All posts tagged “Apps”

Back Pocket Apps: Let’s Reconsider the Wireframe

Charles feels like he has mobile apps for everything in his life. He’s tired of having to launch apps to do mundane things. He’d like to talk to people face-to-face instead of looking at his smartphone’s screen. He’d like to take advantage of the latest technology without needing to hunch over his mobile device. He wonders: can this powerful computer in my pocket make my life easier, instead of giving me more to do?

Familiar and fantastic starting points — like qualitative and quantitative research, historical references, and subject matter interviews — help UX designers to discover unique problems for a specific set of target customers. Then, a sketch of a screen becomes the go-to generic starting point to hopefully accomplish these three things:

The sandbox.

A common sandbox for an app designer.

  • Create the most elegant solution possible
  • Make a distinctive digital product
  • Be useful on a regular basis

Not easy. A designer who cares about a great experience may be blinded from a better solution by thinking in terms of screens, rather than considering the user’s typical process.

The plague of pixel constraints

Creating a new, unique and great experience from this canvas is possible, but drawing screen-based solutions has inherent challenges. Removing the phone from pocket or purse, logging in, finding and launching the app, dealing with passwords, menus, navigation, and other hurdles of mobile operating systems shepherds a less elegant experience.

Starting from the same pixel constraints as the competition will also likely lead to expected and repeated solutions despite being however spruced up by trendy and exhausted animation sequences like a parallax scroll, Helvetica-induced visual design, and interaction patterns like the use of the navigational hamburger that all make the product feel more contemporary, but do not create genuinely different experiences from competitors.

The hamburger icon.

I’m the sexy rounded rectangle hamburger man with all the things you really need buried inside!

And the app from this starting point will likely need to be reliant on the never-ending annoyance of buzzes, beeps, and vibrations to encourage repeated usage. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) already estimates that we tend to check our phones 150 times a day. In an international poll taken by Time magazine, 1 in 4 people check their phone “every 30 minutes, 1 in 5 people every 10 minutes.” Not to mention, Phantom Vibration Syndrome (PVS) and Ringxiety — thinking your phone is buzzing and beeping when it’s not — already impacts more than 90% of college students.

An Alternate View

Here’s a different constraint: a phone in a pocket.

Moves app

Above, the imagery implies a different sandbox for solving problems with the phone, one where the goal is to keeping your phone in your pocket. The Back Pocket App, a low-hanging fruit of a post graphical user interface heavy world. This is the app icon from the original Moves app that sadly has been ditched, but incredibly through passé skeuomorphism could symbolize a next generation of mobile app aspiration: it works best while in your pocket.

Imagine an app that doesn’t need buzzes and beeps. The primary experience is not a screen-based digital interface. It surprises and delights users without taking them away from friends, family, and time for the things they actually care about. It takes advantage of the powerful computer in the customer’s pocket. Instead of using the similar WIMP-based patterns as GUIs from thirty years ago, it empowers things like sensor and radio technologies, already built into the phone.

With this more unique sandbox, the future possibilities are far wider.

The founders of Lockitron, a company specializing in keyless entry, is one team that has successfully moved from the old mindset to the new one. The Wall Street Journal once reported that a British insurance company survey found the average adult in the UK “misplaces nine items a day,” and that people are “most frustrated at losing their house keys.” Lockitron set out to solve this problem. Wired raved: “Unlock Your Home With Your Cellphone.”

But while it sounded exciting, the actual solution required a special deadbolt replacement, and because of the initial pixel sandbox, the solution then asked users to drown an everyday action in cumbersome, screen-based thinking that was really no better than the old lock and key. Users now had to:

  1. Walk up to my apartment door.
  2. Pull my smartphone out.
  3. Wake up my phone.
  4. Slide to unlock.
  5. Enter passcode.
  6. Exit last opened app.
  7. Exit last opened group.
  8. Swipe through a sea of icons, searching for the app.
  9. Tap the app icon.
  10. Wait for the app to load.
  11. Tap the unlock button.
  12. Physically open their apartment door.
Screenbased thinking.

A year later, the Lockitron team redesigned with a refreshingly new kind of UX.

The first major change was with their custom deadbolt. They got rid of it. Instead, they made a cover that goes over the user’s existing lock, embracing their current set up.

More impressively, they also thought beyond screens, embraced the user’s environment and eliminated the need for the user to remove his phone from his pocket. The app still needs to be initially downloaded and installed on a smartphone, but once it’s set up, the smartphone can remain in its rightful place: a rectangular bump in the user’s pocket.

