Creative Timeout

I’m taking a creative timeout – regular postings will continue in a few weeks…

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Progress stops for nobody

Do you see that? That little arrow on my videos, this thing? ▶

I went ahead and added it. I don’t really like it. I know it’s a video, no need for a play button. It just adds clutter, doesn’t it. But other people might not know what’s a video and what’s a still image here. So I thought I’d give them a little visual hint.

Here’s where app programming comes in. I’ve learned a lot in the last months about user feedback. It turns out that sometimes the users are actually right, and adding this little feature, that little helper function… sometimes it improves things a lot. More than you would have expected as a designer.

Somebody requested a feature for the Doki reader: “Please add a zoom function for images”. Meh. Just turn the phone to switch to panorama view. If it still doesn’t fit, it’s too large for that small screen anyway. But then I added it, and I love it. I’m using the zoom thingy all the time now. Works great for webcomics.

Sometimes the users know better.

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It’s 2015 already. Not quite a year since this blog was relaunched, but now’s a good a time as any to do a quick recap.

I’m slowly figuring out what works and what doesn’t. I had this goal of posting at least every other day, which worked out well, but now I’ve pretty much burned through the stash of things I had prepared. So I’m going to slow down a bit. There should be enough in the archives by now to keep you busy for a while, in case you only recently found here.

As I never bothered to write it down: This blog is a collection of things I find interesting and noteworthy. Since this world is already loud enough as it is, and you certainly figured out by now how the internet works, I decided to throw out the distracting fluff and keep things simple instead. If you catch me posting something flashy, it probably means that I’m really excited about it.

If you have questions, suggestions for an article, comments, disagree with something or just want to say hi, please do!

In any case, have a pleasant new year.

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The curious case of the Windows Phone UI

In a recent article I wrote about how Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s late entry to the smartphone game and how they reinvented their own wheels with it. Turns out I was a bit off the mark.

While the first WPhone7 device was certainly released much later (Nov 2010) than its Android (Sep 2008) and Iphone (Jun 2007) counterparts, its underlying operating system and the user interface actually predate both.

It turns out that the missing piece of this puzzle is the Zune. The Zune was Microsoft’s attempt at designing a portable media player to counter the Ipod. The Zune 30 was the first Zune device. It was released in November 2006 and came with a 30gb internal harddisk (hence the name). What’s curious about the Zune players is their UI. Continue reading Continue reading

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Oh, by the way!

I’m happy to announce a new project called WAXCAT – a publisher name I’ve registered for the Windows Phone Store.

I’ve released a first application and there’s more to come. I’ve set up a small page to keep track of plans and progress:

This will hardly be news for you if you’ve been following me on twitter but I felt like giving it a bit of an official touch. Over the next days there’ll be some articles about dealing with the Windows Phone Store and such. Maybe even a writeup of longer term plans for the waxcat project, but that might have to wait until the next app release. As with everything else on this blog, comments and critique are always welcome.

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This is ello, a new social network. This is their idea of a user page.

They’ll never make it out of obscurity and will eventually fade away. But I do agree with their principles on what a social network should look like.

Here’s some more stuff about ello.


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