Intuitive microblogging app, easy-to-use, uniquely stylised, but not over designed.

Overall, the app feels very clean with hints of gray and Twitter’s equity blue, with opacity changes and hovering highlights, compelling transitions and animations indicating activity and usability while interacting with the interface. All in context.

In the world of microblogging, clearly Twitter is king. Twitter has gone through a few changes and transformations in it’s relatively short lifetime. Most recently Twitter became a publicly funded corporation and oddly they also redesign their website portal to be more content heavy, advertising-clutter focused, and definitely more “Facebook-like.” I suppose those ads need to go somewhere on the page, right investors? However, one thing about Twitter is constant, their concise 140 character snippets of sometimes very critical and other times unusually cryptic information. Continue reading

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Irish app for buying, selling or renting residential or commercial properties

The MyHome.ie iPhone app is a regional mobile app that helps users find property rentals and properties for sale in Dublin City and throughout Ireland, with an additional listing-saving feature for future reference.

Despite the fact that the latest public release to the App Store by MyHome.ie is less than a month ago (since writing this review), this app simply looks and feels outdated, clunky and uninviting.

Although there is a clear structure and architecture, there is an overwhelming amount of options and information available to the user from just about any screen, thus navigation and choice-making is cumbersome at times and not particularly intuitive. There are a series of icons that are repetitive and don’t necessarily represent the same category, which causes further confusion.

Upon making a selection from the main page for either Rentals, Sales, Commercial, etc., the user then has the option of further narrowing the search results to display a filtered amount of listings based on the criteria selected. There is consistency in terms of page types and interaction flows from the various categories in the main navigation, allowing the user to become familiar with the app’s system for interaction, thus setting a precedent and guiding user’s expectations.

The arrangement and visualisation of listings is also consistent with other design patterns that deal with similar content or types of apps. Once a property is selected from the list of search results, a clearly defined and detailed listing page is served, containing categorised information, such as: Image Gallery, Agent Contact options (Email / Phone), Property Description, Features, a Property Location Map along with sharing options like “Send to a Friend.”

The best thing about this app is that, as a user, you have the ability to “Add to Favourites” any number of listings, allowing for the creation of lists and save properties for future reference. This, as a result, makes a returning visitor’s browsing experience more streamlined and less cumbersome. An account has to be set-up with an email and password for accessing stored information at a later date. 

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Making the search for a holiday rental a more enjoyable experience.

Airbnb is a clean, easy-to-use and straight-forward app that can make a daunting experience, like finding a place to stay while on holidays a much more enjoyable one; all from the comfort of your own iPhone.

To have an optimal experience with this app, the user must first go through a simple registration process that takes less than 2 minutes to complete. Upon login, the user lands on the “Discover” category which features various locations, promotions and sharing opportunities in exchange for “travel credit.” Continue reading

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Whatsapp icon

Most people in Ireland send free messages through WhatsApp, which is considered the biggest chat app in the world. However, things go very differently in Asia, where people from different nations have their own preferences in terms of chat apps. For example, we Taiwanese people favor Line. Continue reading

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Designing Behaviours Interaction Design by Seamus ByrneThis is part 3 of a interview series on Interaction design, we will be sharing the series of posts via our blog from Darren Mealiff, a student from IT Carlow’s Product Design & Innovation Department, an Interview on Interaction Design with our Director of User Experience, Séamus Byrne. If you missed Part 2 check it out now here.

 Darren – 

How long have you been involved in Interaction Design and how did you become interested in it? Continue reading

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Taipei 101Dublin Spire

As a newcomer from Taipei to Dublin City, so far everything has been more or less a cultural shock to me, including the public transport. Of course, applications of public transport would always help, such as Google Map and Dublin Bus. Continue reading

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Last week The Interaction Designers Association (IXDA) – Dublin  had their Interaction 14 Redux at Engine Yard’s Dublin Office sponsored by Paddy Power with many UX designers giving talks covering the highlights and themes from the conference that took place at the beginning of February of this year. Continue reading

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OFFSET 2014 took place this year at The Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin and many design heads came out to hear from loads of their favourite artists.

