Itty-bitty bezels are all the rage for high-end smartphones. Samsung's Edge series (which ostensibly includes the Note 7) shrinks them with curved screens, manufacturers like Sharp have crazy designs that smoosh everything down into the bottom of the body, and pretty much everyone is trying to make the edges of their devices as small as possible. But no one has reached the holy grail of this idea: a phone that's basically just a screen on the front. JDI, a Japanese technology supplier, is working on it with their latest design. Read More
Google, following through on its promise that the material design spec is a "living document," has updated its design guidelines and suggestions again, this time adding more guidance on motion design, along with new sections for growth & communications and expanding panels.
First up, let's look at what's new in motion - Google has given motion design a more comprehensive section, outlining the principles of motion in material design. The section explains that material motion is responsive, natural, aware, and intentional. Transitions should be quick, clear, and cohesive.
After that brief primer, the motion section goes on to detail - at length - everything from duration and easing to transforming pieces of material and thinking about custom motion patterns that fit in with the material world. Read More
Google apparently has a Material Design UI overhaul in the works for YouTube and it looks pretty good. While it has not yet been pushed to the masses, it is apparently being tested on a small group of users while the developers look for bugs and Google braces for any negative feedback (people hate change, remember). Here's a look at the goods and a way to enable the new UI for yourself.
First, let's look at the homepage. Here's the current version:
And the new:
Not exactly a radical difference, but you do see the modern search bar that should be familiar from Google's Android apps and several web services as well. Read More
For the designers in our audience, I'm back with another quick Sketch resource to download - this time, it's a sticker sheet for N-style notifications. There are eight variations, plus a simple frame to stick your sample notifications in.
Android N's notifications actually follow a very predictable style so far. There's a header line, which usually has an icon, app name, some secondary identifying info, time, and an expand/collapse toggle, and then there are two lines of text. The top line is primary messaging or identifying info (like a message-sender's name) and the second line is a secondary message, explanation, or text preview. Read More
Who would have thought that glass would become so important to smartphone manufacturing that device makers would start putting it on both the front and the back of $700 devices? And the company that's making out like a bandit is Corning, the maker of the super-scratch-resistant "Gorilla" tempered glass that's now in a majority of premium phones. While Corning could probably rest on its laurels for a decade or two (at least until synthetic sapphire becomes a lot cheaper), its engineers are cranking out some new novelties for manufacturers to try. Read More
Google released the second Android N developer preview update yesterday, and it came with a new folder icon. Instead of the stack, you have a clipped array of the top four app icons in a circle. Here we are a day later and the new Nova Launcher v4.3 beta already offers those folder icons as an option. Read More
Asus scored a big win with its high-end but relatively inexpensive Zenfone 2 design. It looks like the Taiwanese manufacturer is hoping to leverage that into a larger series of handsets, very much as Samsung has done with the Galaxy S. In fact, that's not the only thing the next Zenfone will have in common with the Galaxy S series. Red Dot 21, a a sort of product design showcase organized by the same people behind the Red Dot design awards, has new profiles for the as-yet unseen Zenfone 3 and Zenfone 3 Deluxe. (Note that this isn't an actual award, it just means that someone - presumably Asus itself - posted the profile pages.) Read More