Digital UX – Are Users Ready to Ditch the Grid?

The new Apple watch is still just a pretty slideshow based on Jony Ives’ secret sketchbook with only a handful of real-world prototypes briefly showcased to the press, but the design model for the watch’s UI made enough of an impression on developer Lucas Menge that he built a prototype for the iPhone using the same construct.

Most current UX best practices say users need grid layouts, left-right readability and other constructs carried over from the physical interfaces that so many of our digital ones have been built to mimic. Maybe, however, we are far-flung enough from the original inspiration for those designs now that our digital UI’s can have a design plan of their own, built for a world that is and will always be electronic. It seems like touchscreen technology has become sufficiently advanced to permit a more organic metaphor. At least, that’s how these gifs makes it seem:
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I wouldn’t mind downloading an iPhone skin that worked this way just to try it. Maybe it’s more intuitive and usable than we think – maybe we have all just been programmed to fear the chaos of organic structures through a lifetime of computer-induced order.

Via Gizmodo: How the iPhone’s UI Would Look If It Acted Like the Apple Watch.

This is why English is so hard to learn

Ok, there are a lot of reasons why people cite US English as one of the most difficult languages – a tendency to invent words at a rapid pace, a proclivity to adopt words from other languages, the whole “I before E except after C” thing – but I think this is another. Here’s a neat infographic (hey, there’s one of those invented words) from Babbel.com citing 8 words English doesn’t have yet from other languages. How long do you think before a couple of these end up in Websters? If that German one was easier to say (let’s keep it brief next time, Deutschland) it would apply to so many things (looking at you, Windows 7). Personally, I think it’s great, I see no reason not to adopt any bits of other languages that seem useful, especially words with that certain je ne sais quoi.

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You Can’t Say That In English! – via Babbel.com.

When you can’t even trust your bathroom fixtures

Soon you won’t even be able to trust your wall mirror to be honest with you, as it provides flattering lies every morning like this prototype at Ikea.  Sure, it will feel nice to be told “Have you been working out?” every morning – a nice change from what I usually think when I pass the mirror, toothbrush in hand – but how long until the product placements?  As usual, Futurama predicts our fate, and like Fry we will always look better in the store mirror than in real life:

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Ikea Gets Dove-Like With a Mirror That Tells You How Beautiful You Are | Adweek.

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Brand Advertising & The Diamond Industry – A Great Read

One of the best stories I have ever heard to explain what Brand Advertising is, why it matters, and how powerful it can really be, this is the story of the De Beers diamond empire, dating back to the late 1800’s.  Inventors of the “A Diamond is Forever” tagline, among others, De Beers has been carefully crafting demand for their product with marketing for over 100 years.  It’s not a short read but it’s a great story – if you are in the ad biz you definitely want this anecdote in your repertoire.

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From the Atlantic – Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?