Designers' Weekly Digest 13

A real treat for fans of Fantasy User interfaces (FUI) like designed by Ash Thorp or GMUNK: Khoi Vinh featured a real enthusiast on the subject, a designer at Google who goes by the name of Kirill Grouchnikov, to talk about the cool-looking, yet unnecessarily complicated interfaces you see in movies, in a lengthy interview full of examples, namedropping and all the information you never knew you needed on the subject.

The subject of FUI is a curious one and is analogous to a principle often seen in real life: complicated-looking things can often be perceived as attractive or sophisticated. In that vein, this exaggerated style of glowing, moving diagrams and convoluted graphs just fits the often imaginative worlds we see on Sci-fi or superhero films perfectly.

And just like the menus from Japanese RPGs from the 90s, FUIs are interesting or exciting enough to function as a gateway to real interface design.


OTHER DESIGN-RELEVANT NEWS

PROTOSKETCH GETS AN UPDATE

Your favorite design app for iPad recently got a shiny new update, including better controls for the brush and a bunch of bug fixes. While we’ve heard a lot about Protosketch, we don’t actually have any firsthand experience, however, it seems powerful enough, judging by the art featured on its homepage.

LOVE OF CARTOGRAPHY – A MAPS FACE-OFF

Justin O’Beirne shared the first part (out of a planned four) of a lengthy essay in which the minutiae of both Google and Apple's Maps apps are exposed in excruciating detail. So far, it’s focusing on visuals over function -- elements such as color palettes, the number of labels used in zooms, and even custom icons. O’Beirne has also posted other essays on Google Maps, which you can check out here.

DESIGN IS CAPITALISM

This thought-provoking talk by Jennifer Daniel references the original trailer of InVision’s upcoming documentary, Design Disruptors, which, funnily enough, just got a new trailer. It’s a great talk that asks designers and startups to get over themselves and consider their role in the community instead of “trying to change the world” by releasing a new delivery app or similar “problem-solving” platforms.


SO, WE WENT ON THE INTERNET AND FOUND...

Solarin, a very expensive phone... - …In a nutshell.

Some sweet packaging! - Mexican design studio Futura unveils the work they did for Mon Choco, a chocolate brand based in the Ivory Cost. Illustration and packaging design converge in the most delightful of ways here.

Google releases AnyPixel.js – Light and code come together in this open-source library by Google. Go and build a wall of light boxes!