Returning home from a weekend in Seattle the approach to SFO offered an arial tour of San Francisco.
Here is a mockup based on the rumors and tidbits of information in the run up to the annual Apple Developer Conference
The new interface is said to be “very, very flat,” according to one source. Another person said that the interface loses all signs of gloss, shine, and skeuomorphism seen across current and past versions of iOS.
Skeuomorphism has been a major buzzword and source of controversy in mobile design for the last year. The term generally refers to an interface which has been designed to look like a real world object. Think wood shelves in iBooks and leather textured iPhone apps.
It has its place and used appropriately it can make complex technology easy enough my mom can use it. Representing a computers file system through clickable folders and files instead of a directory with a command line interface made computers accessible to the masses.
Other successful examples like trash cans and recycling bins, email, shopping carts and online “checkout” all leverage things we already knew in real life to make learning their software equivalents easier.
Many think the leather textures, analog dials, and fake wooden anything have gone too far and concept videos have taken in the far other direction of flat that Microsoft has embraced.
For those who don’t recognize it, the interface in the photo is Star Trek’s Library Computer Access/Retrieval System and the screenshot comes from the (unfortunately) no-longer-available iCARS app developed by Nick O’Neill.
May 20, 2013
In a post - complete with animated GIF - this morning Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer confirmed the acquisition of Tumblr, the blogging service that hosts my site here.
We promise not to screw it up. Tumblr is incredibly special and has a great thing going. We will operate Tumblr independently.
We’ve all heard this sort of thing before only to see the parent company start to chip away and loose what made the site, service, or app special to begin with. Even with the best of intensions there is often a culture clash and brain-drain as the acquired employees decide this isn’t the company for themonly hang on for their retention bonus before moving on.
This time it feels different. Yahoo! has grown stagnant, but this could be the infusion of new ideas and different perspectives the company needs.
Tumblr has built an amazing place to follow the world’s creators. From art to architecture, fashion to food, Tumblr hosts 105 million different blogs. With more than 300 million monthly unique visitors and 120,000 signups every day, Tumblr is one of thefastest-growing media networks in the world.
Tumblr may do for Yahoo! what the Pixar acquisition did to reinvigorate Disney. I wish nothing but good luck to everyone at Tumblr and Yahoo! because I really don’t want to switch to another blogging service or tool.
On the walk to a brunch in Portland last weekend, I stopped dead in my tracks to take a photo of this. While a friend I should add a corollary, “my designs are best.”
I enjoy though when someone improves on my design, especially when I can talk to them and learn where I’d gone wrong, what I’d missed or what new technology has come along in the meantime so I can up my skills.
May 15, 2013
Increasing bike ridership in a country built for cars also means increasing numbers of injuries and deaths caused by careless drivers.
That is especially true at intersections where cyclists heading straight come into conflict with drivers looking to make a riqht turn.
In the last few years - Portland being the best known - have started installing “bike boxes” at signalized intersections give cyclists a safe place to wait for the signal where drivers won’t be able to miss them. That takes bikes out of the side lane where drivers often queue up to make a right turn and usually focus more on oncoming traffic than whether the bike lane is clear.
San Francisco has begun installing bike boxes as well, but where Portland and other cities instruct drivers to “WAIT HERE” just beyond the bike box, San Francisco has taken a different approach to letting drivers know how to use this novel new traffic control device:
Did you even see the sign?
Let’s try this again:
Even if you did notice the sign and you recognized it was a traffic sign, despite the fact it is printed wth a non-reflecting material, using a template similar to what SFMTA uses for Muni information and announcing community meetings, would you really have time to follow a diagram with the instructions set in 48pt type?
Would you be able to do it while in a car or on bike while negotiating Market Street’s five-way intersections and minding the traffic turning off to the right while also coming to a safe stop at the intersection?
While sign is correct in that “cyclists stopped in bike boxes are easily seen by motorists, improving safety at intersections” the unmarked bike box and instructions only readable by pedestrians aren’t contributing to improved safety. But wouldn’t it do more to improve bike safety to simply write “Wait Here” where you want drivers to wait?
With a nifty new bike counter in place, the SFMTA announced that bike-to-work-day traffic this morning reached a peak of 76% of trips inbound on Market.
“Today’s Market Street eastbound and westbound morning bicycle counts showed a total of 1,158 bicycles, compared to last year’s count of 1,093 bikes, a three percent increase. Today’s Market Street count is also an increase of 10 percent over a similar count by the SFMTA just one month ago. Today, bicycles made up 66.54 percent of the total vehicles headed eastbound today, while automobiles came in at 29.88 percent (transit and taxis accounted for the remaining 3.58 percent).”
The SFMTA figures were taken between 8:30am and 9:30am in the inbound direction towards downtown.
“‘We’re thrilled to see that today bikes accounted for a whopping 76% of inbound morning Market Street traffic. And even more delighted that on an average workday, bikes account for 66% of traffic. If we continue to connect San Francisco with safe, separated bikeways, San Francisco can certainly meet its goal of 20% of trips by bike by 2020,’ said Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.”
Just in time for today’s annual bike to work day in San Francisco, the SFMTA has installed bike lanes on Oak Street, filling a three block gap in a route that runs from the ocean to the bay.
Even though the gap has meant upwards of 1,500 cyclists per day sharing a lane - not always successfully - with traffic running 40 miles per hour on the one-way street, the SFMTA had resisted making bike safety improvements in order to preserve all three traffic lanes as well as the two lanes of free parking on the either side of the street.
Dedicating a single lane of traffic on just one of the dozens of east-west streets is not an unreasonable request.
Photo by Bryan Goebel