too hard to discover their own style instead of letting it reveal itself through their work. And there are cases where designers who have discovered their style, or think they have, are trying to impose it on every project, disregarding the specific needs each project has and the actual problems they need to solve.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we need to make sure the specific needs and challenges of each project always lead the way allowing this little red thread to indicate an underlining connection rather than guide the creative process.
I don’t think Staffan would make wood bend like a piece of rubber if he thought otherwise…
Hat tip: Co.Design
Animography is a new a kind of type foundry that designs animated fonts mainly for motion graphics (they are basically Adobe After Effects files with each glyph in a separate composition).
They’re also a whole lot more flexible than existing Livefonts. While Apple’s solution is a collection of tweakable pre-rendered QuickTime files, Animography typfaces are deeply customizable After Effects files, meaning an editor can adjust line thickness, duration, easing, wiggle, color–and do so within one of the richest pieces of post-production software in the industry.
This kind of mix between between typography and animation is definitely very interesting and worth exploring even more. Animography’s fonts look great and they do have a very distinct character all by themselves although that could be a double edged knife when it comes to building a visual identity, despite their flexibility.
Other that that I would love to see a similar attempt using web technologies instead of Adobe’s After Effects.
I’ve been using a Retina MacBook Pro for one week, only as a secondary computer,2and I’ve already changed my font, redesigned my narrow layout’s header, and conditionally replaced an image with text. I’ve noticed that fonts, especially, respond extremely differently on the Retina screen: many of my old, non-Retina choices simply didn’t look good, and many fonts and metrics that were previously poor for screen use can be used nicely on Retina screens.
This so true. Retina and HiDPI displays are a small percentage of the market right now but their increasing in numbers very fast. In addition, designing for such displays requires more than just doubling the resolution of the images displayed on the website. Typography is definitely one of the affected areas.
The latest episode of The Binary Metaphor is all about what’s right and wrong on education nowadays. Our discussion is centered around the way various initiatives on the field have taken advantage of various technologies available for better or for worse. Enjoy listening.
Playtype is one of the first brick and mortar concept stores that sell typefaces and all kinds of products based on the typographic endeavors of a young team of type designers under the name “E-type”. The shop, located in Copenhagen, also hosts a number of typography and art related events. Monocle magazine has created an excellent video coverage of the project, so be sure to check it out.
Gregg Keizer, ComputerWorld
A pair of Web metrics firms that track browser share have traded sharp blows, with each calling into question the way its rival measures usage as they argue about which browser — Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Google’s Chrome — is the planet’s most popular.
The dispute over usage numbers isn’t new: In March, Roger Capriotti, director of IE marketing at Microsoft, made his company’s strongest case up to then in support of the data published by Net Applications and dismissed the numbers from Irish metrics company StatCounter because of what he labeled omissions and flaws in the latter’s methodology.
Capriotti posted his criticism of StatCounter just a day after that firm announced that Chrome had passed IE for the first time in a single day’s tracking.
While Google and Microsoft fight over whose browser is no1, I wonder how accurate those percentages are anyway. Not in terms of measuring methods, but in the way browsing has evolved over the past few years. Apart from the browsers we use on our laptops and desktop computers, we are using all kinds of other apps and devices to browse including smartphones, TV sets and game consoles.
Robert Lenzner, Forbes
Mobile traffic was only 1% of the Internet at the close of 2009. So it has grown 10 times in 2 1/2 years. The advertising revenue has jolted higher from $0.7 billion in 2008 to $12 billion at the close of 2011– that gives advertising on mobile a compound annual rate of growth of 153%.
And that is just mobile traffic. It goes without saying that measuring browser share they way we used to becomes more and more irrelevant. Any ideas or new methods you’ve heard?
I’m not a football fan, I hardly watch sports in general. I’m a big fan of Panos Vasileiou and his team at Parachute Fonts whose fonts I love to use as part of my design projects especially on websites via Fontdeck. His award-winning fonts are being used everywhere around the world and this time his “PF Beau Sans Pro” was selected as the primary font for the visual identity of Euro 2012. Go Greece!
In this week’s episode of The Binary Metaphor we’re talking about the usefulness of the social media sharing buttons that appear on so many pages nowadays, given a recent article on the subject by the Information Architects. We also talk about AirPlay which is Facebook’s attempt to create a version of Chatroulette that’s less anonymous, while competing with Google+ Hangouts and So.cl’s Party. You will also hear some of our predictions for the forthcoming Apple WWDC, the on-going E3 Entertainment exhibition as well as Google’s recent plans to reveal a new version of Google Maps. Last but no least, we comment on the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, probably the biggest change in the history of the Internet and you will find out what happened to IPv5!
The Binary Metaphor is a weekly greek podcast about technology and design hosted by Spyros Passas and Panos Spiliotis.