Pantone Moods v2.0

We’re excited to be working with Pantone again to develop a more robust version of our Moods Facebook Application. The announcement went live on Facebook on Friday and I’d love any feedback you can provide while we’re working on developing it. Your ideas can help mold this and future versions of the application.

Vector Browser Components

I’ve updated this template on my original post, here, to include additional form elements (radio buttons, checkboxes, form and combo box fields) as well as the original vector scrollbars to make it easier to mock-up UIs in Adobe Illustrator.

Download the .AI/.EPS/.PDF (Zip)

Seven Questions to Ask When Designing the Feel of Your Mobile App

Feel Can Make or Break a Product
Imagine you are shopping for a new car. You found a model that looks great and has all the features you want. It’s even in your price range. So you go to the dealer and take a test drive. After about five minutes of driving, you find you are mildly dissatisfied with the car. Perhaps it’s the way it takes the bumps. Perhaps it’s difficult to check your blind spot. Perhaps the pedals and buttons are not responsive. Do you buy the car anyway? After all, you like the look, it’s a good buy and it’s got the features you want. Odds are though you are not going to buy it. Why? Because you don’t like the feel of it, and the majority of your experience with a car is tied to the feel.

Feel Plays a Key role in Mobile App Satisfaction
Since mobile devices are held in our hands and operated with touch, the feel of the experience becomes a key determinant of user satisfaction. Also, since the screens are small, more interaction is generally required than on desktop devices. So we experience the nuances of the feel again and again as we use an app. Mild annoyances can add up, let alone major ones. Conversely, a good feel will create an ongoing sense of ease and comfort. This makes it more likely the app will be used repeatedly, bubble up on users’ favorites list, be talked about and recommended to others.

Seven Questions to Ask When Designing the Feel of Your App
So are you ready to optimize the feel of your mobile app? To help, here is a list of questions worth asking when designing a mobile app to make sure you have addressed the feel:

  1.  Have you anticipated how the user will hold the device?
  2. Have you designed for operation using fingers, thumbs or a combination of the two?
  3. Have you eliminated undesirable “eclipsing” effects, that is, uncomfortable blind spots where the finger obscures what is being touched in such a way that the interaction is awkward
  4. On screens with a dense amount of content, have you kept the structure of the layout and interactions simple?
  5. Have you used an intuitive sequence of gestures to perform core tasks?
  6. Have you minimized user effort to see, locate and interact with elements on the screen?
  7. Have you asked someone (or several people) to try a prototype of your app on an actual device?

Check your design against the above items, and you will find the improvements you make to the feel of your app to be well worth the effort.

Original post: Bob Moll, Pathfinder Software

era404 Site Relaunched

After 10-years and a response to the new branding campaign for era404 Creative Group (read the press release here), we’ve finally relaunched our site to promote the new identity and better feature our newer work. The site will continue to be updated for the next few months, as we finish cutting our new demo reel and enhance our product offerings, but we felt it necessary to update the interface in the meantime to show the complete embrace of our new identity and updated mission.

Book Trailer: ROOM, by Emma Donoghue

My company, ERA404 Creative Group,  just finished editing this book trailer for the new novel by Emma Donoghue, “ROOM.” The book has already been shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and has received a ton of wonderful publicity. This video was shot in the client’s audio lab at Little, Brown and Company. The actor is the son of publisher Michael Pietsch and is actually a very good artist. Coaching a little kid to draw poorly is more difficult than it sounds, but he did a wonderful job anyway.

While I selected the script, edited the audio and directed the shoot, the editing and cinematography was done by Mike Citarella and the video was shot under the guidance and creative assistance of LBC Marketing Maven (and Craft Services for the shoot), Amanda Tobier. The official site for ROOM (www.roomthebook.com) is expected to launch next week.

This is the third video we’ve concepted for a book. The first was the viral video (NSFW) for Charles Bock’s “Beautiful Children,” which rocketed through the web with the help of Adrants and Gawker articles. The second was for Joshua Ferris’s “The Unnamed” web site, which showcases surveillance video from Grand Central Terminal.

Vector Scrollbars

I consistently needed a standard vector scrollbar for the browser in UI/UX mock-ups in Adobe Illustrator as I got tired of creating screenshots and tweaking lengths in Photoshop. If you do, too, grab this zip. It includes the CS4 .AI, .EPS and .PDF version of both the horizontal and vertical scrollbar. You’re welcome. I’m also thinking that someday it might be beneficial to create a vector version of the mouse hand and arrow, though I’m debating whether I should keep the stair-stepping of pixelation at that size, and how best to handle the drop shadows. If anyone has a suggestion, let me know what you think.

Joshua Ferris’s “The Unnamed”

 

A few weeks ago, I alluded to a web site ERA404 was creating for an author that involved original video footage from Grand Central Station (shot by the inimitable Greg Stadnik) and motion tracking movie clips with Flash video smoothing. I’m proud to say that the site for Joshua Ferris’s “The Unnamed (Reagan Arthur, 2010) is now live. Pop on by to see the final result. I think it came out pretty nicely…but maybe I’m biased. What do you think?

» Visit The Unnamed
» Visit ERA404’s Portfolio

Special Thanks to: Amanda Tobier, Greg Stadnik, Zeh Fernando and the author, himself, for all the original/beautiful content in the site.