Comcast is now touting their new X2 platform (again) which is the succesor of the X1 platform. I have to give kudos to Comcast for realizing their experiences are terrible and they need to adapt to new viewer habits and expectations. But I also have to think that they still don’t get it. Take for instance this screen shot from their most recent promotional video. It’s a shot of lots of different remote models they’re obviously testing - different form factors and materials. But, holy crap, these already look horrible. Too many buttons, too bulky, too unfriendly.
I’d like to say I’ve tried the X1 platform to give a more robust review. But after 5 calls to their customer service center they refuse to issue me (an existing customer - they’re only for NEW customers) a new X1 cable box - despite the fact I live in one of only a few trial areas. Yet, they continue to hound me with junk mail trying to get me to purchase a land line. < sigh >
Also, I’m just not sold on the idea that multiple images on screen, no matter how “flat” the design, leads to easier communication. Personally, it’s still too much visual distraction.
It’s good that the menus and navigation have gotten a makeover, but the UX still looks like they’re living in the 2000’s. I think someone is going to come along and present an even more simplified experience. One that doesn’t overwhelm someone with so many options on screen at once. Something like…iOS v1 - then builds on that simplicity over time.
But for now, just go buy a $99 AppleTV and download the PBS app. You’ll be better off.
Craig Hunter is an developer who created an app called Theodolite HD for the iPad. It was one of several videos shown in Apple’s latest keynote during a video clip.
What I find interesting is that version 4.0 of Theodolite HD was used in Apple’s video clip, and that version was just released on October 2 as an iOS 7 update. That means Apple shot this video, did editing, production, etc., within the last 20 days in order to show it during the Special Event. It really demontrates how much effort they put into their videos. Just think of the resources required to do this, for one short clip in one video highlight of a keynote. Sometimes it takes me 14-21 days just to finalize copy and artwork for a print ad, and here Apple is shooting video up on a mountain halfway around the world and getting it in front of a VIP audience in 20 days.
Interesting indeed. That’s quick!
TapBots launched v3 of it’s signature twitter client, Tweetbot tonight. The first thing I noticed was that it was not a free upgrade but $2.99. The second thing I noticed was that it was iPhone only - not universal. That means an iPad app in the future is also going to cost you ~$2.99 - $4.99. Their current Tweetbot app for the Mac is $19.99. That’s a pretty expensive ecosystem of apps for a service Tapbots has no control over. It doesn’t help that Twitter itself has a set of pretty nice apps for FREE.
All that aside, the main thing I noticed was how similar in design Tweetbot v3 is to Twitterrific’s v5 client, which BTW, is universal.
Now, there’s a TON of differences under the hood and in the user experiences - little touches each one brings to the table that make each one special to it’s set of users. Both apps are fantastic twitter clients and both companies have worked their asses off to produce a fine product - no doubt. BUT…what concerns me is how much Tweetbot has toned down it’s core design language to fit into iOS 7. Here’s what Tweetbot v2 looked like on iOS 6…
I understand that iOS 7 presents a whole new set of design rules for UI, but I worry that apps are going to begin to loose their originality in order to fit into this predisposed notion of “flat design”. I hope this doesn’t signal a trend. Say what you want about skeuomorphism but at least designers were free to explore aesthetically.
This Tumblr site "iOS 7 App Redesigns" has been documenting apps as they switch their UI’s over to iOS 7. One could argue that all these apps look as if one designer worked on them. Almost as if it was this one designer’s signature style and every company wanted it. We’ve seen this in on-air motion graphics many times. One design trend begins to dominate the marketplace and every client wants their next spot to look just like it. Maybe we’re not so different after all.