My book is here

November 6th, 2013 Jeremy Jeremy

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After a hectic few days with little sleep, The App Design Handbook, iOS 7 Edition is finally here.

We are running a 24 hour sale. After that the prices will go up so now is a great time to buy it and share it with your friends or convince your boss to get the team license ($200 off right now).

Get it now >>

I promise that this book, which I co-authored with Nathan Barry, is the very best book on iOS 7 app design there is… Though I admit that it is the only iOS 7 app design book there is right now so that isn’t quite as bold as it sounds.

But I can definitely say this is my most comprehensive work of teaching I’ve ever done and I am really excited to finally get it into your hands.

We have been absolutely blown away from the response from the community. Here are a few examples:

“Concrete guide to fantastic software design.”

- Loren Brichter, Tweetie and Letterpress

“I read the whole book last night – I liked it a lot! I am thrilled that there is finally a definitive guide for crafting excellent iOS user experiences, and it’s now up to date for iOS 7. Excellent work on this. I am excited to recommend it.”

- Joel Levin, Storehouse (formerly Apple)

“Lots of people ask me how they can get started building iOS apps. Start here.”

- Seth Clifford, Nickelfish

“Great resource.”

- Justin Williams, Second Gear

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I couldn’t be more flattered. I owe it to all the fine folks who helped out on the book including Nathan Barry (for being an incredible co-author and self-publishing genius), my dad Todd (editing), Nathan’s mom (editing), Christain Billings (graphics and web), my sister Sarah (video editing), and my dear wife Mindy (videography and photography).

And also I wanted to extend a huge thanks to all the amazing folks who gave me so much of their valuable time to be interviewed by me and share their incredible insights:

  • Mark Kawano—Former Senior Designer and User Experience Evangelist at Apple, founder at Storehouse
  • Rene Ritchie— Editor-in-chief, iMore.com
  • Marc Edwards—Founder and Lead Designer at Bjango (iStat, Skala)
  • Ellis Hamburger—Reporter at the Verge
  • Michael Flarup—Founder and Lead Designer at Robocat (Haze, Thermo, Outside)
  • Julian Walker—Director of Software Engineering and Co-Founder at FiftyThree
  • (Paper)
  • Harold Emsheimer—Co-Founder and Interface Designer at Overcommitted (Recall, Entries)
  • Shane Crawford—Founder of Blue Lightning Labs (Mathemagics)
  • Denys Zhadanov—Marketing Director at Readdle (Calendars, Printer Pro, PDF Expert)

Interview with Michael Flarup

November 4th, 2013 Jeremy Jeremy

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Michael Flarup, co-founder of Robocat, is one of the coolest designers in the app industry. He is known for gorgeous apps like Haze, Thermo, and Outside.

This summer I had the pleasure of extracting 30 minutes of excellent insights into how to design and market great apps and I think you are really going to enjoy it.

This is just one of nine interviews included with The App Design Handbook, iOS 7 Edition (coming out on November 6th—that is this Wednesday!) Here’s the full list of interviews:

  • Mark Kawano—Former Senior Designer and User Experience Evangelist at Apple, founder at Storehouse
  • Rene Ritchie— Editor-in-chief, iMore.com
  • Marc Edwards—Founder and Lead Designer at Bjango (iStat, Skala)
  • Ellis Hamburger—Reporter at the Verge
  • Michael Flarup—Founder and Lead Designer at Robocat (Haze, Thermo, Outside)
  • Julian Walker—Director of Software Engineering and Co-Founder at FiftyThree
  • (Paper)
  • Harold Emsheimer—Co-Founder and Interface Designer at Overcommitted (Recall, Entries)
  • Shane Crawford—Founder of Blue Lightning Labs (Mathemagics)
  • Denys Zhadanov—Marketing Director at Readdle (Calendars, Printer Pro, PDF Expert)

As a taste of what’s to come later this week, enjoy the full interview with Michael:

If you haven’t already, sign up below for more updates and a special discount when the book comes out:


Grades for iOS 7 update

October 24th, 2013 Christain Christain

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Grades for iOS 7 design is underway and we are still determined to find a balance between the iOS 6 and iOS 7 version of Grades.