Using Bluetooth technology, the second generation Lockitron app enabled the phone to speak directly to the deadbolt without an explicit digital interaction. So when the user is at his front door, Lockitron welcomes him home smoothly, without so much as a pause or a tap. Their app doesn’t thrive off addiction; it creates customer satisfaction by actually making the unlocking process easier. The process is now:

  1. Walk up to my apartment door.
  2. Physically open my apartment door.
Screenless thinking.

Their second generation Lockitron raised $ 2.2 million on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter from potential customers. Pretty good for a door lock.

Screen comparison.

Next Steps

Thinking beyond screens isn’t applicable to every kind of problem, but when it is possible, it can illuminate a path of unforeseen delight for customers. Consider the following four tips in building your next app, all of which follow the principle “Embrace typical processes instead of screens”:

  • Start with an understanding of the user’s typical process.
    Observe users in the environment(s) in which they will likely be undergoing the task or encountering the problem. This helps us to design a system around their typical process considering their real-world settings as the constraint (instead of a pixel box).
  • Look for what triggers might indicate a problem we can help solve.
    By understanding the customer’s typical processes, we may discover that something simple — like you’re standing outside your apartment door — can indicate the need for your service to help solve a problem. For more complex solutions, a combination of triggers may be necessary to be able to provide enough confidence for a system to undertake an action. Perhaps a phone could have confidence a user is sleeping only with the correct combination of time of day, day of the week, location, and phone inactivity; and hence sets an alarm eight hours from that point.
  • Get familiar with smartphone technologies beyond pixel dimensions.
    Smartphone technology is changing rapidly. As designers, we need to know what sensor technologies, radios, and other forms of machine input are available on the latest phone. Here’s a quick guide to get started.
  • Get comfortable with usability patterns of physical experiences.
    Like Apple, Google, and Microsoft have popularized certain low-bar digital patterns, things like automatically sliding doors, escalators, and elevators have popularized some expectations in the physical world. Start observing and collecting those key moments of good industrial design.

To learn more about out-of-the-box thinking, alternative methodologies, and a different way of looking at how to make technological solutions, grab a copy of the book The Best Interface is No Interface.

The post above is original content derived from the thinking in the proactive new book, The Best Interface is No Interface, which discusses user experiences beyond screens.

The post Back Pocket Apps: Let’s Reconsider the Wireframe appeared first on UX Booth.

The UX Booth

7 Offbeat Android Apps For Social Media Lovers

This time we are showcasing some useful and exciting apps for social media lovers. These are basically Android apps that are extremely popular among social media fans. Social media is a kind of a bridge that is slowly bringing the virtual and real worlds together. Here we have listed top 7 Android apps for social media users who want to stay connected with their friends.

With these apps, users can connect with each other as well as can share information, skills and experiences. This is the advantage of the technology that you can share information by sitting in the comforts of your homes and also from your offices. Let us have a look at this compilation. Share your views on this post via comment section below. Enjoy!

Hootsuite (Social Media Mgmt)

Get Social Media Followers

All Social Network

tsu – Social & Payment Network


SynkMonkey – Social Calendar


Design guideline to deliver web & mobile apps with rich UX

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Graphic designs while app or web development isn’t a child’s play. A high end graphic design demands complete dedication, efforts and prior designing experience. Since, application graphics often involve certain complexities, it is advisable to hire professional designers to breakthrough all the challenging issues. Thus, it can be said that designing a mobile app or […]

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The best Android photo editing apps for designers

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The stats about the growth of mobile apps is startling. There are a million of apps available in Android’s Google play store that are ready to offer its users the best mobile experience on the go. Smartphones and tablet devices have moved beyond just “gadgets” to something to become more relevant and powerful enough to […]

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15 Free Android VPN Apps To Surf Anonymously

Everyone is getting more concerned about the issue of Internet security especially when making transactions via mobile. VPN (Virtual Private Network) is technology that enables you to add an extra level of security while you surf the Internet without compromising the privacy of personal data, even whilst using public WiFi networks.

There are many ways to access the region-based blocked content as well but VPN software/apps provide a handy way to do so. For the ease of Android users, I have pooled together 10 of the top free Android VPN Apps along with some bonus apps that may prove to be useful.

