user interfaces

Where The Progress Bar Came From

We’ve all spent hours — maybe even days — of our lives cursing the slow crawl of the dreaded progress bar. But did you ever stop to think about how much worse it might be if the bar wasn’t there in the first place. Fortunately, thanks to one grad student’s genius idea back in the 80s, we’ll never have to find out.

Look At The Insane Number Button Layouts Our Telephones Could Have Had

The year was 1960, and phones were changing. It was the beginning of the end for rotary dialling, and buttons were the future. But engineers faced an important, looming question: what order do you put those buttons in?

Elon Musk Wants To Build The Iron Man Hologram UI For Real

The hologram interfaces Tony Stark uses in Iron Man are awesome, no doubt. But they also aren’t real. Yet. Elon Musk has been cooking up something very Stark-y, and he’s planning to show it off soon.

How Messy Is Your Computer's Desktop?

We all aspire to a certain amount of digital desktop cleanliness, but I think rather few of us actually keep up on it. As the days go by, the clutter builds bit by bit, and it’s just irritating enough to be unpleasant, but not a big enough deal to actually clean up.

How Android's Multitasking Experience Could Be Even Better

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the multitasking experience on Android, and I feel like there’s still a lot to improve. I love how the thumbnails come up, but in Android 4.2.2, they made it so that the current app joined the list of “Recent Apps”. This looks great on phones and small-sized tablets, but it looks really bad on large tablets in landscape mode. Here’s how to make it better.

Rethinking Instagram (On The Web)

Surely, by now, we’ve all seen the latest addition to Instagram, the long-awaited website. What did you think of the turnout? Was it what you expected? To be perfectly honest, I had no idea what to expect. My hope was that they would create some sort of a nice grid layout. To my surprise, they did not. As a long-time interface designer, I wanted to test my skills and design the Instagram I wanted for myself.

All The Tiny Details From Facebook's Latest Redesign

Zuck bought Facebook its fanciest new outfit in many years this week, and naturally, the new News Feed is getting all the swooning. But Facebook added a handful of delicate tweaks and turns to the site — some you might not have noticed yet.

Facebook's Most Overlooked Design Change

Facebook showed us its new News Feed yesterday. It’s as pretty as anyone could have hoped, and it’s a wonderful update to the design. But lost in the big images and new feeds was a pretty major change that actually started weeks ago: the first thing you look at on Facebook’s page has moved.

Bringing iPhone Safari Up To Speed

Safari is technically a platform on its own, separate from the iTunes App Store. Until the day that Gatekeeper comes to iOS, it will continue to be the most open way for users to access information on Apple’s mobile devices. But besides iCloud Tabs and Reading List, Mobile Safari has remained basically unchanged since its unveiling in 2007.

Leaked Screenshots Suggest HTC Sense 5 Will Be Simplified

HTC’s Sense skin for Android has long been a bloated skeuomorphic mess, with aluminium ring pulls, flip clocks and fancy weather animations. If these leaked screenshot are accurate, though, that all looks set to change — for the better.