The most popular mobile operating system is known to be Android. One of the main reasons for its popularity is its ability to run on a huge number of devices, not only on phones and tablets. We find Android on TVs, watches, cars, even fridges and mirrors.
Android Wear is the version of the operating system specifically designed to extend the Android platform to wearables, with particular attention to smartwatches. These devices allow the user to consume information in a completely different way than traditional handheld devices: Data is presented at the right time depending on the user's context, and interaction is less invasive and time-consuming than in a phone app.
Facilitation in the broadest sense means helping or enabling people to achieve a positive outcome. It's an important and often under-appreciated skill for designers and other UX professionals to gain. It's especially important as more teams embrace lean UX practices, which shift emphasis away from big deliverables toward facilitating outcomes such as continuous discovery and shared understanding.
Any kind of working session or meeting in which design decisions are being shaped needs a facilitator. The authors of Sprint, the popular book about running five-day design sprints, compare the facilitator's role to Brad Pitt's character in Ocean's Eleven: The facilitator "keeps the heist running." But you don't need to run a week-long workshop to benefit from facilitation skills.
Sketch is known for its tricky, advanced facets, but it's not rocket science. We've got you covered with The Sketch Handbook which is filled with practical examples and tutorials that will help you get the most out of this mighty tool. In today's article, Christian Krammer gives us a little taste of all the impressive designs Sketch is capable of bringing to life. — Ed.
Music plays a big role in my life. For the most part, I listen to music when I'm commuting, but also when I'm exercising or doing some housework. It makes the time fly, and I couldn't imagine living without it.
However, one thing that has always bothered me is that the controls of music apps can be quite small and hard to catch. This can be a major issue, especially in the car, where every distraction matters. Another issue, in particular with the recent redesign of iOS' Music app, is that you can't directly like tracks anymore and instead need to open a separate dialog. And I do that a lot — which means one needless tap for me.
2017 will bring about new conferences as well as play host to your favorite conferences from the past years. This year, the IoT may prove to be as prominent as wearables, while AI could join the ranks of the budding topic — virtual reality.
Conferences are about gathering information and knowledge, but are also opportunities to meet and learn from other like-minded folks in the web design community. Keep in mind that there are always benefits to attending any event. Plus, you’ll be exposed to a large amount of new information, so be prepared to absorb the latest techniques brought to you by distinguished authors and speakers!
I've been following the idea of algorithm-driven design for several years now and have collected some practical examples. The tools of the approach can help us to construct a UI, prepare assets and content, and personalize the user experience. The information, though, has always been scarce and hasn't been systematic.
However, in 2016, the technological foundations of these tools became easily accessible, and the design community got interested in algorithms, neural networks and artificial intelligence (AI). Now is the time to rethink the modern role of the designer.
Editor's Note: New year, new challenges! You might have set up your New Year's resolutions already, but if not, how about designing something... different for a change? Today, we're happy to introduce Dorota, an artist who created a fun little project last year that was inspired by Twitter's new logo based on 13 circles. Below you'll find the lessons Dorota has learned along the process, so maybe you'd like to embark on a similar journey as well?
If you can make a bird out of circles, then you can probably make all sorts of animals. I wanted to add something more design-based to my portfolio, so I made that my personal challenge. The idea was to draw animals from exactly 13 circles, and I decided to match that number by making 13 animals. This makes for a nicer title for the project, and it helps to get others to share it around the web, too. Knowing what you want to create early on helps, because then all you have to do is figure out ways to make it happen.
New year, new beginnings! To cater for a fresh start into 2017 and all the challenges, endeavors and adventures it might bring along, artists and designers from across the globe put their creative skills to the test and created unique desktop wallpapers for you to indulge in.
This monthly wallpapers mission has been going on for eight years now, and we are very thankful to all the creative minds who contribute to it tirelessly each month anew. Today's wallpapers all come in versions with and without a calendar and can be downloaded for free. Happy New Year!
Earlier this year, I redesigned my portfolio website. During this process, I decided to add a feature that educated visitors on how to say my name. One day, I opened the "Voice Memos" app on my iPhone, tapped "Record", and asked my wife to say my first name. Then, I embedded a small button onto the landing page after my first name. Clicking on that button would play the audio file of my name.
With a couple of days left until New Year's Eve, it's just about time to set aside 60 minutes to clean up, sort out and back up your digital footprint, to ensure a good smooth start to 2017. So many little details tend to get forgotten or overlooked every single time, only to get fixed hastily later — but doesn't it just feel right when everything is in the right place, neatly organized, even if you aren't a compulsory cleaner or an obsessed perfectionist?
This is not a generic article about unspectacular things like getting to inbox zero or changing the copyright year in your footer (although that's a good idea!) — we published a detailed checklist of all of those details a couple of years ago. Instead, you'll find below an overview of all of those obscure little things that I forget about every year; so, I decided to gather them all in one place once and for all.