1. Hotspot Shield VPN Proxy

With approximately 330 million downloads around the globe, Hotspot Shield is at the top of the list. Apart from traditional features found in any VPN app, it provides banking-level HTTPS encryption to secure the WiFi connection so that the outgoing data can be protected from eavesdroppers. [Get it here]

2. SecureLine VPN

SecureLine VPN is a nice app developed by Avast. They are famous for developing one of the best antiviruses worldwide. The private VPN Tunnel of SecureLine VPN encrypts the data using IPsec protocol which makes it really tough for hackers to snip the data through public WiFi hotspots. The app will perform all this work for you with just a click. [Get it here]

3. Spotflux VPN

Spotflux is a VPN app which take cares of the seclusion of data by providing 2 levels of protection and reduces the consumption of bandwidth by compressing data. This makes it a suitable choice for those who are interested in securing their data as well as maximizing the data plan available on their device. [Get it here]

4. Hola Free VPN

Hola Free VPN app is mainly for those who are looking for a completely free VPN android App with some striking features. Along with securing data and providing access to geographically blocked content, Hola Free VPN speeds up browsing by selecting and connecting to the nearest and fastest servers automatically from the list of servers located in 190+ countries. [Get it here]

5. Speed VPN

Speed VPN is an app which allows one to connect to the Internet through servers located at multiple geographical locations. It is designed particularly for web browsing by unblocking geographically restricted sites and for viewing low resolution videos. Each session of Speed VPN lasts for 60 minutes and it can be reconnected with a click. [Get it here]

6. Super VPN

Super VPN is an easy to use Android app with approximately 5 million installs around the globe. It encrypts the traffic to keep the transmitted and received data safe from 3rd party tracking without having to register or configure the settings of the device in a special way. Just a single click will enable you to use the Internet and browse websites anonymously. [Get it here]

7. Hideman VPN

The main feature of Hideman VPN is to secure the transmitted data as much as possible and for this purpose the algorithm uses a 256-bit encryption key. This scrambles the original data in such a way that if anyone is monitoring the data they wouldn’t be able to understand it without the key. The app offers 5 free hours per week although premium hours can be earned via in-app ad networks. [Get it here]

8. Touch VPN

Touch VPN encrypts data by using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) which maintains a secure and encrypted link between server and client. The app also helps conserve the battery of the device in comparison to other VPN Apps. This makes it great for those who are looking for an app which offers these 2 features. [Get it here]

9. Flash VPN Proxy

The Flash VPN Proxy app provides secure and encrypted VPN network to make sure that all your incoming and outgoing data remains intact from hackers and data stealers. The best thing about it is that you can use it smoothly because it offers a decent amount of bandwidth for communication, which is only often offered by premium apps. On top of that, there is no limit to how long you can connect for. [Get it here]

10. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a nice app which provides banking-level security. Usually people have concerns that the apps might access their personal information that’s available on the device, CyberGhost respects the privacy of its users and does not access any personal information. The free version of the app provides access to 23 servers located in 15 countries while the premium version gives access to 300 servers in 23 countries. [Get it here]

Bonus: More Free VPN Apps

11. Tigervpns Android VPN

One-Click Android VPN is an app to protect one’s privacy and hide the source IP address. It offers up to 500MB of free trail traffic upon signing up. [Get it here]

12. Mobiproxy

Another useful VPN app to access the region-based restricted websites without being traced. It provides extra security for outgoing and incoming data. [Get it here]

13. Psiphon

Psiphon provides a simple way to access everything available on the Internet easily with secure VPN tunnel. A user can also explicitly define whether to tunnel everything or just the web browser. [Get it here]

14. Zero VPN

Zero VPN is an app which allows you to use VPN services at zero cost with no difficulty. The interface is easy to use which facilitates in surfing the Internet anonymously. [Get it here]

15. VPN Master

VPN Master is one of the top VPN apps for anonymous Internet usage that doesn’t require registration. It also allows you to choose any server in America, Europe or Asia with 99.9% uptime. [Get it here]

Apple Watch apps for Tesla and Todoist show promise

With the April release of the Apple Watch getting closer, some developers have started showing off the apps they’ve built for Apple’s first wearable, and we have two early standouts. Todoist has shared its upcoming Apple Watch app with TechCrunch, and Eleks Labs, a Ukraine-based developing group has built an app that will let you control your Tesla directly from your wrist.

