Posts tagged Delay
The apps that users have come to love (or hate) since the iPhone and its mobile operating system – iOS – first hit the market could be about to look very different: No more 3D cartoonish caricatures of bookshelves or billiard tables, Apple apps are reportedly going “flat.” Perhaps just as important, the new design could dictate when the next iPhone actually hits stores.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple’s lead designer, Sir Jonathan Ive, is completely revamping the look and feel of iOS. Ive had previously been the long-time head of hardware design at Apple (responsible for the physical look and feel of iMacs, iPods, iPads and the iPhone) but was elevated in 2012 when CEO Tim Cook let go Scott Forstall, the previous lead designer of iOS. Ive now controls the look and feel of just about every aspect of the iPhone.
With that change comes the end of skeuomorphism, the designconcept where developers make apps look like the physical object they represent. In iOS, this can be seen in the bookshelves of the Newsstand app or the paper notebook look of the Notes app.
Apple moving away from skeuomorphism is not news. The New York Times reported the move in November of last year, and the topic has been at the top of designers’ minds for months. On Wednesday, Bloomberg confirmed that Ive and his cohorts are moving toward a flat design that does not digitally recreate physical objects with 3D renderings.
What is news is that Ive’s team have apparently fallen behind in finalizing the new designs that are supposed to be ready for iOS when Apple unveils it at its World Wide Developers Conference, slated for June 10-14 in San Francisco. According to the Bloomberg report, the design concepts were due in February but are running a month late. The Apple team is working under intense pressure to get the new look down before the next iPhone ships, likely in September or October of this year.
- Forget Skeuomorphism: The (Digital) World Is Getting Flatter
- Will Apple’s New Design Approach Kill The Luster Steve Jobs Loved?
- Tim Cook Cleans House At Apple – Scott Forstall Is Out
Motivations For Flat Design
The flat design concept is in vogue with mobile designers because it provides a cleaner, crisper way to present information and easy interactive elements. Flat design works better on mobile screens, where inset text and spacing, among other issues, are concerns for developers. Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Windows Phone are prime examples of flat design.
A couple factors no doubt motivate Ive’s decision to transition iOS design:
- Apple is in desperate need of dramatic changes to make iOS 7 fresh and new for consumers. The basic digital design of iOS hasn’t changed since the first iPhone was launched in 2007.
- Flat design is more conducive to high-resolution screens. The original iPhone had a resolution of 163 pixels per inch (ppi) on its 3.5-inch screen. The iPhone 5 has 326 ppi on a 4-inch screen. Competitive models like the Samsung Galaxy S4 (441 ppi) and HTC One (469 ppi) boast even higher resolutions that Apple will likely try to match or best with its newest iPhone.
According to reports, the disagreement that led to Forstall’s exit from Apple centered around skeumorphism vs. flat design. Now that Ive is in control of both hardware and software, he is going to bring everything into alignment with his own vision.
Are you looking forward to a different design for your iPhone apps? Or are you happy with how your iPhone currently looks? Let us know in the comments.
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Shortly after Google began digitally scanning millions of books in 2004, the Authors Guild and various other copyright holders filed a class-action lawsuit against the search giant. Although the involved parties reached a $125 million tentative settlement agreement in late 2008, the U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin rejected the proposed terms due to the potential [...]
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A series of acquisitions, including buying Instagram and patents to defend against Yahoo, have occupied the attention of founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Executives reportedly have been unable to devote the time necessary to prepare for the launch.
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Google has long been telling us how long it took to perform whatever search we sent its way. That little note may seem self-congratulatory to the average Internet user, but it’s vitally important.
Slowing that number by just 4/10ths of a second, for example, would cut 8 million searches from Google’s daily total of 3 billion. If its pages took one second longer to load, Amazon, for example, could lose as much as $1.6 billion in annual revenue.
These and other findings are included in a smart new infographic (see below) from OnlineGraduatePrograms that sheds light on the need for speed when it comes to Web page design. All of this emphasis on instant gratification comes at a time when the Internet is trending towards being more visual, meaning Web designers need to find ways to create image-heavy sites that still load quickly.
The chart also shows we remain impatient once we click through that top result Google gave us: half of us will abandon a Web page that takes more than four seconds to load. The stakes are getting even higher as more traffic moves to mobile devices: 40% of shoppers accessing an e-commerce site with their smartphone give up after just three seconds of waiting for a page to load.
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It’s been over a month since Facebook launched a “Developer Release” version its new profile page, the Timeline. The new design was supposed to have been made available to all of Facebook’s users in "a few weeks," but it’s now almost two weeks overdue. There’s been no official word from Facebook on the delay, but my guess is that it’s due to mixed feedback from early users.
I have been using the Timeline since Day 1, September 22. Personally, I love the new design. But for other early users, Timeline has messed up their main reason for visiting a person’s Facebook profile: to quickly scan recent updates. While Facebook is used to mixed feedback for its re-designs, Timeline is a radical change from the old profile and so Facebook needs to be confident that its mass audience will easily adjust to the new design. Unfortunately for Facebook, Timeline does appear to have some usability issues.
Timeline essentially turns your profile into a colorful, easily searchable timeline of your life – at least the parts of it on Facebook.
Before we discuss the pros and cons of Timeline after one month, take a look at the two screenshots below. The first shows my Timeline profile, which currently only a small portion of my Facebook friends see (those who also implemented the Developer Release). The second screenshot shows the profile page of RWW Channels Editor David Strom – that’s the design which the vast majority of Facebook users still have. But Timeline is what Facebook promised to roll out to all of its users by now, so the first screenshot is what all Facebook users will soon have.
