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This week, Apple gave the world its first peek at iOS 7, the software that will power iPhones and iPads starting later this year.

Helmed by hardware guru Jony Ive, the update will bring the most dramatic visual overhaul of Apple’s mobile OS to date. As expected, it embraces a flat aesthetic that allows for layering based on functionality. For example, you can peek behind icons to see your wall paper. So while the UI may be flat, the UX is anything but.

Just how different is iOS 7 compared to the software we’re running now? Take a look for yourself.

The Next Big UI Idea: Gadgets That Adapt To Your Skill

More and more interactive products are being returned. In 2002, 48% of all returned products were technically fully functional but were rejected for failing to satisfy user needs (28%) or purely due to users’ remorse (20%). Even though a product may have all the features one can hope for, complexity and bad user experience can prevent users from integrating it into their lives.

User experiences are subjective and dynamic, but by and large, interactive products are not designed to take people’s changing capacity and experience into account. But they could.

Here, I present a model for how designers can use the fundamentals of video games and the psychological principles of flow to design enhanced user experiences.

As gadgets get more complicated, user interfaces must be able to teach their users over time.

Here is how Philip Battin thinks this can happen.

 

Leap Motion, a San Francisco startup has created a device (“the Leap”) that lets you control your computer just my moving your fingers over it, as if you were using a touchscreen in the air.

Read more->

Leap Motion is now taking pre-orders for the $69.99 device but won’t begin shipping it until the end of this year or early 2013. The company is also opening up its developer ecosystem to give software makers a head start on developing new applications.

Instagram’s co-founder Mike Krieger lifted the curtain on three of their backend (and UI) tricks that give the Instagram user a feeling of responsiveness, even when someone’s phone is trapped on a lousy connection. The ideas aren’t just clever; they’re so logical that you don’t need to be a coder to appreciate them. Read on->

Instagram’s co-founder Mike Krieger lifted the curtain on three of their backend (and UI) tricks that give the Instagram user a feeling of responsiveness, even when someone’s phone is trapped on a lousy connection. The ideas aren’t just clever; they’re so logical that you don’t need to be a coder to appreciate them. Read on->


So what did the designers at Google actually do not just to make their product so much more beautiful, but so much more beautiful than Facebook? Co.Design talked to Google+ lead designer Fred Gilbert to unpack the subtle brilliance behind their awesome redesign—a redesign that was completed in less than two months—and his notes are full of lessons that could hone the experience of almost any product. 

4 Key Insights From The 57-Day, Blitzkrieg Redesign Of Google+

So what did the designers at Google actually do not just to make their product so much more beautiful, but so much more beautiful than Facebook? Co.Design talked to Google+ lead designer Fred Gilbert to unpack the subtle brilliance behind their awesome redesign—a redesign that was completed in less than two months—and his notes are full of lessons that could hone the experience of almost any product. 

4 Key Insights From The 57-Day, Blitzkrieg Redesign Of Google+

Planetary (voiceover) from Bloom Studio, Inc. on Vimeo.

NERD ALERT! Okay, admittedly I shouldn’t be so excited about this, but just watch this video of a new iPad app that displays your iTunes music library as a 3D galaxy! This blows any previously created iTunes visualizer out of the water, ocean, and planet— literally. If you were to project this at a party, your friends might even stop dancing just to look at it. It’s Friday. Get your geek on!

Planetary, a free iPad app from the data-artists at Bloom, is jaw-droppingly, eye-poppingly gorgeous. It analyzes your iTunes music library and visualizes it as a 3D galaxy, where artists become stars that form constellations, albums are planets orbiting those stars, and individual tracks are moons that spin around the planets. It’s “music of the spheres” made stunningly literal. But according to Bloom, it’s so much more than that.

Full writeup from Co.Design.