La storia del lettore MP3

La storia di un oggetto che da un po’ è stato sostituito dagli smartphone ma che ha (senza paura di dirlo utilizzando un cliché) davvero rivoluzionato il modo di ascoltare la musica.

Breve storia del tastierino numerico

Articolo meraviglioso, che cerca di capire una cosa che in tanti ci siamo chiesti, da sempre: perché il tastierino numerico dei telefoni e quello delle calcolatrici (e dei computer) sono orientati diversamente.

Picture the keypad of a telephone and calculator side by side. Can you see the subtle difference between the two without resorting to your smartphone? Don’t worry if you can’t recall the design. Most of us are so used to accepting the common interfaces that we tend to overlook the calculator’s inverted key sequence. A calculator has the 7–8–9 buttons at the top whereas a phone uses the 1–2–3 format.
Subtle, but puzzling since they serve the same functional goal — input numbers. There’s no logical reason for the inversion if a user operates the interface in the same way. Common sense suggests the reason should be technological constraints. Maybe it’s due to a patent battle between the inventors. Some people may theorize it’s ergonomics.
With no clear explanation, I knew history and the evolution of these devices would provide the answer. Which device was invented first? Which keypad influenced the other? Most importantly, who invented the keypad in the first place? [link]

The best icon is a text label

The best icon is a text label

Great article by Thomas Byttebier on icons, text, labels.

Of course I can see why icons grew popular in user interfaces. Firstly, they make the UI more graphically pleasing. And when done right, they can certainly give your app visual personality. That’s two good things.

Moreover, an icon can often replace a long descriptive group of words. As screens get smaller, this is much welcomed. But herein lies the design trap, because most icons are unclear. They make people think. What good has a beautiful interface if it’s unclear? Hence it’s simple: only use an icon if its message is a 100% clear to everyone. Never give in.