Incremental progress vs. starting over


I wonder if you can playback realtime clips with audio in Adobe Premiere. If you can, that suggests that Adobe views the two apps very differently. Premiere as an editing platform that needs tools like realtime playback and AE as mainly a compositing platform that doesn’t.

Originally posted on the davis review:

As creative professionals in 2013 we often find ourselves bridging a divide, with Adobe’s products on one side and Apple’s on the other.  I spend most of my time switching between Final Cut Pro X and After Effects (with Motion 5 thrown in for good measure).  FCPX is by far my NLE of choice, and going back to FCP7 or Premiere feels like a trip back in time.  Meanwhile, After Effects is still the reigning champ of the motion graphics world, so learning it is a must.  But looking at these two applications side by side illustrates two very different philosophies when it comes to embracing change moving forward.

After Effects is an incredibly deep and useful piece of software with a history and code base that dates back over 20 years.  Each successive release has added new features and workflow improvements while retaining practically everything that came before.  It…

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Twitter Tests Cleaner Web Client Design With More Prominent Logo And Tweet Composer


It might be time to update my design templates…again.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Twitter is testing a new website design, which opts for a lighter, flat design that seems at least partly inspired by its shift to similar design trends on mobile. The screens below were sent in by Boris Bošiak, founder of Czech startup Reservio, who is apparently part of a small pool of users being seeded with the new design.

As you can see from the screenshots, this isn’t a drastic change in the basic layout of the page; rather, each element gets a new visual look, dropping the gradient shading that’s present on the existing version, and opting for light colors instead of dark on elements like the top navigation bar.

Alone, those changes add up to a cleaner, more modern look for the site, but there are a few other significant changes, too. That includes the new prominent placement of the Twitter logo, which also occupies a prime…

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Pinterest Launches Place Pins To Help Pinners Plan Their Trips

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Pinterest released a new set of tools for users that would help them “explore” and share the things around them. At an event with 150 “Pinners” (and an untold number of journalists) at Pinterest HQ in San Francisco, CEO Ben Silbermann announced that the company would introduce new ways to plan trips.

“We’re excited to inspire you to go out and do things,” Silbermann told the audience. The new product, called “Place Pins,” is designed to help users provide a visual guide to finding places to go and things to explore.

Pinterest users, or “pinners” can beginning planning trips by creating a new board based on location, and then adding pins with locations to those boards. The tool adds a map, images, and relevant information to the pins, and allows pinners to view the places they’d like to visit both online and on mobile.

While being able to share online…

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Twitter – Picture this: More Icons Everywhere

In Twitter’s newest update 5.12 they describe why they’ve added inline videos and pictures. In previous versions these were an extra tap away on the detail cards. I understand this move and agree with it.

So many of the great moments you share on Twitter are made even better with photos or with videos from Vine. These rich Tweets can bring your followers closer to what’s happening, and make them feel like they are right there with you.

We want to make it easier for everyone to experience those moments on Twitter. That’s why starting today, timelines on Twitter will be more visual and more engaging: previews of Twitter photos and videos from Vine will be front and center in Tweets. To see more of the photo or play the video, just tap.

But, they also made one other slight adjust to the visual timeline – they added retweet, favorite, and reply icons to each row below the content.

We’ve also made it easier for you to reply, retweet or favorite a Tweet without leaving your timeline; you can tap to do that right inside the Tweets you see in your timeline.

This, I don’t agree with. Twitter has had swipeable trays with extra functions since the days of Tweetie. It’s a great way of providing users with quick access to more functions without cluttering up the timeline. But in this update, they added those icons to each row making the timeline harder to cognatively process. If Twitter thought this to be the best solution, why did they leave the swipeable tray’s still in the app?!

P.S. It’s notable this visual enhancement is NOT on the iPad version where a longer & larger timeline make make sense. Neither is the “Conversations” update they announced back in late August.

Twitter 5.12 Swipeable Trays


The Future of iOS 7 Design?

TapBots launched v3 of it’s signature twitter client, Tweetbot tonight. The first thing I noticed was that it was not a free upgrade but $2.99. The second thing I noticed was that it was iPhone only – not universal. That means an iPad app in the future is also going to cost you ~$2.99 – $4.99. Their current Tweetbot app for the Mac is $19.99. That’s a pretty expensive ecosystem of apps for a service Tapbots has no control over. It doesn’t help that Twitter itself has a set of pretty nice apps for FREE.

All that aside, the main thing I noticed was how similar in design Tweetbot v3 is to Twitterrific’s v5 client, which BTW, is universal.