Eleks’ Apple Watch app displays the battery level, range, temperature of your Tesla on the main screen, and can lock and unlock the car, turn on your headlights, and control the air condition. It will even allow you to honk the horn and open the sunroof. But according to Eleks, building the app was anything but easy, thanks to a number of faults within WatchKit….

Continue reading…

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Enterprise Productivity Apps for Remote Teams

It’s an exciting time to be a designer. With almost unlimited connectivity, designers and firms can work together without needing to inhabit the same space. Many designers and web professionals love the ability to be mobile, and luckily for them, more and more companies, particularly startups, are starting to embrace a remote workforce.

Especially when outside of an office environment, staying on task and completing projects on a deadline can be difficult for even the more pragmatic creative. It’s essential, however, that both companies and workers are able to track progress and communicate effectively on a daily basis. It is also imperative that individuals can work as a team, even if they are hundreds of miles apart.

These needs have led to the emergence of some valuable productivity software and apps, in recent years. One part internal social network and one part project management software, these new apps allow everyone involved in a project to communicate and work together effortlessly, no matter where they are physically located. Whether you are a company owner who is trying to track and promote internal productivity or a worker trying to stay ahead of the game, an enterprise mobile app could ultimately be the answer for you.

Check out our roundup of the top 5 enterprise mobile apps that boost productivity, and unleash your potential.


If you’re looking for a great project management tool, Trello is a great option as it allows for anyone to create “Trello Cards” that can be assigned to different groups or individuals.


Trello also utilizes queues, so you can track a project from concept to completion. It’s easy to use and the design is on point, making for a user-friendly experience. Trello’s mobile app is among the least convoluted we’ve seen, making for a seamless transition from desktop to mobile.


A document signing app, might not be the first thing a designer thinks of in terms of helping productivity, but it is hugely valuable for employees who are working abroad, or freelancing.


SignEasy is a mobile, cloud-friendly software that allows clients, employees and higher-ups to sign off on documents no matter where they’re located. This eliminates the hold-up of receiving things in the mail – or the hassle of trying to find a fax machine anywhere these days.


It’s immediately obvious that their mobile design team put user experience first when creating Syncplicity’s file sharing and management app. It’s easy to manage any files from the touch of your phone or tablet with Syncplicity’s sheet stack interface.


It allows you to easily and securely send and share documents, as well as access them from any device, without missing a beat. When you have a team working on a large project with multiple files that need to be downloaded and uploaded quickly and effortlessly, Syncplicity is an awesome choice.


Sapience is a mindfulness enterprise app that allows for proficient time management, ensuring businesses can maximize efficiency with both on and offsite employees.


The app analyzes your smartphone usages and give you a clear visual on how your day was spent. It allows you to tag your phone calls, app-usage and work-related travel effortlessly. Sapience helps individuals and businesses see where they spend their time the most, so they can schedule and allocate budget appropriately.


From your computer to your smartphone, Evernote allows you to seamlessly work on projects from initial notes to completion, and even presentation. Think of it as a super-hero notepad.


It allows you to save inspiration from around the web, journal, take notes and work on full-length project – all in one platform. It is also a great organizing tool. If you are working on a number of creative projects at one time, Evernote will be one of your go-to apps for keeping everything on track.


Everyone can always use a little bit of productivity push, and the apps above actually make it easier to go the extra mile. Give them a shot and let us know what you think!

The post Enterprise Productivity Apps for Remote Teams appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.

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How to Download and Install Older Version iOS Apps

iOS 8 comes with many improvements and plenty of new features such as Continuity, Apple Pay and SMS Relay. Sadly, many of these features will not work on older Apple devices, like the iPhone 4, due to limitations. Worse still, many apps now will require at least iOS 7 to run smoothly. Trying to install an app will probably prompt a notification like this:

9gag Install

However, that doesn’t mean you cannot get a compatible version of the app installed. Here’s how to do it. First of all, you will need to login to the App Store through iTunes in Mac. Search for the app you would like to install. In this case, I am trying to install the 9Gag app.

Once the app is installed, the app will be added to your Purchased history but it won’t turn up on your iPhone if you don’t have it connected to your Macbook (which is fine because keep in mind that although the app has been "installed", it needs iOS 7 to run and thus can’t function on your iPhone 4).

Now, to get the latest compatible version of the app on your phone.

On your iPhone, launch the App Store and go to the Purchased page via the Updates tab. Try installing the app. Your device will notify you that the current version of the app requires iOS 7 or later. Then, it will offer you the option to install a previous version that is compatible with the iPhone you are holding.

