How are you today?
I guess it’s time for some updates about the past, the present and the future! I wrote this as quickly as I could as I am leaving pretty soon, you’ll read all about it below. Let’s start with the past shall we?
So the iOS Block was… a success, kinda. Press recognition and understanding was met with general acclaim and the iOS Block concept was, like the Windows 8 project, a big viral success in the media. On the user side though, well, people need to understand a bit more their tech. Here’s some general comebacks... I mean response to some "important" feedback I received.
So basically it’s just a Widget?
Not really, a Widget is separate from the app or icon and does not have a standard design, functionality and experience. Android Widgets are very functional, but lack any standard experience and coherence as well as integration.
So basically it’s just a Live Tile?
Not really, a Live Tile doesn’t have any functionality or ways of interacting with them; they only give you information and have no interaction whatsoever. Windows Live Tiles are very integrated and structured, but lack any kind of functionality other than opening the app.
You’re just an Apple fanboy, jealous of [Android/Windows]!
What do you even mean by that? I actually dislike most of Apple’s products (Except their EarPods. Man do they have an excellent ratio of comfort, price and durability). I have a Red Nexus 5, a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and planning on getting a Lumia 930. I always use Windows Phones or Nexus devices… and sometimes I fall back to either my HP/Palm Pre 3 or Veer –go ahead, judge me.
You suck, you just copied [Google/Microsoft], that’s stealing!
Well, if you think that this project is just copying, you’re wrong. First, because it is a blend of two ideas to create something that does not exist and second, because there’s all the work and research about the iOS experience, keeping the icon system and making sure it all fits nicely in the iOS world. So new idea and the whole blending work. Whatever platform you’re on, they’re actually super copying like Windows Phone copying the Android drop-down, Android copying a lot of UX/UI components of iOS and iOS copying the Windows Metro philosophies. If I was to do a list of what every platform copied from their neighbour… you would break your mouse wheel while trying to scroll to the end of the page. It sucks, but that’s how we can have good things!
Who do you think you are to change iOS, it’s perfect how it is!
First of all, shut up. Please. The whole point of this project is to make sure that if you like the way iOS is right now, there is absolutely NOTHING that changes for you. If you are angry because there’s something else that you don’t like even though you don't see it or even affects you by a percent, go fuck yourself you annoying idiotic self-centered bastard and don’t give me the “it takes more system resources” bullcrap, if you don’t use it, it wouldn’t run! iOS has crappy battery anyways, so that’s your problem on the first place. Nothing changes for you, so shut the fuck up.
Yeah, but Widgets/Tiles are useless!
Maybe to you, but what’s wrong about having the option for the people who would find the option useful? Give it to developers and they would blow your mind… and Apple just introduced their own Widget system in iOS 8 so yeah, fuck you again.
Kissing Apple’s ass to get a job there…
Lol, funny! I refused a job at Microsoft, I’m not going to Apple. I have a startup and a very big project I’ve been working on for the past 3 years, so unless somebody comes and buys it… I’m not going anywhere!
Duh! Read the fucking disclaimer.
What’s the wallpaper?
Sigh… Basics 101, check the links related to the project, if it’s not there, ask question. The credits are always at the end.
A blend of people are uninformed fanboys with their allegiance tattooed on their hearts and nobody took a minimal amount of effort to get the minimal information out of the project. Therefore it creates the mess above; a flood of completely useless feedback because people are uninformed lazy crappy internet commenters as usual, but with an additional layer of fanboyism. Bad.
To all of you who sent me actual useful negative feedback, thank you! Real problems, real point of views and real scenarios to explore with the Block idea! Constructive critiscm is really important and all of you who pointed out that this needs a one=hand-while-holding-your-phone gesture is 100% correct. This was something I was still working on.
To all of you who gave me positive feedback, thank you too! My projects are always about finding the perfect spot, the one that makes the current base happy, the new base possible and the haters look like idiots. I may dislike iOS, but the iOS Block idea was built with a strong focus to make sure nothing changes for the people who likes it, give new options for the people who needs it and gives you no real reason to hate it unless you’re an ass.
