Exploring a few different gestures which could be used to make Facebook’s mobile experience a bit more delightful for users, as they navigate through photo albums.Read More
An idea for the Open Source social media project, Mastodon, to show trending topics in an easily digestible interface, with less clutter than Mastodon’s competitor, Twitter.Read More
User interface should step out of the way of your content. Google Photos already hides your searchbar as you scroll. They should also hide the footer to give your photos the maximum attention they deserve.Read More
Here are two (2) suggestions for Figma Designer to help make it a bit more user-friendly and magical to use.
Panel Expand / Collapse Animations
When toggling "Hide UI", the interface abruptly disappears and reappears (on the right side of Fig. 1a. )
It'd be delightful if the UI elements were swept away (dark green position graph) from the center of the screen and subtly faded out of sight. (light green opacity graph) as indicated below in Fig. 1b.
Responsive Panel Colors
Figma thankfully allows users to set a background color for the whole project, which is a welcomed feature coming from Sketch, which locks you into using a white background.
Unfortunately when using a dark background, the layers panel (left sidebar) and the inspector panel (right sidebar) are blindingly bright. Not only are they pure white, their typefaces and elements are thin and light.
To make the layer and inspector panels more readable, I propose that the UI of both change in accordance to the set background color of the project. I prototyped what this could look like in the column on the right.
To make the Google Drive Activity Feed a bit easier to browse, it'd be nice if we could click to collapse events into smaller rows. If you're auditing your company's recent Drive activity, it'd make it much easier to navigate.
By splitting each action into a "header" and a "body" section, it's easy to conceptualize a "collapsed" view for the Activity Feed.
I'd like to try to build a working prototype of this idea. First I'll need to research whether or not there's a Google Drive API that allows users to pull data from their own Drive's, then I'll need to try to rebuild the existing user interface with the collapsibility functionality as described above.
When somebody adds multiple photos in a Facebook post, the gallery is shown in a nice pretty mosaic view on your timeline. If there are more photos in the album than are shown, theres a small "+number" on the bottom right image.
One might think clicking the "+n" would expand to show more photos in the mosaic. Instead, clicking the "+n" only opens the last photo (red) in the pop up window.
Here's a mockup of what I wish clicking the "+n" button would do: expand the album mosaic to show the additional photos.
Somewhat related to this: I'd love to see Facebook add a filmstrip to the bottom of the photo viewer pop-up window. It makes it easier to navigate through albums by giving you a bird's eye view of the context of the album.
The finder window should show unsynced folders, without having to go into preferences.
I use the Google Drive macOS Finder Plugin. In order to save local storage space, I don't sync all of my Drive folders to my computer. Unfortunately this means if I'm looking for something I can't find, I have to look inside my preferences pane to see if the file might be in an unsynced the folder.
A better system would be to show the unsynced items within finder, so I could explore the directories, and only download what I need. The unsynced folders and files could be shown in grey, and a right-click could give me an option to sync it to my local device.
Unsynced folders are shown in the preferences pane. This is great functionality, but it's not easily accessible. (read: user-hostile)
In addition to being hidden away, the preferences pane lacks the ability to show files inside folder -- again going back to my use case where I'm looking for a file I haven't synced.
Unsynced files / folders should appear in the finder window.
Sync (download) remote files / folders
Here's a masterfully crafted doodle of a right-click menu interface that allows for the download of offline (greyed out) items.
When looking for local meetups and events, you have to consider your own schedule. Work, school, business meetings -- life often gets in the way of your networking efforts.
To help users see which events fit their schedule, Meetup.com could deploy an improved calendar view. Week view calendars visualize time of day vertically, and day of the week horizontally. This is perfect for seeing which events fit within your available blocks of time.
From screenshots I built a block-frame design (Fig. 2.3), as well as a blank slate (Fig. 2.4) to use as the canvas for the calendar interface.
I adopted patterns from Google Calendar's week view, where the seven columns for each day are the same width, and the far left column for time [hh:mm] is just a bit smaller.
The initial mockup contained a light color pallet that was difficult to see, so I darkened the colors to add visual contrast. [fig. 4.1]
I also removed the deselected groups [fig. 4.2], since it's more useful to only show groups the user has selected for viewing.
You're having a jam session with your friends. When you look up song chords, every search result comes up with ugly, non-mobile-friendly sites.
This is a plea for Genius.com to help bring song chords into the 21st century.
Given their strong community of contributors, it'd be reasonable to imagine that some users would be willing to contribute chords, so others can learn how to play the songs.
Here's a prototype of this idea, along with some related diagrams.
I tried to find a toggle on their website, to conform to their current design, but I came up empty handed. I decided to pick Google's Material Design toggle slider, as the Genius design somewhat resembles Material Design with its flat, block-oriented UI elements, as well as its bright colors. (The purple used in this post is similar to the pastel purple used on Genius.com)
I would've liked to have built an animated .gif of this animation, but this diagram will do for now. Basically the chords (purple) ought to slide out from underneath the lyrics (grey), with an "ease in" behavior for both opacity and position.
In addition to the animation helping the users to make sense of the relationships between the chords and lyrics, whitespace helps to separate chord/lyric pairs from one another, to reduce confusion.
To make it easier to share music with friends, I recommend Spotify take some hints from Snapchat's checklist interface, which - in my opinion - is part of the reason snapchat is so engaging; because the sending mechanism is so simple and powerful.
I'll walk through my UX design process workflow in this post, but if you'd like to skip to the completed designs, click here.
First I outlined screenshots of Snapchat. The checklist interface is incredibly simple, but I thought I'd build an outline of it just for fun.
After analyzing the visual architecture of the Snapchat interface, I outlined Spotify's "send" window. This helps me preserve the padding width between the edge of the screen and the window.
