Tag Archive for ‘Design’

Apple’s Abysmal Mail Toolbar ➝

Craig Grannell:

On [iOS 12], you have immediate access to options that let you flag, file, archive/delete, reply, and start a new message. It’s not overly complicated, and it looks fine. Also: all these actions are fundamental to rapidly dealing with email. Now, you only get archive/delete and reply.

This change is a bit baffling to me. Why would Apple remove quick access to so many useful features in favor of this “archive plus junk drawer” setup? Luckily for me, the vast majority of the email I receive is simply archived. But for anyone that frequently perform other actions, this change is terrible.

But I think Apple can do better than simply reverting to the previous design. Why don’t they give us the option to customize these buttons, so that each user can have exactly the ones they want? By default, Mail can display the most commonly used options alongside a generic “more” icon. That can serve as the junk drawer for the rest of the options. And within that menu, Apple could also offer the ability to customize the order of each icon and whether it’s shown at the top level, directly below your email, or within the menu.

There was a time when Apple offered that sort of customization — remember the bottom tab bar in the old iPod app for iPhone?

➝ Source: reverttosaved.com

The Dark Side of Dark Mode ➝

Adam Engst, writing for TidBits, in reference to a 2013 paper by Piepenbrock, Mayr, Mund, and Buchner in the journal Ergonomics:

To summarize, a dark-on-light (positive polarity) display like a Mac in Light Mode provides better performance in focusing of the eye, identifying letters, transcribing letters, text comprehension, reading speed, and proofreading performance, and at least some older studies suggest that using a positive polarity display results in less visual fatigue and increased visual comfort.

I’ve never been a fan of dark mode and don’t understand its recent popularity. Whenever I give it a try, I find text harder to read, interfaces more difficult to navigate, and I feel like it’s more tiring to actually use. And I’m glad there’s some amount of evidence to support my impressions.

Slack Gets a New Logo ➝

I can understand Slack wanting to make some changes to their branding. Their previous logo could have used a little refinement, but honestly, this new design looks so terribly bland. It looks like the logo for a generic banking application not a cool, growing messaging app for businesses.

Getting rid of the “S” in the logo was probably the right move — I’m not typically a fan of letters within logos, especially when they aren’t symmetrical. But why get rid of the plaid? It was so distinctively Slack. It’s the sort of thing they should have leaned into, but instead we get this boring new icon on our home screens.

I have Slack open all day while I work and rather than have to see that new logo in my dock, I’ve replaced it with this pleasant alternative by Ronnie Johnson. If you’ve never replaced a logo on a Mac app, the process is pretty simple:

  • Right click on the Slack app in Finder.
  • Choose “Get Info”.
  • Drag and drop the .icns file onto the small icon in the upper-left of the “Get Info” window.

As for iOS, I stuck the Slack app deep inside of a folder and created a Shortcut to launch it with the “Open App” action. Then I added the Shortcut to my home screen using this image as the icon.

The biggest downside to this setup on iOS is that the notification badge now appears on the folder instead of the application itself. But I probably shouldn’t be launching the app too frequently outside of work hours anyway. And on iPhone, I can always force touch the folder to show a list of apps inside with notifications.

The Case for Custom Apple Watch Faces ➝

I agree with Matt here, Apple should let designers and developers build and share Watch faces. But it’s not something I’m clamoring for. All I really want is a version of the modular face where the time is placed in the center slot with six small complications surrounding it — three on top and three on bottom.

‘A Lack Off Consideration for Design’ ➝

A great piece by Nick Heer on Google’s alleged design prowess, written in the wake of YouTube’s new Apple TV app.

New App Store, Maps, and Clock Icons in Latest iOS 11 Beta ➝

The new Maps and Clock icons are solid improvements over their previous iterations, but the App Store icon feels like a bad joke. It looks like a lazy, elementary school art project made out of popsicle sticks.

(Via AppleInsider.)

Handling the Notch ➝

For the past week or two, my Twitter timeline has been filled with iPhone Pro mock-ups. It seems like every designer and developer in the Mac community has been sharing their theories of how Apple will display the virtual home button and status bar on the upcoming bezel-less iPhone. This one by Matt Hauger caught my attention because it solves the “where does the clock go?” problem with an elegant solution. Hauger proposes the idea that Apple will tuck all of the status bar items into the area on both sides of the notch by doubling the height of the status bar. It seems so obvious and yet, I’m not aware of anyone else that has thought of it.

The iPhone Pro and App Navigation Bars ➝

Allen Pike:

So, after ten years, the Home button is going virtual. Our beautiful new 812pt OLED display will have a function area carved out of the bottom, with Home in the middle. There are many things Apple could put on either side of the Home button – Android-like multitasking buttons I suppose – but iOS 11 gives us a giant clue.

He believes that app navigation elements — like “back” and “edit” buttons — will be moved to the bottom of the screen, on each side of the virtual Home Button. I can’t argue with his thesis — this does seem like the kind of change that Apple would make. I guess I’m just not sold on the whole virtual Home Button thing. I’m almost certain that it’s going to happen, but I expect I’m going to be one of those people that sorely miss physical buttons and white space on the front of my device.