By the way, 3.6 million views on the video, thanks a lot everyone! I think that the video format is way better than I expected for these projects and I have some plans about it!
Last thing, I did not get in touch with Apple, so yeah.
All right, what’s going on right now! Well, if we exclude the usual contracts and design work, four big things.
iOS Block… actual working Blocks.
Oh yes, you read that title correctly! I am currently working with Matchstic from the iOS jailbreaking community (go check out the subreddit by the way, coolest community online ever!) to build functional iOS Blocks for jailbroken devices. It will be available on Cydia for a fee, eventually… sorry no ETA people.
There’s a lot of work on improving the UX and the way it works and actual code of course which looks really promising. In this case, it gets the location between your fingers to find you which icon you’re trying to pinch, so you don’t need the actual icon. How awesome is that!
I get a lot of questions about what’s going on with Space Kitten. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a post I wrote about it. Space Kitten is advancing gradually. I’m working right now on the orchestral score and the short film explaining the story of the game. The game is in its 4th Alpha and works pretty great with animations, menus, high scores and more. The big work is getting the whole story and art for the tiny short film/animation. I had a lot going on with my company, moving around and the iOS project so I had less time for it.
My big project is advancing pretty well and we’re actually aiming for a first beta ready for the end of 2014 with deployment for early 2015. This is a huge project with so much to do and we’re a small team. My employees are working on the back-end and technologies while I’m building the whole design, UX/UI and front-end code. They’re working like crazy and I need to move my ass when I come back from my trip. Once it’s ready and I can share it, you’ll be the first ones. This project is at least 10x more complex and work than the Windows 8 or iOS project, and is a functional platform so!
I am leaving this Saturday for about two weeks to Peru with a friend, so no real communication or news would be possible from me. I will really be off the grid in all the possible ways imaginable. Last year I passed a very bad summer when I went through a really big existential depression. Not existential in the way that I don’t know what to do with my life and what is the purpose of life, but actually beyond that. I meditate and question a lot and I always had a pretty cold and scientific point of view on things. Saying that after life there is nothing, pure darkness and ending or oblivion as it is called, was something pretty basic and obvious for me. One day, I just thought or focused too far, I don’t really know how to explain it, but I actually felt or lived oblivion. At that point my body and mind basically shut downed and my whole vision of things collapsed. My point of view on the world, what is actually around life, not our existence as conscious people, but the whole existence of consciousness and what it means in the realm of reality just shattered. For two weeks I couldn’t think, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat and it was bad to the point of vomiting and big tremors. I had to be submerged in ice cold water in a bath otherwise I would start freaking out and shaking like crazy.
Yes, really bad.
Since then I’m fine, but it is still an ugly bug in me, a sadness deep within and something that I don’t want to carry with me as a “let’s just not think about it and everything will be fine; go on with your life”. I actually need answers, not just something that I think of, but something I can prove myself with actual certainty that is true. I am not a religious person and the concept of deity, god (fuck your capital letter) or Jesus (still a name though) and the Bible or what not is just a sketchy scam to my eye. I think there is something spiritual though, something beyond our current comprehension, some kind of “magic” that one day we shall discover, something that will make my life far less important and let me clearly understand that I’m just a little something on a grander scale. Imagine going back 1000 years ago, point to the sky and say that there are billions of floating marbles in the sky full of life and mystery around giant balls of exploding fire… that sound a bit magical, yet is science. I think there is truth in the spiritual world that is just currently unproven science that can help me. Religions are just fancy stories that tell you what is, but spirituality has a working logic and sense. Buddhism has amazing concept of life and energy that makes sense and I’m sure there’s a lot of truth in it. Think of the way your immune system works, with tiny soldiers, memories, mechanism, life and structure, we might just be that, but on a different scale.
My point is, I need to understand something that my current perspective cannot explain to me. This is why I’ll be spending a week in the amazon rainforest to learn from the knowledge of the shamans and take a 4 day trek through the Salcantay towards the Machu Picchu ruins. I need to get out of my daily life, of our society and get some external knowledge that our society simply discards while we fade in the abundance of entertainment and media to make sure if don’t question too much.
