All posts tagged iPad

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Skeuomorphic iPad design

Love it or hate it, skeuomorphism has been a popular tool in digital interface design since the birth of the GUI. Following Apple’s own use of skeuomorphism, interface designers have created some visually stunning apps for iOS devices that mimic various features of analogue technology.

I found this great post that showcases 30 fantastic examples of iPad interface designs based on real life objects, from retro synthesizers to wire bound notebooks.

Why Design Matters

I don’t know if you own an Apple iPhone or an iPad but you only have to pick them up and touch them to realise that they are designed with a genius that goes beyond the physical. They are intuitive and work with an understanding that blends the human experience with technology.

Steve Jobs is maybe “the” design genius of the information age and has made major impact on several industries with his technology designs and creations including;

  1. The personal computer industry with Apple in the 1980′s
  2. The movie animation industry with Pixar in 1986 when he bought the company for $5 million from George Lucas (all of its movies are among the top 50 grossing movies of all time and have generated over $6.3 billion in revenue)
  3. The music industry with the iPod and the Apple iTunes store
  4. The mobile phone industry with the Apple iPhone and Apps store
  5. The publishing industry with the iPad (the fastest selling technology device in history)

In 1996 Steve Jobs was interviewed by “Wired Magazine” and he said this about design.

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it “looks”. But of course if you dig deeper , its really how it “works”. The design of the Mac wasn’t what it looked like, although that was part of it. To design something really well, you have to “get it”. You have to really “grok ” what it’s all about. It takes a passionate comittment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it , not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that.”

The term “Grok” by the way is a real word and not a “Jobian” expression.

It means according to the Oxford English Dictionary “to understand intuitively or by empathy; to establish rapport with” and “to empathize or communicate sympathetically with).

Wikipedia says “To grok is to share the same reality or line of thinking with another physical or conceptual entity“.

Author Robert A. Heinlein coined the term in his best-selling 1961 book Stranger in a Strange Land. In Heinlein’s view, grokking is the intermingling of intelligence that necessarily affects both the observer and the observed.

I am immersed and enmeshed in the web industry both personally and professionally and have the pleasure and privilege to work with people and their companies with their online stores, web design and digital marketing projects.

The constant challenge is to get under their skin and understand intuitively and empathically what they are trying to achieve and how they want to communicate to their audience. The websites we design and the solution we build need to go beyond the skin deep look and feel and provide the user with an experience that solves their problems and makes life a little easier. In essence we are trying to change the world in our small way.

The genius in design is to ask enough questions and spend enough time so that we “get it” and blend the technology with the human so we can provide an experience that goes beyond the ordinary and into the realm of of intuition and maybe a little magic.

Do you get under your customers skin?

Original article by Jeff Bullas

Digital Wrap-Up 2011

Wendell Phillips said “revolutions never go backwards” so what a year of permanent change through great work in the ‘Big D’ 2011 was. From social to relaunches and updates of services like Twitter and that Face-thing. I’ve been in the industry for 15 years this year and it’s my own personal view that 2011 has genuinely been the best year of change since the inception of the commercial internet. I think it’s because everything has matured so much – especially in the UK – to the point where things are starting to gel… which I think is reflected in my digital wrap-up below. I’m a UX guy in theory, but actually I just love good solid tech and creative work above all the UX hyperbole. If it’s urban, mobile, unique, easy to use and instant-utility then THAT is awesome UX as far as I’m concerned. 2012 is going to be the year I upset a lot of my peers in the UX community by championing the end of all this chat that goes on about standards and patterns and familiar paradigms and so on and so on and so on… 2012 is the start of the age when we continue to marry great tech’ with amazing ideas and give the end consumer awesome experiences that change their lives in little ways.

I’ve hand-picked a couple of my highlights and it’s no surprise that they all span so many different pillars of the ‘Big D’ and also appear on pretty much every other list you’ll see summarizing 2011. So here we go in no particular order:

Tesco Homeplus – The QR Store in Korea

The objective was to make Tesco the No 1 seller in Korea… but the competition have way more stores… so what do you do? Take the ‘store’ to the people and let them shop with their phones. People should find Tesco Homeplus wherever they are without having to go to the brick and mortar store. Moreover they could make good use of the wasted times and enjoy their free time.

