News for the ‘Ideas’ Category

I need a new camera. And a phone.

I need a new camera. And thus, a new phone.

The iPhone did this to me. Before I got an iPhone, I would bring my trusty old Sony digital camera and take really cool pictures (yes, when I remembered to bring it!). When I got back I plugged it in to my mac and transferred the pictures to iPhoto. Most of the time, that’s where it stopped.

So, I got an iPhone and at first I really didn’t care much for the camera. Sure, it was nice to have it with me and take casual pictures, but the quality just wasn’t good enough for nicer pictures. For a while. When the iPhone 4 came out, the camera was even better than my old Sony, so from that day, I used my iPhone as my only camera, and I’ve been fine with it.

Until last christmas holiday. We were visiting my sister in Dubai, and while taking some pictures in the Madinat shopping centre, I started noticing purple dots in the pictures. At first, I thought it was dust on the lens, so I tried wiping. A lot. Didn’t work.

Getting home after the holiday, the purple dots had grown bigger in size, and they’re clearly visible in every picture. So, I started googling it, only to find out that apparently, this was a known flaw in the CMOS sensor in the iPhone 5, and Apple replaced the units (See here or here).

Happily walking to the Apple Store in Stockholm, I was informed that since I had bought my iPhone in the U.S. it was only covered by 1 year warranty (In Sweden, we always have 2 years, by law). Ok, sure, was my answer, and when did that expire? “15 days ago”, was the reply. I told the rep that the problems had started before christmas (and thus, well within the 1 year warranty) and I had pictures on the phone with datestamps to prove it. That wasn’t enough, he said, I could have photoshopped that. My jaw dropped a bit on that response.

So I asked him if I would have gone to him 15 days earlier, I would have walked out with a new phone? Yep, I sure would have.

Now, I understand that there has to be limits and rules are rules etc. But for Apple to be this nitty gritty, on a hardware issue that they know is a manufacturing flaw, it just beats me.

So for another year and a half, I’ve been taking pictures (less often, though) and using Photoshop Express on the phone to try and “blemish-remove” the dots.

The moral of the story is that my phone is actually fine, and works great. But since the phone part messed up, I have to replace the whole thing. One-device-for-all dilemma.

Sometimes, I dribble this thought when developing apps. On one hand, I want to build every function I can think of inside the same app, for easy access and convenience. But on the other hand, if one major part breaks, it can cripple the rest of the app’s functionality, rendering it pretty much useless.

I’m more or less steering towards building single-function apps nowadays. Perhaps, we could then use the app interoperability (deep-links) to stitch them together inside “container apps” to group them together?

Posted: August 8th, 2015
Categories: Ideas, Mobile, Tech, Thoughts
Tags:
Comments: Comments.

Misleading icons: The funnel

One day we all just have to wake up and smell the reality: when it comes to choosing a default icon to depict a filtering function, we’ve all been duped by a funnel. (Or is it a martini glass?)

There is no question about it, the funnel is indeed the default icon of choice for most when it comes to the filter function. (See for yourself!)

The question is why? Why did the funnel earn this prime spot? I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and all I can come up with is: I don’t know!

What is a filter?

First, let’s define what a filter is and does. A filter function takes in a large amount of data and after applying a set of rules excludes a part of the data, resulting in a smaller dataset than the original. (Or as Wikipedia defines it: “a higher-order function that processes a data structure (typically a list) in some order to produce a new data structure containing exactly those elements of the original data structure for which a given predicate returns the boolean value true”)

Basically, we have a list of some sort to begin with. The problem is that us humans are limited in how much data we can handle, so we need to somehow remove everything in the list we’re not interested in. We do this by applying some rules that filter out everything else, and only leaves a list of stuff we’re interested in.

Case example: We want to find a picture of a dog. We go to google and search for “dog”. The result is way too big and contains both sites and images. Thanks to the filtering function, we can easily click “Images” which filters out any result that is not an image.

What is a funnel?

“A funnel is a pipe with a wide, often conical mouth and a narrow stem. It is used to channel liquid or fine-grained substances into containers with a small opening. Without a funnel, spillage would occur.” [Wikipedia]

The funnel is designed to aid in getting stuff from containers with large openings into containers with small openings, reducing the messiness of spillage.

It doesn’t exclude anything. The whole point of the funnel is to NOT exclude (spill) anything!

The problem:

So, we have a function designed to make a dataset smaller by excluding stuff. Somehow we decided that it was convenient to depict this with an item that is designed NOT to exclude anything.

The solution:

As it seems, I’m not the only one who have started to wake up from this bad dream. (There’s even a survey on LinkedIn where more people hate this icon than love it)

Some people are also trying to create alternatives to the current standard. Here are a few I’ve found:

New Filter Icon

New Filter Icon

I can see the basic idea behind this icon, even if I agree with some of the dribbble commenters saying that it could be visualized more clearly.

Filter icon

Filter icon

The simplicity of this one is interesting, but also hides its intention. What does a upside down pyramid of dots have to do with filtering?

Filter icon

Filter icon

This one is a bit unclear, I think. Two dots become one, or is it the one dot that is split up into two? Or is it three nodes connected in a network?

Filter

Filter

This one is based on the same idea that there’s some kind of “wall” that lets through one arrow but not another. I like this concept, but I feel that the reason why one arrow is bounced (aka the filter) isn’t immediately recognised, which makes it hard to immediately form an idea of what is depicted.

