Now that I'm in my late 40's, I should probably already be doing what I'm passionate about. However, easier said than done! Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a commercial/graphic artist. I've done fine art, but I'm also practical—fine art is like singing or drama—you're not always guaranteed a job. But graphic design is a practical application, and I LOVE to come up with the idea and then really make it work. Perhaps that's the analytical/puzzle-solving side of me?
When I've done fine art, finding a topic to paint or draw was always harder. I like to draw by seeing, rather than make it up in my head, by my imagination. Give me a photograph and I can duplicate it in watercolor or pastel. My high school art teacher once said I wasn't creative, but I was good at art? I had an eye. My college art teacher challenged me to find varying subject matter. When I painted our women's fraternity house (a portrait of it—not the actual walls!), instead of the usual landscapes, she was excited because I had branched out. I had another guest professor at MTU for graphic design. She loved my work and even kept my newsletter piece to show others when she left. She also said I had an eye. When I do graphic design, my gut just knows how to do it, how to place it, how to balance the white negative space with the positive. It's all about feeling, gut. Eye.
Designing an iPhone UI for a productivity app can take many directions and each time you make a choice, someone will not like it, yet others may think it's brilliant. (Of course, you hope the latter are the ones leaving reviews.) Today the landscape in the app store affects how you design your UI—you need to stand out to get noticed. However, the other edge of the sword is that if you go totally radical, people won't have that comfort feeling of familiarity of a iOS app. So the key is to get a balance of familiar, with a dose of 'zazz. Of course, it helps to have some luck of being in the right place at the right time, so someone with influence also sees your app, but this post is going to tackle areas WITHIN your control—the design of the User Interface (UI).
Date Wheel is not your usual date calculator. While it may have been said that "anyone can write a date calculator," not everyone can write a GOOD one, and we like to think ours is the best. Date Wheel has won awards in the past and has been recently nominated in the 2009 Best App Ever Awards, sponsored by 148apps, in the category of "Best Time Management". This post was inspired by Dan Grigsby's challenge over at Mobile Orchard and will spell out some key features and design insight in an award-winning app that has celebrated a decade in existence. Read on to see if you agree and, if so, please nominate us by Dec. 31, 2009, and/or vote for us in January if we make the cut. Thanks!
We put a lot of thought into the aesthetics for our iPhone app, Serving Sizer recipe converter. We wanted the app to follow Apple's Human Interface Guidelines, but also set itself apart by polishing the basics to an appealing, graphically designed user interface. Let me take a little time to give insight into our design process in this post.