RESULTS: 76% of online members & +130% of online sales. Homeplus became N°1 in online grocery shopping and is a very close 2nd offline. Novelty? Or game-changing? I think a little of both… it certainly helped QR codes come of age a bit too…

New York – The World Park

The concept was simple… Create a museum in the park to create an entirely different experience using QR codes that gave access to other content integrated into the context (including History, pop culture, music & science). They also included elements of gamification.

Again – Another quality use of mobile (I see a pattern emerging) and QR codes… Marketers are sometimes nervous about or afraid of technology but nowadays, technology enables the possibility of amazing experiences. Note that you should be careful about sharing specific content with everyone.

IKEA 365

Create one simple creative campaign everyday including a new product to create a story and engage consumers. I always loved the concept brought to me by a colleague that digital is about a myriad of little ideas not ‘the big idea’ now and this campaign pretty much embodies that to the letter. IKEA proving they’re still one of the most innovative brands on the planet.

Volkwagen – Planeta Terra

Create awareness of VW’s sponsorship of the Planta music festival in Brasil… to an audience who are generally quite apathetic about VW. This was one of several awesome campaigns run using Twitter and Google Maps as the gaming platform. Pretty simple really… Tickets to the music festival were strategically placed around locations high-lighted using Google Maps… the first person to find the tickets wins them… But here’s the kicker… ‘Tweets’ made the map zoom… so the more the protagonists tweeted the closer the map zoomed to the location of the tickets. A beautiful self-fulfiling prophecy of a game.

Microsoft Bing

We’ve already seen a campaign using Google Maps and that was a lot of Microsofts challenge this year… how do you raise awareness of its own service ‘Bing’. In some ways a far more superior service in the same way that Vimeo is to YouTube, but displacing existing behavior is next to impossible (don’t get me started on Google+). So what they did was pretty clever… They placed each of the 320 pages of Jay Z’s book, Decode, in 600 unique traditional, nontraditional and digital advertising placements in 15 cities around the world.

The best of the ‘hide and seek’ games from the year for sure… results speak for themselves: 11 min per visit on the specific website. +11,7% of visits to bing. ~$1,1 B worth of media impressions.

Greys Anatomy Sync app for iPad

The best of the iPad offerings this year (for concept rather than longevity). The Grey’s Anatomy Sync app for iPad lets you experience Grey’s Anatomy in an entirely new way! You’ll get to interact with other fans and get exclusive episode-related content delivered to your iPad in real time while you watch Grey’s Anatomy live on your TV.

So what? It’s just back-channel stuff which we’ve all seen, right? But think about it a bit more. It actually used the coding baked into the show to talk to the app. I love that. Old media being used to control new platform. Awesomely powerful idea.

Empire Avenue

My big big digital addiction of 2011 is without a doubt the genius ‘Empire Avenue‘. I’ve spent more time working on my social share price this year than my actual shares! Fact. It’s a simple concept – Register. Hook-up all your various social media profiles, channels and wasted time interfaces and Empire Avenue gives you a shareprice. You buy other peoples shares and they buy yours. You make money, you lose money and you can’t help but go to that dreaded iPhone App every morning to see how well you’re doing. This is gamification of the highest order and I’m going to need some kind of therapy next year if I’m going to ditch the habit.


There were so many more too, but I just haven’t got time to highlight them all in any great detail… I will just highlight ‘World of Fourcraft‘ as the best gamification idea of the year… pure genius… and leave you with this round-up:

In 2011:

  • Multichannel became Multichannels
  • Point of Sale became Points of Sale (sell everywhere using mobile)
  • Using ‘Free Time’ became the big success currency
  • Gamification stopped being a fad and a buzz word and started being a genuine thing
  • Thinking outside of the box became acceptable and not just rubbish ATL buzz generation
  • Customer Experience became the new User Experience
  • The simple ideas still run the roost!
My predictions for 2012:
  • The mobile wallet will become a reality and we’ll all start to embrace the ‘idea’ of using our phones to pay for things
  • Facebook will announce that it’s Facebook Credits idea will become an offline currency too and try to take on PayPal using mobile as the payment device for the Facebook Credits
  • Apps will start to diminish in favour of fluid HTML 5 pages that can be used on all devices and give the same experience as an App
  • User Experience will be even more integral to the industry than before

iPad usage by numbers

The “now” generation wants their news, entertainment, information and access to online stores instantly whether that is on the bus, bedroom or even on the beach.