Here’s what you will see:

iPhone install previous version dialog

At this point, tap Download to proceed.

app installed successfully

And you should now have the compatible version of the app installed and functioning.

app is working

You can try installing other apps this way too but note that this only works with apps that have been around since iOS 6. Only then would there be a version built for iOS 6 aka the "compatible version" you can fall back on.

20 gorgeous iPhone apps website designs

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The beauty of iPhone is not limited to hardware only. Even the iPhone application websites are very gorgeous in design. The color combination, classy typography, astonishing images simply makes it incredible. Here we have the list of 20 such visually appealing iPhone app website designs that can inspire you for next web design project. Have […]

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5 AngularJS Frameworks to Get Apps Up and Running Quickly

Now that you are well-versed in the basics, it is time to get started on building your own web application with AngularJS. AngularJS made building a Javascript-based app more intuitive using what’s called directives, which works hand-in-hand with your HTML markups.

If building a web application from the ground seems overwhelming to you, not to worry. Some very generous developers have adapted a few frontend frameworks to support AngularJS. Like a typical framework, they come with pre-built web components. These make using the framework the perfect tool for anyone who needs to get a web application up and running quick.

Here are 5 frameworks you can use to kick-start a web-based application with AngularJS.

1. AngularUI Bootstrap

AngularUI Bootstrap, as the name implies, is built on top one of the most popular front-end frameworks, Bootstrap. This framework contains a set of Bootstrap components such as Carousel, Alert, and Collapse along with some additions, like Rating and TimePicker.

All these components have been ported to use AngularJS directives (ng-repeat and ng-controller) and custom HTML elements. For example, rather than using a <div> to wrap the Carousel, you can use a more “meaningful” custom element, <carousel> and <slide>:

 <carousel interval="slideInterval"> <slide ng-repeat="slide in slides" active=""> <img ng-src="{{slide.image}}"> </slide> </carousel> 

If you are a big fan of Bootstrap while also enjoy the power and the performance that AngularJS offered, this could be a perfect choice of framework.

2. Angular Foundation

Another popular framework that has also been ported to use AngularJS is Foundation, and it is simply named “Angular Foundation”.

Similarly, this framework has modified Foundation components to adopt AngularJS’s directive and custom HTML elements so you can now build your web application using more semantically named HTML element slike <top-bar>, <accordion>, and <pagination> , rather than the ambiguous <div>. Here is one example of how we add an Alert component with the <alert> element:

 <div ng-controller="alertArea"> <alert ng-repeat="alert in alerts" type="alert.type" close="closeAlert($  index)">{{alert.msg}}</alert> </div> 

If you like Foundation better than Bootstrap, then this is the framework to go with. Download Angular Foundation in this page, or stay up-to-date with the project development through the Github repo.

3. Ionic Framework

Ionic comes with a handful of solid building-blocks that makes developing mobile applications easy and fast. Each component in the Ionic framework is optimized for mobile experience, which is basically dependent on touch and gestures. These UI components are also made up of custom HTML elements. In deploying a tabbed navigation, for example, you would use the <ion-tabs>:

 <ion-tabs class="tabs-default tabs-icon-only"> <ion-tab title="Home" icon-on="ion-ios-home" icon-off="ion-ios-home-outline"> </ion-tab> <!-- The rest of the tabs go here --> </ion-tabs> 

To make it even easier and faster to build your application, you can use Ionic Creator which lets you build your app by drag-n-drop. So if performance and speed is important to you, Ionic is the best framework to go with.

4. Mobile Angular UI

Mobile Angular UI is a mobile UI framework which is an extension of the Bootstrap framework, aimed to build mobile applications. It uses most of Bootstrap 3 syntaxes with some added specific mobile components such as switches, overlays, sidebars and scrollable areas. It is only dependent on AngularJS and you can easily bring your current web app into mobile version by adding provided CSS to turn your content responsive and touch-enabled.

Download this framework here

5. UI Grid

UI Grid is the best way to work a grid or table with Angular. It has rich features to display simple, and also complex and large datasets on a grid. UI Grid is designed to execute complex features only when needed, thus keeping the core small. With UI Grid you can bind cells to complex properties/functions, run column sorting and filtering, edit data in place and more. To change styles of your data grid display, use Customizer.

Get the latest UI Grid from its homepage.