Now, there’s a TON of differences under the hood and in the user experiences – little touches each one brings to the table that make each one special to it’s set of users. Both apps are fantastic twitter clients and both companies have worked their asses off to produce a fine product – no doubt. BUT…what concerns me is how much Tweetbot has toned down it’s core design language to fit into iOS 7. Here’s what Tweetbot v2 looked like on iOS 6…

Tweetbot v2.8.5


I understand that iOS 7 presents a whole new set of design rules for UI, but I worry that apps are going to begin to loose their originality in order to fit into this predisposed notion of “flat design”. I hope this doesn’t signal a trend. Say what you want about skeuomorphism but at least designers were free to explore aesthetically.

This Tumblr site “iOS 7 App Redesigns” has been documenting apps as they switch their UI’s over to iOS 7. One could argue that all these apps look as if one designer worked on them. Almost as if it was this one designer’s signature style and every company wanted it. We’ve seen this in on-air motion graphics many times. One design trend begins to dominate the marketplace and every client wants their next spot to look just like it. Maybe we’re not so different after all.

Apple Keynote – Theodolite HD

Craig Hunter is an developer who created an app called Theodolite HD for the iPad. It was one of several videos shown in Apple’s latest keynote during a video clip.

What I find interesting is that version 4.0 of Theodolite HD was used in Apple’s video clip, and that version was just released on October 2 as an iOS 7 update. That means Apple shot this video, did editing, production, etc., within the last 20 days in order to show it during the Special Event. It really demontrates how much effort they put into their videos. Just think of the resources required to do this, for one short clip in one video highlight of a keynote. Sometimes it takes me 14-21 days just to finalize copy and artwork for a print ad, and here Apple is shooting video up on a mountain halfway around the world and getting it in front of a VIP audience in 20 days.

Interesting indeed. That’s quick!

New Year, New Photo Workflow

I’ve set up a new iPhoto library for 2013 going forward. The previous library was only 32GBs but it spanned 1998-2012. I felt it was time to focus on new photos and a new workflow so I started a new library. Apple still doesn’t have a very good system for power users to share photos, but I think I’ve come up with a flow that should make things a bit easier.

After analyzing my habits I’ve determined that I have mainly 2 types of photos. The random, everyday boring moment that is quickly shared on Twitter or Facebook and the photos that are part of a larger event or collection (i.e. Holidays, Vacations, Birthdays). So I need two types of apps.

For the first type of photo (random photos) I’ve been using a few apps (flickr, camera+, Instagram, etc.) for awhile, trying each and seeing how I feel about them; but I think I’ve settled on Path. It can share with FB, Twitter, foursquare (location), and tumblr. The posts look good on each of the platforms (mostly), it has good filters, and it even can post video. I also got mom & dad set up with a Path account so they can see a lot of what I might post to Twitter or Facebook without having to get accounts for those platforms themselves. Path even provides a nice notification on their devices each time I post something.

For the second type of photo (events) I’m going to use a workflow that I’ve been testing recently. Photos from both my iPhone and iPad automatically go into PhotoStream no matter what app I use to actually take the photo. I can then use iPhoto on my laptop to download those photos and collect them into one Event or Album. If others have photos to share, I can use the shared PhotoStream option to download those as well or figure out a workaround. For any video, I’ll have to make use of an app called PhotoSync which allows for wireless transfer of files, photos, or videos to/from a computer. Once the video files have transferred from my device to my laptop, I’ll have add them manually to iPhoto. Although I could set up a folder action to automatically add them if I wanted.

Once the event has been created and organized, iPhoto still allows the best sharing options (for me); with the ability to share an album to Facebook, Twitter, flickr or make books, postcards, etc. It also allows me to have the best possible editing capabilities – although Aperture would be much better.

Now, I still would like the ability to see all my photos that I’ve organized on my laptop so I’m testing two different apps (Quik io and Younity) that allow you to “see” all the files you have on your hard drive. These apps allow me see & browse my iPhoto library on my mobile devices. FWIW, they also allow users to see & browse videos, documents, & music files on a laptop/desktop. These two apps are just getting started so there are quick a few bugs with photos currently. I’ll probably keep looking for a better way to browse my photo library. The best solution would be if Apple updates to allow a user to see their iPhoto desktop library. Wether that is through some sort of iCloud integration or a solution more akin to the Quik io one, the important point for me is that I would be hosting my photos, not paying someone else.

We’ll see how this new workflow tests in the new year.