A recent survey by announces some rather rather revealing stats on how the iPad.. which is the fastest selling technology hardware device in history with 15 million sold in 11 months, is impacting our media consumption habits both online and offline. The iPad buyers are not exclusively early adopters as is often assumed, as 63% describe themselves as people who normally wait for a gadget to become established before they buy it.

So what are the iPad statistics that you should take notice of ?

iPad’s Time Usage

This has implications on how publishers should be developing content so it is optimized for the appropriate device

  • Use of desktop computers is down for 35% iPad owners since they bought the device
  • Use of laptops is also down since they bought an iPad at 39%
  • 87% of owners are using it every day of the week
  • 26% for half an hour to an hour per day
  • 32% for 1-2 hours per day
  • 24% for more than 2 hours a day.

Where do they use it?

Its versatility makes it a flexible and ubiquitous device with

  • 69% of respondents using it in the bedroom
  • 42% in the kitchen
  • 20% of men can’t be parted from it in the bathroom

The last statistic certainly show that men’s habits for reading in the small room have not changed just the device!

What do they use the Apple iPad for?

  • Accessing the web – 75%
  • Emailing -63%
  • 53% of iPad owners say they use their device mainly for entertainment
  • Playing games – 48%
  • Social networking – 41%
  • Researching products and services – 29%
  • Reading books – 25%
  • Listening to music – 21%
  • Shopping – 19%
  • Reading magazines – 13%
  • For work – 13%
  • Watching TV – 11%

What is interesting to note is that 51% who have read magazines in print and in interactive format on the iPad say they prefer it on the iPad, vs 23% who prefer a magazine in print.

The Stats on Apps on the iPad

The apps market that started with the Apple iphone has not diminished but has continued to grow into the iPad market place. Content is the key driver in app purchases. The survey shows that this is more important to consumers than the price of the app when making a purchase decision.

  • 16% have bought a branded app from a company
  • 84% of respondents would be very interested in an app from one of their favourite brands, if it was free and non-subscription.
  • Free apps are almost twice as popular among iPad consumers as paid-for (the average iPad has 18 free apps on it and 10 paid-for)
  • Buying an app is most strongly influenced by the app’s perceived usefulness at 64% of owners
  • Content is very important when buying the app at 47%
  • Price comes third at 44% when considering buying
  • Friend recommendations is important at 27%
  • 15% say that recommendations by industry experts are very important when making an app buying decision.

Taken from the Jeff Bullas blog-post.

AR May Be the iPad 2’s Secret Killer App

The iPad 2 is getting all sorts of praise, but something interesting is emerging: Are its light weight, large screen and twin cameras perfectly positioned to make the iPad an Augmented Reality giant?

Watch this space… it could get quite juicy.

Charlie and the Apple Factory

Here’s a lovely animation about Apple that portrays Apple’s Steve Jobs as the Willy Wonka.

The spoof actually offers some interesting insight about desirability in apples products. Everyone wants to know what makes Apple’s products so special. Charlie is led to a room that holds the secret of why people love Apple products. The room is completely empty. The Steve Jobs character divulges that it there isn’t anything special about their products except that they convinced people to believe they come from a “magical place.”

Why will people stand in line for hours for the newer version of the iPad, tomorrow when the original only came out around this time last year? Is it because it has cameras now? Is it because it is a little faster? No, and no. It’s easy to compare tablets on specifications like speed and resolution. It’s very difficult to compare on something intangible, like desirability.

Taken from the blog post “UX is 90% desirability” by Francisco Inchauste.

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