Thursday, November 19, 2009


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Apple's AppStore is Bizarre

I don't want to bash Apple. I'm an Apple addict! Love every one of their products and have had nothing but good things to say about their quality and attention to design and detail. But... the AppStore process is a strange animal.

Our first iPhone application for FX360 was submitted on May 15th. I declared the 'release date' to be the 18th in the submission. I checked the iTunesConnect environment 2 to 3 times a day, everyday, to see if it was approved. After the holiday weekend, Tim from the office pinged me in the morning to ask if the app was live because he was looking at it on a review site. I logged into iTunesConnect and it was approved and live! Great, but, how about a notice that it was approved? An email... a text... a message on my phone... nadda.

That seems like a strange policy to me. Apple must realize that many developers are holding their breath for their apps to be approved. I'm not sure why they are taking a no contact approach on the approval, but it doesn't seem like a very well thought through User Experience on their part. Oh well. Part of doing business with them I guess.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

iPhone UX Sketch Templates

After giving a presentation at 360Flex on the value and necessity of pen and paper sketching and wireframes, I thought I'd eat my own dogfood! I've created a simple wireframe document based on the sketchboards from AdaptivePath:

Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Choose your flavor below and get to work on some iPhone UX goodness!

Omnigraffle iPhone sketchboard
PDF iPhone sketchboard
Photoshop iPhone sketchboard
EPS iPhone sketchboard
PNG iPhone sketchboard

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

XD with Flash Catalyst and Flex Gumbo at 360Flex Indy

Well, 360Flex Indianapolis is over. It was a great conference! This was my first 360 conference that I attended. A big, giant shout of thanks to Tom and John for all their efforts on the 360 Conferences! It's really a wonderful event that any serious Flex or Flash developer should attend. Most of the sessions were quite technical but very approachable.

Joe Johnston, Francisco Inchauste (both of UniversalMind) and I spoke on Experience Design topics and were all very well received. We weren't sure if the Flex Developers attending would appreciate the topics, but it seemed that they did! Each of us had close to 50 attendees in each of our presentations! I think Joe topped the lot of us with a standing room only preso at 8:30 am on day 2... He gets the attendee award!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Transparent Background on iPhone UIWebView

Well, Apple has hidden a little nugget in the docs that took me quite some time to dig up. Here's the simple solution to creating a UIWebView with a transparent background:

  • set your background color of the UIWebView to clear
  • set the css for the body to background-color: transparent
  • here's the bugger... set the opaque property of the UIWebView to NO

The code looks something like this:

UIWebView *w = [[UIWebView alloc] initWithFrame:CGRectMake(10, 10, self.bounds.size.width-20, self.bounds.size.height-60)];
[w setBackgroundColor:[UIColor clearColor]];
[w setOpaque:NO];
[self addSubview:w];
self.myWebView = w;
[w release];

And in the HTML:

body {
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
width: 220px;
background-color: transparent;

Hope that helps someone!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Interaction Design Publication


My friend and colleague, Joe Force, pointed me to a link this morning that considers and discusses many of the finer points of XD and Interaction Design! "Thoughts on Interaction Design" was a book published in 2007 by Brown Bear LLC. There were only 1000 copies printed and a second run is not planned. So, to continue to dialogue, the complete book has been created in a web format for consumption!

The content is very well positioned and thorough on the topic of Interaction Design. It helps to frame up many of the questions and answers we as XD professionals struggle with each day.

One of my favorite sections is authored by Chris Connors of Apple:

When I entered the marketplace as a newly-conferred graduate with a Masters in Human Computer Interaction, I can recall trying to explain to my family and friends exactly what HCI was - something I still occasionally find myself doing. Describing our discipline to potential employers was a recurring challenge: many were confused by a CS degree without production programming, a design degree that didn’t deal primarily with product form, or a cognitive psychologist who wasn’t solely focused on modeling human performance or conducting experimentally-driven usability testing.

I have felt the same lack of understanding and appreciation for what we as XD professionals bring to the table but, the times are changing! It's encouraging to hear Chris' stories and see that Interaction and Experience Design are being recognized as valuable additions to a product's life cycle.

Thank you to all the contributors for their excellent insight!