design

The Thumb Zone

My driving principal while designing RECaf was to make the app “thumb-able.” That is, I wanted to be able to do as many tasks as possible with the phone in one hand, gesturing only with my thumb. This is getting harder with every new iPhone generation. Years ago, Jeff Hawkins, creator of the original Palm Pilot and then CEO of Handspring, commented on the one-hand-ability of the Treo line of smart phones. He was getting asked frequently why Handspring had adopted plastic RIM-style keyboards on its phones, rather than relying…

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Not a Prediction

Okay: Crazy designer ideas time. Bear with me. This is not a prediction of what may or may not happen at tomorrow’s Apple event. Just a thought that’s been rattling in my brain for the past few months. Have an iPad handy? Great. If not, use your imagination. Pick up the iPad and hold it as you normally would in landscape orientation. Where are your hands? If you’re anything like me, one of your thumbs is roughly on top of the home button, and the other one…

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Surfacing Shortcuts

When I came up with the original concept of RECaf, shortcuts hadn’t been announced yet. I knew the key to any data-logging app is making the act of adding new entries as simple as possible, so I focused all my efforts on reducing log friction. If it takes too much work, you won't get into the habit of logging daily. I put a ton of effort into designing the simplest logging process possible. RECaf only needs three pieces of information to make a log entry: a source, an amount,…

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The Face of watchOS

While the toolset is inaccessible, its inclusion in watchOS 4.3.1 suggests Apple is at least considering opening that section of NanoTimeKit to outside app makers. Whether a full-featured watch face customization toolset will ship to developers in a future version of watchOS, perhaps watchOS 5, remains unknown. via AppleInsider Man, I hope Apple doesn’t do this. I know, it’s conventional wisdom that third-party watch faces would be the best thing since the Destiny’s Child reunion. But I think it would be a terrible mistake. Designing…

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The Mixologist Sticker Pack

Mixology has been an interest of mine for many years. Not in the “let’s party all night until we fall over” way, but rather in an "appreciation for the finely crafted beverage after dinner” sort of way. I enjoy reading up on techniques, finding new recipes, and researching the histories of various cocktails throughout the ages. ![The Last Word](http://joecieplinski.com/blog/content/images/2016/10/The_Last_Word.png) The Last Word Crafting fine cocktails and software design actually go hand in hand. They both involve…

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