Make your own blog.
I don't have an audience on my blog, but at least I don't get jerked around when a company tries to find their footing.
Make your own blog.
From Chaim Gartenberg, writing for The Verge:
…agreement that gives [Gamestop] a cut of every digital purchase made on any Xbox consoles it directly sells going forward.
So if you buy an Xbox from GameStop, GameStop gets a cut of the digital game sales for the lifetime of that console. Why? Did Microsoft realize GameStop would die if they only sold consoles and it's more beneficial to Xbox if GameStop exists?
This would be like buying an iPhone from Best Buy and then Best Buy gets a cut of app sales from those users. Why involve the retailer in this part of the value chain? I would think this would be an opportunity for Microsoft to have a tighter relationship between game developers and gamers — and cut out the retailers. There must be some kind of goodwill backroom kind of deal going on here.
My other theory is that Gamestop refused to stock the digital-only console since it wouldn't lead to physical sales, but that assumes GameStop has any bargaining power in this situation.
It sounds like GameStop is getting scraps when they used to get a full meal. Will it be enough to keep them from starving?
Matt Birchler put together a great watchOS 7 wishlist. There are a lot of great ideas here. Based on past watchOS releases, this feels more like 3 years of releases than a single release. A few stood-out as realistic contenders, like bringing always-on support to more apps:
First, let’s add it to the timer and stopwatch apps. If you’re timing something, then you probably want to be able to see it at all times..
Considering how substantial the always-on-display was for Series 5, I can see Apple wanting to make that experience better over the years. Starting with clock-like apps is a natural way to start. It is a watch, after all. I wouldn’t expect Apple to expand this functionality to 3rd-party apps in watchOS 7, but that’d be a natural extension for future releases. I imagine their long-term goal is to blur the lines between always-on mode and active mode.
Adding custom watch faces is the elephant in the room. I have to believe designers at Apple are at least considering custom watch faces to make this amazing little computer feel even more personal. If there’s an institutional aversion to custom faces within Apple, adding better support for apps would be a decent half-measure to improve the always-on experience.
Another idea was “one-tap less” which would be wide-ranging…
Apple should make a run through of the things you do on the watch and try to remove one tap from the process.
I feel like Apple took a stab at this in watchOS 4. The Timer app comes to mind: they went from fiddly-circle-scrolling to a grid of 1-tap buttons for common times. Setting timers on laundry day was never the same.
Birchler doesn’t provide any examples, but the Workouts app comes to mind. When I’m done walking Mylo in the morning, I raise my wrist to see the workout session, swipe right, tap End, scroll forever, tap Done, then hit the Digital Crown to get to the watch face. I bet there’s an easier way to end a workout, and I bet all those steps aren’t necessary today, but it feels like they are. Lots of paper-cuts like this that could be ironed-out to make the experience lightning fast.
I really appreciated Birchler’s post for its thoughtfulness and specific solutions. It takes someone who really loves a product to uncover all the ways it could be better — if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t write about it in the first place.
The post made me think about how fun (and challenging) it must be to work at Apple and think through stuff like this every day.
Caio Braga and Fabricio Teixeira, writing for UX Collective…
…we all more or less share the same goals: to create products we can be proud of, ones which will improve people's lives and move the economy forward.
It’s easy to be a pessimist. Designers tend to be predisposed to criticize so we can push to make things better, but unchecked negativity gets in the way of doing our best work.
The world is going to change unexpectedly in the 2020s. Tech has behaved abhorrently lately, but I’m optimistic that designers will push to create a future with more intention and respect for users.
Read UX Collective’s post on 2020 Trends in UX and I think you’ll be optimistic too.
Louie Mantia, on Twitter:
If flat design killed UI personality, then design systems are nuclear annihilation. The only place designers are allowed to add character are in they-all-look-the-same illustrations on error screens. God forbid if you have a fanciful animation. The interface itself used to be expressive.
People say we’re tackling more complex problems and the need to collaborate is way more important, and that’s why we’ve shifted to systems-thinking design. I believe design systems can usher in a new era of creative and really beautiful interfaces at scale. I just think the value of visual design has been reduced to ash, an afterthought for most teams. Making jewel-like UIs is just not prioritized and it’s a shame.
I love that we’re focused on solving real problems. But did we need to suck the soul from software? I know we can solve hard problems and look good doing it.
Update: this position is no longer available (July 18, 2019).
Join the UX design team at Nutrien to work on challenging and fulfilling work that can truly make an impact on the future of agriculture. We have an open position in our office at the Research Park in Champaign, IL.
Below is a clip by Nutrien featuring a grower in California. Our design team is focused on helping growers like her make better day-to-day decisions and long-term sustainable choices. I couldn't be more proud of the work our team does, and I look forward to you joining the team.
Update: Sketch officially teased the version 56 features in a blog post.
The creator of Sketch presented at Layers by showcasing new features coming in Sketch 56. The atmosphere in the theater was giddy. The designers at the conference were ecstatic to see their favorite design tool make massive leaps forward. Here's a sneak peek of what's coming from photos/videos from audience members.
This illustration beautifully captures the power of the new features coming soon, without going into detail too much. Really there's 4 major new features, since Sketch Cloud is getting totally overhauled for versioning, shareable prototypes.
Instead of using a clunky plugin, Sketch can now do simple (and complex) resizing for components. All you need to do is specify if it's a horizontal or vertical stack, and Sketch intuits the rest. Simple. I think designers have wanted an elegant solution to this problem for years, maybe as long as graphical user interfaces have been around.
After seeing how complex real design systems have become, Sketch has entirely rethought how you manage libraries.
There's now a components sidebar for easy dragging and dropping components from a library into your document. It also lets you categorize your symbols with drag-and-drop rather than having really long and complex symbol names.
The new Distribution (and Tidy) features let you easily adjust the spacing between lots of objects at the same time. It also lets you do cool Pinterest-like layouts — it doesn't have to be a strict grid.
Another example of Smart Distribute, where you can quickly adjust the spacing for the whole layout in a matter of seconds.
Sketch Cloud for Teams allows you to share prototypes internally and externally. It has built in version controls with in-line comments. It's really powerful, and makes Sketch Prototypes nearly as flexible as InVision prototypes.
Altogether, Sketch 56 is a huge update. Additions like versioning and collaborating in Sketch Cloud are huge for the overall workflow of design. Public links for Sketch prototypes means you can easily get stakeholder feedback. A new way to manage components, auto-resizing for buttons and complex components… it's all here and it's super cool.
As someone who uses Sketch day-in-and-day-out, it's clear the Sketch team is firing on all cylinders and pushing the ball forward, which is essential since competition from InVision, Adobe XD, Figma, and other ramp up their products.