I may write about this and I sure am bringing my GoPro with me, but all that I know is that in a couple of days I go with my 36L Osprey to the unknown to look for some answers. Then hopefully, I come back, I put all of this aside, look at death with a new perspective and can perform to the fullest to take advantage of this present life, or this only life.
Back on track for what I have planned on this site!
I think I will stop writing those big UX and research analysis, and here’s why.
Not a whole lot of people cares about them and in some cases they makes more damage to the work and idea I'm trying to present.
I’ve been working with The Verge for the past two research project. I’ve also worked with Kotaku for a Steam redesign project. The problem is that our current media really likes to grab your attention and give you great content. A way to do this is through a super big title. The problem with those super big title is that in most cases they do not represent correctly the actual idea. Here’s what I mean.
The Verge wrote “Back to the Start: imagining a better Windows” for the Windows 8 project. This is a great title. Sure, it focuses on the Start even though the project is greater than that, but it grabs the attention and it does give some good expectation to the reader. “Back to the Start” sound really awesome and it is true that I imagined a better Windows. Imagined is great because it says clearly that it’s just a vision. The original title I wrote was “Fixing Windows 8”. So it is through that my solution is going back to a Start, sounds great and imagine is a great word, since I did imagine that. Comments we’re highly positive.
For the Steam redesign project Kotaku wrote this, “Steam is Great, But It Could Do With a Redesign”. Oh boy. Redesign is such a big bad mean word. Now the gamer crowd is extremely conservative and boy do they love their Steam. The original title I wrote was “Refining Steam”, because that was the point. Redesign sound like an attack, changing everything, telling you it’s wrong and you need to pass to something else, and for a conservative crowd about their most loved software, that is an extremely bad choice of words. Refining is way better because it clearly means that I'm taking exactly what you use and love, and just fixing some specific little things. As you imagined, comments we’re mostly negative on the Kotaku.
And finally, for the iOS Block project The Verge wrote this “This striking iOS 8 concept reinvents the homescreen”. Yes, reinvents. The original title was “Pushing iOS”, as in “I’m taking exactly what you have now, the exact homescreen and platform you have, and just pushing it a little bit forward from there”. There’s a big different between I’m pushing it a bit and I’m fricking reinventing. Again, iOS and Apple has an extremely conservative crowd that doesn’t accept anything that isn’t from Apple themselves –good or bad. So saying reinvents got a big “who the hell do you think you are” kind of response.
Is it The Verge’s and Kotaku’s fault? Nope. They’re doing their job to get the attention.
The problem lies in my own delivery. My project basically gets out of my control and becomes a free-for-all for any media. Since nobody will really go read and/or check the 20,000 words research analysis to actually get my real vision and point of view, I am entirely at the mercy of the media through their title and what they're writing; I have minimal direct communication/contact with my crowd with my own words. Let me add to that problem the fact that writing these analysis takes a shitload of time, so therefore I can’t make a lot of them.
This is why I would like to present you the future content from me called Exploration.
The goal with Exploration is very simple. Less giant analysis and quick ideas and design encapsulated in video format. Video is amazing. 3.6 million views on the iOS Block video on my YouTube channel, but that video did not contain any explanation at all so it was a bit confusing and I was still at the mercy of the media putting their own word out there and embedding my pictures and video.
The new Exploration format will give you quick ideas with presentation, analysis and conclusion in a quick and short video. The whole thing there. Of course there will be a bit more of written content on my website, but I will be able to provide more content that way while having more control over the words to describe my ideas. And of course, a video is quick and does not require any reading; you just need to sit back and watch me explain the whole thing for you and show you how it works.
Exploration will be anything from full multi designs ideas with analysis, to just a single image redesign with some quick ideas behind it. Some with video, some without. So go on YouTube and subscribe on my channel, this way you’ll get the next project as soon as I’m done with it.
My first Exploration video by the way, will be related to Google Glass ;).
There you go people, I think that’s a pretty good update post and I’ll keep you up to date!
Have a great day everyone, leave me a comment below and make sure to go subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow on Twitter and like my Facebook page if you want to get some real stuff through those often badly used social networks!