Having the opportunity to head along myself this year on the Sunday, the final day of the conference. I was delighted to see one of my favourite illustrators Jon Burgerman was headlining the Cyan Stage. Continue reading

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tatoo shopAfter years of painting pixels, and dealing with the cosmetic front end of user interfaces, the staff at Graphic Mint will be applying their aesthetic design talents to a new medium – in their newly opened Tattoo Studio, GRAPHIC INK on Camden St. Dublin.

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“We have been toying with the idea of moving into human body art for the last two years” says Seamus, Graphic Mint’s Director of Ink Innovation. “We’ve been flying back and forth to London, taking courses at the UK’s Official Tattoo academy and working on our craft, so we felt the timing was right to open up a Tattoo Parlour.”

Their most popular requests so far have been the iconic phoenix, as well as minotaurs and the ever popular lyrics from the Adele song: Rolling in the deep.

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Billy, Joey, Micky, Rayo and Burner are looking for your business…

 

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Design Ireland Head OfficeThis is part 2 of a interview series on Interaction design, we will be sharing the series of posts via our blog from Darren Mealiff, a student from IT Carlow’s Product Design & Innovation Department, an Interview on Interaction Design with our Director of User Experience, Séamus Byrne. Follow along as Séamus answers some very interesting questions about Interaction Design.

If you missed Part 1 check it out now here.

 

Darren – 

Is there too much of a separation between or a snobbery of design disciplines to allow designers to come together for this to come to fruition?

Séamus – 

It’s hard to say, sometimes I think designers are afraid of peers copying their homework and they may be reluctant to share ideas or show their work.  This can be a big blocker to unifying and organising the design disciplines together.  This perceived design snobbery may in fact be more attributed to shyness or introversion – which is part and parcel of creative folks. Communication and collaboration is such an important part of our work with our clients, so it’s key we practice this with our design peers too.

As designers we can be quite empathic and sensitive. The act of creating things can be challenging and very difficult.  This makes the design area quite an emotive industry. Most folks in the design world have strong opinions and are natural problem solvers, so if you bring us together, there are no shortage of ideas and suggestions.  Often when it comes to designers the problem comes from the non-creative aspects of the business like operations, pulling everything together and project management – we neeed to work on these aspects.

Time may also be an issue when it comes to bridging the divide between designers and between design disciplines. Designers are very busy with their day-to-day projects and with keeping up with the industry, which doesn’t leave much extra time for the macro, extra-curricular initiatives. There are also too many different design organisations and associations, all competing for members. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for innovation and evolution, but the sheer amount of choice can fragment the wider design community into mini-scenes, which may stifles cross-pollination a little. There are exceptions to this, events that seek to break the divide and are inclusive of designers (and non-designers) from all backgrounds like Dublin’s RefreshPub Standards and IxDA Dublin’s Defuse (which I helped to start up 5 years ago).

Some design organisations charge membership, which increases the competitiveness to recruit members which further fragments the overall community. I am in favour of not charging for membership and for the last 5 years have been deeply involved with the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) an “unorganisation” with a mission to advance the discipline of Interaction Design across many platforms, including an annual conference, an online forum, and with over a 150 local groups based in cities across the world. These local groups put on free events for their members, and tend to be focused on policies of inclusion and integration with other local design organisations.

IxDA Dublin’s next free event is a redux of the Interaction 14 Conference.

Just because designers in Ireland haven’t successfully organised in a super-macro capacity yet does not mean it can’t happen.  To make it happen, we need the right people from the key design disciplines, government funding and support via a design-specific initiative, and time.

Without these ingredients, it’s not going to happen. As an island our approach has been proactive in attracting international business, but it is a very outside focused approach. We need to better organise and unify the talent we have locally in Ireland and show how serious we are about it by developing a dedicated DESIGN IRELAND hub space – this will help raise Ireland’s profile on the global design map. There are a lot of big technology and business initiatives already doing this, both of which can be vastly improved by including design.

 

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