After our last iteration we got lots of great feedback, including a great Dribbble rebound from Bill Labus.

As of now, we really like the direction it is going (I say “as of now” because Jeremy is a iteration-aholic and loves to iterate like crazy. Don’t tell him I said that!).

You can check out the latest design here or on Dribbble for a more detailed view.

-Christain

Co-authoring book with Nathan Barry

October 10th, 2013 Jeremy Jeremy

AppDesignHandbook
Last year, Nathan Barry wrote an excellent book called The App Design Handbook. It was super popular, for good reason. He then went on to write a couple more books and did very well for himself. In fact, he is basically the guy when it comes to self-publishing these days and he even wrote a book about it. I was a big fan.

This year Nathan and I finally met up and discovered that we were born on exactly the same day — coincidence? No way, that was totally destiny.

That being the case, I am very pleased to announce that I have been working with Nathan to co-author The App Design Handbook, iOS 7 Edition — the first comprehensive book on designing apps for iOS 7. It has been super fun to work on and we can’t wait to show it to you.

We’ve also got all kinds of extra content that will go into the packages including video tutorials, code samples, and a bunch of interviews with top app designers such as Mark Kawano (former Apple UX Evangelist), Marc Edwards (Bjango), and Michael Flarup (Robocat). This is the real deal, folks.

It’s coming really soon. Sign up for my newsletter to take advantage of our big launch day discount.


p.s. Check out Nathan’s case study of how he redesigned Commit for iOS 7.

iOS 6 vs iOS 7 – is there a balance?

October 9th, 2013 Christain Christain

Balance

iOS 7 has made people drastically rethink the look and feel of their app. For some designers this was a breath of fresh air, for others not so much. Take a look at Dribbble for example. It’s filled with designs that look “flatter” and feel “lighter”, but a lot of it feels forced — heavily skeuomorphic designs stripped bare just to fit in.

If you look back one year ago, you had to take a chainsaw to get through all the wood and leather that people were posting to Dribbble. There were some lighter iOS 7 feeling apps, but not many. Now, most of the chrome that we came to know and love on our favorite apps is gone or in the process of being simplified into flat translucent navigation bars with a white background.

Is there a balance between the two?

We still want to abide by Apple’s HIG, but does that mean we have to completely tear away all of the chrome that gives the app character and personality? I believe there can be a balance and I aim to find that.

Here at Tapity we are known for some of the most skeuomorphic apps there are. Just look at Grades.
Grades3
Beautiful wooden navigation bars with textured paper that really give the app personality along with a unique feeling that has been with the app since the beginning. Obviously we know this doesn’t fit within iOS 7 very well, but do we have to completely rip away everything and force a interface that “fits” nicely with every other app? We could’ve just created white table cells with simple input fields and called it an update.

It would have fit right in with just about every app now, but we have to think about different ways to compromise, ways to still give the app personality while fitting in with the simpler, lighter feeling iOS 7.

As you can see by the navigation bars below, over time we started to get rid of some of the gloss and use more subtle textures naturally. If we decided to follow the trend by completely flattening and taking away every little piece of characteristic Grades had, it would look like the third navigation bar.

GradesBars

I think there can be a halfway point were these two styles meet and work nicely together.

I understand that the drop shadows, inner shadows, heavy strokes, and glows can look extremely heavy on iOS 7. Grades 3 currently uses all these layer styles and they do feel out of place when I open the app now.

Well, what if we got rid of glows, drop and inner shadows completely. Now we tone down the strokes to about 1 pixel. This will definitely help lighten the app overall.

What about the wood? This is something that has been with Grades since creation and we feel there has to be a better solution than completely scrapping it. We tried selecting a lighter colored wood while toning down the wood grain so it isn’t overpowering.

Here is a mockup that brings all of these points together:

GradesUI-iOS7-2

Check it out on Dribbble for a larger preview.

Keeping the original essence of Grades while making it feel at home in iOS 7 is not an easy task. Matter of fact, it’s extremely difficult and we still are probably miles away from an ideal solution, but it’s challenges like these that truly make our job exciting.

-Christain