Nougat, the latest, sweetest version of Android is now available for all you Nexus users. Looking good!
The latest additions include new emojis, multi-locale support (meaning, you'll get content depending on your locale settings; handy if you know multiple languages), general security updates and more. The new approach to multitasking is especially exciting, as users will be able to run two apps at once side by side. You can even resize the windows they are displayed in.
As designers, we're curious as to whether we'll see more updates on the material design front following this update. Earlier this year, tab-based navigation was introduced as an official Android pattern, and Google designer Luke Wroblewski often tweets about new patterns in development. Maybe we'll see more new patterns added to the already thorough material guidelines? Let's hope so.
OTHER DESIGN-RELEVANT NEWS
Mozilla has been working with London agency Johnson Banks to develop the not particularly small amount of seven (7! VII!) different rebranding concepts for a while now. And in line with its open-source nature, Mozilla has opened the process to its users and allowed them to have a voice in the matter. Everything from the ideation to the final execution is open and user participation is encouraged. We’re left to wonder whether this is – either directly or indirectly – a product of public backlash other companies have received after a rebrand. And… is directly communicating with audiences really the way to avoid these negative reactions?
A small feature by Fast Company on Dark Patterns, meaning UI patterns crafted in a way to trick users to do things they don't necessarily intended to do in the first place. Awareness of these patterns has increased in the last few years, but they prevail, usually thanks to decision-making left to people not directly involved in the design of a product. Even if tricking a user might "work" to some degree, companies should evaluate whether it's worth using such strategies on a long-term basis. A good read.
A long, deep, thorough study on typography. While mostly aimed at front-end developers, the amount of research done is quite substantial. At times, it also references the good ol’ art of typesetting while highlighting parallels and differences with modern, in-browser/app type boxes. X-heights, alignments, line-heights and anything else you could possibly need to understand the basics of paragraph setting.
We haven’t actually tried this, but it seems quite powerful. And if you care about that kind of thing, Patterns was designed by the guy behind Facebook Reactions. Based on the video in their website, it seems to be aimed at digital designers as it seems especially useful for creating wireframes and such. Maybe this app can fit somewhere in your workflow, somehow?
SO, WE WENT ON THE INTERNET AND FOUND...
Fuel for the Rdio nostalgia fire – Some of us were big fans of the unfortunately doomed Rdio because of how satisfying it was to use, and the attention to detail in both its interface and experience design. With this skin you can bring… at least the color palette back to your Spotify.
This sound design web app – Yet another nice sound-based experiment, this one is a bit more complex than other finds we’ve shared in the past (for instance, you can even use a MIDI controller on Blokdust). Good-looking, and fun – a sequence of adjectives we really like.
Find new music through Combo.fm – …by going through their curated channels and playlists. All with its own respective commentary. Handy!
Here is where we share what our team members have been exposing their eardrums to the most during the week. This week, Marian Fusek shares his sound wave of preference.
“Yes, I am listening to a song from 2005. It clicked with me when I was studying for my finals last year – I felt like garbage, my head was a mess, and it was all just leading to one stressful day. And the song just feels the same. Lately, I listen to this a lot to remind me of those times and to get my adrenaline running when I need to focus and get stuff done. As someone who listens to one song over and over until they just hate it, this specific one is still surviving. Must be age :)”