My Facebook Timeline
RWW Channels Editor David Strom’s Facebook profile
You can see the immediate differences even from these somewhat blurry screenshots:
- Timeline is organized via a timeline, which divides your status updates into two panes (see the vertical bar down the middle of the status updates area; there is also an extended timeline bar in the top-right corner of the page). By comparison, the old profile is organized as a chronological list of status updates in a single pane.
- Timeline is much more colorful, thanks largely to the "cover shot" image (mine is a photo of a John Baldessari art exhibition in San Diego). As you begin to use Timeline, you also notice the extra pizzazz in larger images, better video integration, the Music sharing center, and more.
- The list of friends has been de-emphasized in Timeline. In David’s profile, you can clearly see a list of his friends in the left pane. You can easily click through to each of his friends. In my Timeline, however, my friends are squeezed into a small rectangular box and I cannot click on individuals. This difference is the most obvious evidence of a key change in Facebook’s design philosophy for your profile: the Timeline is much more about YOU.
There are other differences not immediately obvious, such as new options for the status update field (called "life events"). See our original review of Timeline for a full list of the new features.
How Early Timeline Users Have Reacted
Some Timeline users have loved the changes – and I count myself in this category. It’s been suggested that people who love Timeline are narcissistic, because Timeline makes it a pleasure to design and curate a digital timeline of your life. Given that my professional life is played out entirely online, I have to say "guilty as charged" on the narcissism count.
One of the biggest complaints so far from early Timeline users is that the duel pane organization of status updates makes it difficult for users to scan recent activity on your profile. This is likely an execution problem by Facebook’s design team.
Here’s the gist of the problem: when you make a series of updates on Facebook, your Timeline gets shuffled around randomly. Previous updates shift disconcertingly from the left to the right pane (or vice versa), while other updates are pushed down the page haphazardly. Perhaps most frustratingly, some updates don’t appear at all. For example, I had one instance of adding a new photo album and it showed up on Timeline; but the next time I added a photo album, it didn’t go into Timeline.
The Timeline shuffle is further confused by the new “frictionless sharing” feature. The most prominent example of this is having every song you listen to on apps like Spotify and MOG go into your news feed. That causes a Music center box to display prominently on your Timeline, but which songs display is at the whim of algorithms. Also if you don’t listen to anything for a while, the music box drops down the page. Again, the layout is something that may confuse many people ("what happened to the music thingie I saw on your profile yesterday? It’s disappeared!")
One word I heard when gathering feedback for this article sums up how many people feel about the layout of status updates in Timeline: scrambled.
Arguably, most people just want to see recent activity on a Facebook profile. While some will enjoy regularly exploring the history of a friend’s life (this activity is also known as ‘stalking’), most of the time you probably just want to see the most recent updates.
But Timeline makes it difficult to know what is most recent and there is no guarantee that all of the activity you seek – for example an event that a group of friends is organizing – will even show on the Timeline.
As RWW webmaster Jared Smith observed, with Timeline you are "looking back and forth and back and forth," whereas with the old design "the social stream is neater and more scannable." Jared isn’t a fan of the Timeline and it looks like a lot of people agree with him.
Personally, I still think Facebook is on the right track with Timeline. But there are clearly issues with its implementation, particularly in the layout and organization of status updates. It’s my bet that this has been the cause of the delayed rollout of Timeline to Facebook’s entire user base.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve been using Timeline and if so, what you think of it compared to the old design. If you’re still using the old design, does what you read here make you nervous about having Timeline thrust upon you?
Photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography
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Google is pushing back a product announcement previously slated for the October 11th CTIA event. The product in question is likely the Nexus Prime, but Google and Samsung decided to postpone out of respect for the recent passing of Steve Jobs.
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Samsung and Google were set to unveil the next Android “flagship,” the anticipated Nexus Prime, at an event next week in San Diego called “Samsung Mobile Unpacked.” It coincides with the CTIA wireless trade show, which has been moved from San Francisco to San Diego to protest a mobile phone…
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Google TV has been dubbed a “fiasco” by some, and while yours truly is skeptical on that exact terminology, we’re certainly miles and miles away from calling this product a success. In addition to poor reviews on the less than impressive software featured by the devices released thus far, Google called for a halt on presentations from Sharp, LG Electronics, and Toshiba at CES this year — prompting Logitech to completely stop production while they wait for Google to make a move.
As reported by Engadget, Gigabyte (the company who’s building Logitech’s Google TV devices) has stopped all production on the Revue (their Google TV device) for December and January. This means, among other things, that the Revue hasn’t been selling nearly as well as either Google or Logitech had hoped, and everyone is pinning the blame on the software (yes, even Google, who sited the software as the reason for delaying CES presentations).
Logitech has stated that they’re willing to resume production if and when Google revamps their Google TV software. There’s some controversy over who decided to stop production, with some sources stating that Google instructed the stop, with others claiming it’s a power move from Logitech. Neither company has commented on the source of the halt.
The “software tweaks” that should allow for releases from major manufacturers and a re-commencement in production from Logitech are expected to be released in late January, 2011. However, given the December OTA update for existing Google TV users, it’s uncertain exactly what this new batch of software will contain. Those who want to try Google TV as it current stands can still do so, and even the Revue is available from the manufacturer website — just not in stores.
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Google TV’s Delay Causes Logitech to Halt Production
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