One of the newer alternatives I found in TweetDeck (It’s the icon in the top right of each column):

TweetDeck Filter

TweetDeck Filter

And a variant of this I found in the swedish news app, Omni [http://omni.se/]:

Omni

Omni

I can understand where this icon comes from, since one of the common controls in a filter function is a slider, to define a range fo two values. But, really, does this depict a filter function? I’m not convinced.

One common flaw I see in these examples is that to understand them, the user needs to know that they’re trying to depict a filter. Once you know that, it’s easy to see the basic idea “many -> few” or the idea of “exclusion”. But what about someone who doesn’t know that, or if there isn’t a label next to it to tell? Then all we’re seeing is lines and arrows or dots.

There has to be a better way to depict a filter. I’ll dedicate my soul to finding it.

PS:

I know, there is something called a “filter funnel”.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_funnel] It wouldn’t be fair of me not to mention it. Basically, it’s a funnel that you put a filter paper in and separates particles out of liquids. And really, do any of the currently used funnel icons show any filter paper?! Nope.

Posted: January 17th, 2014
Categories: Design, Ideas, Mobile, Thoughts, UX, Webdesign
Tags:
Comments: Comments.

State of Mobile

Min första @HaikuDeck. Blev rejält inspirerad av #webbdagarna och kände att jag var tvungen att sammanställa lite fakta om hur mobilmarknaden faktiskt ser ut idag!

Kul verktyg att använda, kan rekommendera det för snabba presentationer som inte kräver massa snazzy effects. (Dvs alla…)


http://www.haikudeck.com/p/4dOzv0Snl7

Posted: March 15th, 2013
Categories: Ideas, Mobile, Mobile Web, Stats, Thoughts
Tags: ,
Comments: Comments.

Things to come in 2010

A new year has started, and hopefully a year which will bring a lot of good things with it. Here are a few things to look forward to during 2010:

Project Natal

I only heard about Project Natal yesterday, but the demo video blew me away. It’s Wii on steroids. Not much is revealed about the project (trying to create some Apple rumor hype there, Mircrosoft?) but it seems that Microsoft has aquired some israelian 3d company, and that it is their technology being used in this project. Anyway, it seems like there is a Wii-like camera bar sitting below the tv, and a bunch of cameras up in the roof, all registering your voice, face, and movements. And that’s how you control the game. You want the character to turn right? Turn right. It’s that easy. The first demo was at E3 in June 2009, and the plan is to release it during 2010. Whether that plan will work out or not is yet to be determined, but it’s definitely on eof those things that will rock the tech scene when it comes out.

Apple iTablet / MacTablet / iSlate

A child who is loved has many names. In this case, the child is probably about as anticipated as Jesus was before he was born, and the father is Steve Jobs. When this Tablet will come out, nobody knows. The last hopeful date now is the 27th of January, when there is supposedly an apple event scheduled. The rumors says it’s going to be like a big iPhone, but not just like a big iPhone. Whatever that means… Feels like there’s no point in guessing anymore. I think that one thing can be considered as a fact: Apple will release a tablet version of a computer, it’s going to happen in 2010, it’s going to be amazing. More than that, I think it’s not going to be considered the best computer on the market hardware-wise, but the UI or the design, or something else is going to be so well thought-out that you just gotta have it.

World Cup

The world cup is coming to South Africa. Sweden didn’t even make the the play-offs, but nevertheless, I’m looking forward to this summer. I’m not a sports fanatic in any way, but the world cup is really enjoyable to watch. Spain or Portugal, that’s the big question.

Everything else
Of course there’s so much more happening in 2010 that I don’t even know about, and things that will happen like Melker turning 3 (wow, that was fast) and Cornelis turning 1 (even faster). My wife and me will be 28, me later than her. So, without saying too much, it’s going to be good year…

Posted: January 10th, 2010
Categories: Ideas
Tags:
Comments: Comments.

Idéer, Idéer, Idéer


Mitt huvud är fullt av idéer. Och de slutar inte komma heller. Nu känner jag att jag måste få ut de ur huvudet på något sätt. Den som vill får gärna göra något realiserbart av detta, men om det går riktigt bra så kommer jag och kräva min upphovsrätt…

Barnsäkra tvättmaskiner: Hur svårt kan det vara? Tvättmedel är jättefarligt, men luckan till tvättmedlet (som oftast är nedkladdad med tvättmedel ständigt) är hur lätt som helst att öppna. Man kunde väl vara tvungen att trycka in handtaget samtidigt som man drar ut luckan eller något.

Låsbar toalettsits: Samma som ovan, man kunde väl ha en enkel spärr för att lyfta på locket. Givet, det kanske skulle kunna bli problem de gånger det är riktigt bråttom, men jag tror att man som vuxen kan lära sig det rätt snabbt. Jag har redan några idéer på hur detta kan lösas, så om någon toalettsitstillverkare (finns det sådana?) är intresserad, det är bara att maila!

Självuppvärmda hus: Tänk vad mycket värme alla våra apparater, för att inte tala om vi själva, avger hela tiden som bara stiger rakt ut i atmosfären. Tänk om huset kunde suga in den uppvärmda luften i taket och använda värmen till att värma huset. Jag vet inte om detta finns redan, men bra vore det iallafall!

Posted: January 9th, 2010
Categories: Ideas
Tags:
Comments: Comments.