To make these outlines, I use the rectangle tool, bright colors, and low transparency so I can see the background and the overlay shape. Once I get the shapes pixel-perfect, I add a high-contrast stroke to better visualize the shapes.
After revisiting the design, I made some minor changes to improve the visual continuity and overall prettiness of the checklist. I also added an extra "share to my feed" checkbox, to merge the functionality of the above "post to..." & "share to..." options all into one single interface, which requires fewer taps by the user.
Please let me know what you think of this design in the comment section below, I'd love to hear your feedback and I'd be willing to make changes and credit the changes to you on the blog. Iterative design is about constantly improvements, and I'd like to incorporate that into this blog as well.
In an attempt to reclaim some wasted space, I redesigned some of the UI elements in the Spotify Player in the Android Notification Drawer. The album art is larger, unnecessary text has been removed, and playback buttons are closer together to make them easier to reach with one-handed operation (sorry lefties -- maybe there can be a left-hand mode with the buttons on the left)
Hopefully this design looks a bit more balanced, let me know what you think in the comment box below!
- Quickly sketch idea in my journal while sitting at a stop light on my morning commute.
- Take screenshot of the Spotify player. (again, while on my commute)
- After work, take another screenshot so I don't have Google Maps navigating in the background.
- Take photo of journal page.
- Import photo into Affinity project.
- Make crude sketch in Affinity. (Fig. 1.)
- Build blockframe by placing transparent rectangles on the screenshot, then colorizing them. (Fig. 2.)
- Copy the original blockframe & start prototyping the new design. (Above)
With the current color scheme, the highest value data point is also the least visible. Yellow intuitively signifies solar potential, but the light grey background makes yellow very difficult to see.
Here's a mockup of the data with a dark blue background, which makes the data much easier to see. Built with Google's own map style maker, I used the following parameters: roads = 100%, landmarks = 0%, labels = 0%, color = "Aubergine"
If you're aware of any similar tools designed to estimate solar energy potential, please link to them in the comments below. I'll try to add them to AlternativeTo.com, my favorite site for finding alternatives to specific apps and services.
Salaries > Search Results > Show Histogram
Replacing the horizontal bar with a histogram serves both an aesthetic and pragmatic purpose. Histograms are prettier, universally understood, and allow the user to recognize patterns. (i.e. entry level positions in your city are significantly lower than the national average entry level position, but the mean salary is comparable to the national average)
Companies & Reviews > Company Info > Wage Gap
Transparency is good. Sometimes transparency seems bad, but that's only when it reveals the bad stuff hiding beneath the surface. To read about the benefits and dangers of increased wage transparency, check out this article about Buffer's transparency initiative.
This feature, if it could be properly executed, would illustrate the wage gap between the lowest paid worker and the highest paid executives. Submitted salaries (green) would be compared to the estimated pay of the highest paid executives based on variables including (1) yearly earnings of the company (this field could be crowdsourced, for users who want to do some digging online) and (2) CEO-worker pay gap in respective country, state, or other district where this data is readily available.
Show Album Artwork
Feature request for Spotify to show Album Artwork in the list view, to improve usability. This would allow users to quickly scroll through a list to find specific songs based on the color of the album, instead of trying to speed-read song titles.
Populate optional thumbnails from image blocks in the "Content" pane.
Show Available Pages
To help users see how close they are to running into their subscription's page number limits, there should be a small quota tally at the bottom of the page structure editor.
Two Finger Scroll
In the carousel view of the summary block, there are two left/right arrows on the top right corner (1) used to navigate to the next/previous pages. To improve usability, the carousel block should respond to intuitive horizontal scrollwheel events such as 1) trackpad two-finger scrolls and 2) touch screen single finger scroll events.
Basically, make the carousel block actually behave like a carousel.
On the subject of anchor links (the links that scroll to different positions on the page) I have two (2) suggestions.
1) I'd like to see Squarespace adopt an automatic anchor link system for all header text similar to what's used on Github. When the user hovers their cursor over the header, a "link" icon could appear.
2) my second suggestion
Menu > File > Open Recent > [ ... ]
The following are requests for the "Open Recent" section under the "File" menu, to help improve the user's ability to find recent projects.
In macOS you can preview a file by selecting it and hitting the spacebar. Unfortunately, Affinity files are not optimized to utilize the typical screenspace used by other image filetypes such as .jpg, .png, .psd, etc. Here is a comparison of the preview screen area.
.affinity file Preview
.jpg, .png, .psd file preview
Increased Resolution of Typical Traffic Graphs
For those of us trying to avoid traffic, a "congestion timeline" would be very valuable. Google already has a "Typical traffic" slider to illustrate which roads are usually the worst, but it doesn't show a timeline. Here's a user interface prototype I've made to illustrate this idea.
As the user scrolls and zooms to view different areas, the graphs should automatically update, with smooth "ease in" bezier animations.
EDIT: as of June 2017, Google now provides graphs to indicate how long a specific trip might take depending on the time of driving (i.e. longer during rush hour, etc)
I've annotated a screenshot of this new feature below, where I indicate the need for more granularity, as well as the ability to more fully explore the dataset. (all 24 hours of the day, instead of the nearest 3 hours)
Support for 3D imagery on Mobile
Snapshot of ideas
I look forward to publishing more feature requests for Google Maps and mapping technologies in general. Here's a collapsed screenshot of my feature requests ( [fr] ) for Google Maps.
Some feature requests I've come up with for Twitter over the years.
Pinch to zoom out
A feature request for all platforms, both mobile and desktop to improve the user experience of looking through tweeted photos.
I will continue to populate this page with diagrams of my feature requests for Twitter, but until I do so, here's a collapsed list of the various ideas I have for them. (some of these might not make sense on their own, but they'll make sense when I publish them)