ui

My “XOP” football game UI, v1.4 alvin July 13, 2019 - 8:24pm

The UI still needs a lot of work, but I like the idea of having an Inconceivable mode in the next version of my XO Play Android football game.

Start from the customer experience and work backwards alvin November 14, 2018 - 10:28am

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.”

~ Steve Jobs, as heard in this 1997 video

Customizing Ubuntu with themes alvin January 12, 2017 - 10:31am

This image is from an article about Ubuntu named, How to make your desktop look like my desktop. makeuseof.com has another article on customizing the Ubuntu UI with themes.

iOS a lot like Android

I just upgraded to iOS 10 yesterday. So far it seems to work a lot like Android, with “cards” for notifications, and you swipe right on the home screen to see Google Now, or whatever Apple calls that screen.

If Facebook owned Netflix alvin August 8, 2016 - 7:08pm

Note: I originally wrote this article in 2012.

For a long time I’ve thought the Netflix UI/UX sucks. Their designers don’t seem to understand how I want to use their service, they just seem interested in promoting their “You might like this tv show or movie” algorithm. I keep thinking about buying their stock (which just tanked again to $60), but then the thought comes into my mind, “They’re enamored with their algorithm and architecture, but they don’t understand UX or social.”

How to redesign the Twitter user interface (UI)

Twitter UI redesign: After using Twitter for the last several months, it seems like their user interface is out of sync with how I want to use their data. As I was waiting for dinner to cook last night I spent a few minutes thinking about the Twitter user interface (UI) and how I might redesign it. Here are my thoughts.

The current Twitter web interface

The things the Twitter web interface does well currently are:

You can tell when people love their work

You can tell when people love their work by seeing the quality of the products they produce. What I’m thinking about at this moment is that whoever controls MLB.tv does not love their work, because if they did they would certainly make better UI/UX decisions. If they really cared about the product, they would let you easily fast-forward and rewind; mobile navigation would let you go directly to a specific inning; and on all platforms it would be extremely helpful if you could skip from one at-bat to the next.

Beyond those basics, anyone who loves baseball would like an easy way to watch all of the at-bats of their favorite batters. For example, when I’m really pressed for personal time I’d like to be able to watch all of Kris Bryant’s at bats.

A terrific feature would be to be able to watch recorded games without all of the delays and downtime that is involved in a baseball game. A full game can easily take two and half hours (or more) to watch, but there’s actually only about 20-30 minutes of real action, so if you’re watching a recorded game, why not be able to skip all that wasted time?

Those are just a few obvious ideas, where again the point of this little post/rant is that whoever is creating the MLB.tv apps doesn’t love their work (IMHO).

I should add that another possibility in this specific case — because they have a monopoly — is that it may not be the product manager or developers who don’t love their work. It may be that their organization is holding them down. But personally, while I’ve worked with some organizations that make it hard to produce great work, there’s almost always a way of getting things done.

Third UI version of my football game

These screenshots show the UI for the third version of my XO Play Android football game. The UI for when I’m playing offense is shown on the left, and the UI for when I’m playing defense is shown on the right.

The defense is pretty limited — you can only choose from three current defensive plays — but that actually inspired me to show the history of previous plays called by the computer on the lower-right of that screen, which can be useful to see the computer’s tendencies.

I’m still not blown away by the UI, but it is getting better. I like the idea of having the “Hike” button close to the playing field, as that’s where your eyes will want to be when the button is pressed, but I’m not blown away by my implementation.