List of Resources to learn the fundamentals of design
In the spirit of the famous quote by Steve Jobs “It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing“, we cover several aspects of the principles and fundamentals of design during the UI Design session in my course #HKUiSAD. Below is a list of links to various resources used in the session:
1. Wikipedia Page on Principles of UI Design
2. Mac Developer Library’s “The Philosophy of UI Design: Fundamental Principles” Page (under the OS X Human Interface Guidelines)
3. Mac Developer Library’s “User Experience Guidelines” Page (under the OS X Human Interface Guidelines)
4. Audio Podcast on “Design Fundamentals for Everyone”
“Stuff Designers Do” is a series of video tutorials that will help you learn the fundamentals of design. Whether you’re interested in graphic design, art, photography, or anything where design fundamentals can help — this series will be helpful. Brent Spore, the host, is a professional designer who is passionate about making things look beautiful.
5. An article on the evolution of Foursquare’s mobile app towards a simple design titled “The hardest trick in mobile design: making the product simpler“
The company’s dilemma, though, is that new features typically add complexity, which is the Achilles’ heel of mobile products. Apps that succeed on phones are often simple in the extreme, hiding their intricacies from the main view. What’s remarkable about Foursquare is that the company has managed to add features and make its product simpler at the same time.
Image via Quartz
6. An article listing “20 Incredibly useful tools and resources for Web designers“
AppleInsider.com has reported that Apple has filed a patent for a WYSIWYG editor of sorts, that will enable non-programmers to create iOS apps. This proposed digital content authoring tool would use pre-defined app templates to make app creation easy for people who don’t wish to code.
In other accompanying art, the filing shows a number of examples of software that could be created with an amateur-friendly content creation tool. One simple example is a game of tic tac toe, another shows a menu from a coffee shop, and a more complex example features the ability to purchase video of live performances from the show “American Idol.”
Creating these applications would be a simplified process in which the user could select a template for their software. From there, they would begin to fill in the pieces and build their own iOS application, webpage, or advertisement.
Image via AppleInsider.com
While this is still just a patent filing, it does fit in with Apple’s objective of reducing the friction in bringing Apps to the App Store. As building apps becomes easier, a proliferation of localized apps will increase the network of the Apple ecosystem as well as provide a nice launch pad for their (app embedded?) NFC based payment system.
Image via AppleInsider.com
Read more at Apple wants to make it easy for non-programmers to build iOS apps.
A trip down memory lane – the below infographic, by Wikibon and ServicesANGLE, presents the release dates of major programming languages in graphical format.
Image via Wikibon
See the original at The Evolution of Programming [Infographic] | ServicesANGLE
Google‘s App Inventor has been reborn. The MIT Center for Mobile Learning has announced the opening of the Beta version of App Inventor to the public.
App Inventor provides a graphical interface for programming, thereby allowing users to create Android apps without the need for fancy programming skills. While Google discontinued its support for App Inventor on December 31, 2011, it tied up MIT to opensource the project.
Image via Wikipedia
MIT’s involvement in the project has made it more class-room and educator friendly. MIT also plans to add several learning resources to its APP Inventor website.
App Inventor will now be suitable for any use, including running classes.
A list of education resources for App Inventor can be found here.
We will also be developing more resources and support for using App Inventor as a learning tool. We look forward to working with you over the coming months to build the community of App Inventor educators.
Read more at Announcing: MIT App Inventor Open Beta Preview | App Inventor Edu.
Box.net has announced the launch of the Box Innovation Network, an platform to support and engage with developers who use the Box.net API in their apps. Following its 50 gb giveaway, Box.net now has 8+ million users and has evolved into a collaboration platform, providing integration with several enterprise applications including Salesforce and Google Apps.
Read more at Box Innovation Network: Innovation in Enterprise Software is Possible | The Box Blog.
HipGeo has launched an API that allows iOS developers to the incorporate location-based features, such as geo tracking and tagging, of the HipGeo app, into their 3rd-party apps. This provides options which go beyond the check-in features that the FourSquare API offers. The toolkit also includes widgets that allow developers to incorporate location-based features in web apps and pages.
HipGeo widgets are the really easy way to add where to your when. With a little cut and paste magic, you can show where something happened with a cool popup map.
Image via iTunes
Image via iTunes
Access the API here and the HioGeo iTunes page here.
Read more at HipGeo Releases Public API to Add “Where” to Your “When”.
Pioneer has released a cloud-based, Siri like platform, named Zypr. Zypr’s API provides developers with a toolkit to develop voice-enabled solutions for a variety of web applications, web services and social networks. By enabling single sign-on and multi-platform profiles, Zypr API makes voice-enabled web services mashups a possibility.
Zypr bridges the disparate worlds of mobile devices, Web apps, consumer electronics and automotive infotainment by bringing normalized Web services mashups to all of these platforms, with the added functionality of unique, conversational voice-control commands.
Image via Zypr
Using Zypr, developers can create mobile Apps that can use voice commands to access and mix a multitude of services, including Facebook and Amazon.
Web services currently supported by Zypr that can be mashed up and applied in new ways using voice control include Facebook®, Twitter®, Google®, Yelp®, AccuWeather®, INRIX® real-time and predictive traffic information, Slacker® Radio, Tuner2™ Radio, Wcities™, xAd™ and VoiceBox® with other services coming soon. As a Web-based API, Zypr works on all platforms supporting HTTPS access, including HTML5, iOS®, Android™ and Java®.
Access the API here.
Read more at Pioneer Announces Availability of Zypr | Zypr.
Layar Vision, which is an extension of the Layar Augmented Reality browser, offers another means by which iOS and Android App developers can use Augmented Reality (AR) to interact with physical objects. Compared to the Qualcomm AR SDK, the Layar Vision API takes a different approach by pushing the image identification processes to the server-side and having a usage based freemium pricing mechanism.
Below are a few videos of the power and potential of this product.
Here is a video introducing Layar Vision.
More explanations of Layar Vision
A sample of three applications
Read more about the API and associated toolkit here.
Qualcomm‘s Augmented Reality (AR) SDK allows developers to design Android and iOS apps that can augment a live image from a camera with superimposed virtual content (such as graphics, data, media, etc). The SDK, which is distributed free, provides several features, including virtual buttons, 3D objects, frame markers and targets.
Here is a video of the sample apps that are provided in the SDK
The below video of the winners of the Qualcomm AR Challenge (from Feb 2011) helps to fully appreciate the power of this toolkit.
Download the SDK here.
Read more at Augmented Reality | Products and Services | Qualcomm.
Following its hugely successful 50gb giveaway, Box.net is an attractive platform with which to integrate mobile apps. The Box.net mobile API augments its base API to provide additional resources to mobile developers. However, compared to the recently released Dropbox API, this toolkit seems to be lacking in some security and usability features. Guess an update is round the corner.
Image via CrunchBase
Get sample code at Box Platform Developer Documentation / ApiExamples.
Read more at Box Platform Developer Documentation / BoxPlatformMobile.