Power of Constrainted Media: Low Entry Barrier

Twitter eats the world of news media with 140 characters. Vine becomes the serious video entertainment. Dribbble dominates the design portfolios. Snapchat brings limits in the video view time and becomes a serious threat for Facebook. What do all have in common? Constraints on the content generation and consumption.

It would sound like counter intuitive if we heart it five to ten years ago: constraints make more use of the product. Andrew Chen asks it as a "Why would it make a product more successful by forcing constraints on content creation? Isn’t more always better? Wouldn’t each of these products be better off by removing the constraints? And does every constraint work, or is it all arbitrary?" 

Modest convenient products outperform shiny complicated by significant margins. But does that mean we have to keep the design simple?  Theoretically no. But we have to admit that the best practices has the low entry barrier. 

 

Everything Gets Associated with Your Corporate Brand

There is an image circulating on Twitter. It is a photo of Facebook A/B testing on its loading icon on the splash screen. In A group the loading icon resembles Facebook's loading icon (on the left) and in B group the loading icon resembles iOS' loading icon (on the right).

Facebook A/B Testing Its iOS App's Loading Icon

Facebook A/B Testing Its iOS App's Loading Icon

There is an interesting find out of the test: If the loading is slow and the icon is the Facebook's own one (left) the user thinks that the slowness is because of Facebook's itself. On the other hand, if the user feels slowness and the icon is the iOS' one (right) user thinks that the slowness is due to her device. This leads us to the conclusion that "every single detail different from the masses attributes to your corporate identity".

Actually it is not new. In social psychology this is known as attribution bias:

"People constantly make attributions regarding the cause of their own and others’ behaviors; however, attributions do not always accurately mirror reality." [from Wikipedia]

Hence try to make the best design decisions in order not to hurt your brand.

Pttrns: More than 2100 Mobile User Interface Patterns for Design Inspirations

We, UX designers, need inspirations for the sections of the apps that we work on. And we know that majority of a new application's parts consists of similar patterns as in other applications, like signup, login, activity feed, search, share. Almost all UX designers check different applications before (re)designing an application part. This means downloading a lot of applications just to check some parts of the applications.

Pttrns.com is the solution for this repetitive checking task. There are more than 2100 mobile UI patterns grouped into 3 main categories (iPhone, iPad, iOS7) and bunch of subcategories (Activity Feeds, Maps, Logins etc.).

Pttrns.com for mobile app UI patterns

Pttrns.com for mobile app UI patterns

Top part of the left panel is dedicated to the broad category selection: iPhone, iPad and iOS7.

Top part of the left panel: main category selection

Top part of the left panel: main category selection

Bottom part of the left panel: subcategories under the main category

Bottom part of the left panel: subcategories under the main category

Bottom part of the left panel is dedicated to different subcategories under the main category you have selected. Let's say you are on designing settings section of a iPhone application and would like to check what other apps' settings sections look like. You click iPhone section then click the settings subsection on the panel. Then lots of applications' settings sections are listed in the same page.

Settings examples from different applications

Settings examples from different applications

One cool feature of pttrns is the magnifier when you hover your mouse on the images.

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Hope pttrns.com accompany you in your current and next journeys of mobile application design.

Good UX is In The Details

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Have you heard the saying "the devil is in the detail"? It means that you have to put effort on the details to catch the devil and evil for the sake of good. It is the same for user experience design. In order to do it good or better you have to put enough effort to the details. 

There is a site, called "Little Big Details", dedicated to curating these UX details. So get your daily dose of design inspiration.