Death by Interface

This post was originally posted on the Seabright blog.

Writing on the iPad has inherent challenges. In portrait mode, the keyboard is far too cramped to perform any significant typing. It is clear that landscape was the intended mode of typing due to the more realistic dimensions of the keyboard in addition to the iPad cover’s feature to place the device at a suitable typing angle. However, landscape mode has the problem of vertical space limitations with the keyboard active. With these challenges, I am always interested to see how app designers try to provide more functionality with such significant restrictions. A recent app that has gotten some attention is Writing Kit, which provides advanced writing features as well as in-app researching tools. Unfortunately, it has also followed a design cue I first observed on iA Writer for iPad. Writing Kit adds a formatting bar on top of the iOS keyboard, offering useful features at the cost of exaggerating the problem of writing space. One has to ask themselves how worthy an interface element is if it erodes the experience around the subject it is supporting. Continue reading “Death by Interface”

New Beginnings

Since sometime in 2007, I have had the fortune to be self-employed. The process was at first frightening, quickly evolved into empowering and eventually phased into a quite comfortable space. Like all things, the work had its ups and downs, but when everything was added up, it definitely netted positive. If you asked me a few months ago if I saw myself moving back into an employed role, I would have laughed it off. Things change. Continue reading “New Beginnings”