Aleksandar • Vacić

iOS bits and pieces


Meyerweb: So Many Nevers

Freaking shit how this is ripping me out, the last several days. So much pain, so hard to express.

I grew professionally with Eric’s books and sites for years and years. It’s strange how you can get yourself into thinking you actually know a person, without never actually speaking to him. But to so many of us who believed in web standards and stuff back at the start of the century Eric was one of the several beacons we looked up to, someone who relentlessly pushed the movement forward.
I lived and breathed the web back then and Eric Meyer was a household name, a mentor of sort.

To have him and his family going through this is so unjust. Only…there’s no justice nor guilt nor anything really when it comes to cancer. It just happens, a Mother of all bad jackpots.

RIP Becca

How to animate-in UICollectionView items issue #12 is chock-full of awesomeness. Animations, especially interactive ones, are the heart and soul of delightful iOS 7 apps. I can’t recall when was the last time I read so many articles in such a short period of time.

One particular use case was not covered though and it just happened to be one I was tackling while building new version of Try Couch to 5k. In it, everything is collection views, often nested one inside another. What I wanted to do is sequentially animate each cell as it appears on the screen.

For example, as 5k plan has sequences of pace units, I wanted them to appear one by one, to draw runner’s eye to each one. At the same time, since lots of info is presented on the run-preview screen, I wanted to gradually load them to not overwhelm the runner with several parts of the screen animating at the same time (that would just be visual noise).

So, how to tackle this?

Design process of Units convert 2

Units convert is one of those apps I thought I could write in few weeks, publish it and all would be fine. As is usual in real world, it took two major versions and over 4 months of work to make it as good as I expected it to be after those few weeks.

I spent some evenings in past few weeks to write a very extensive article about the design process for version 2. I went back through the source code and recorded lots of movies (25 or so) of the app in various stages of development. I explain the issues, options I considered and the reasons behind every decision.

Read the article: Design process of Units convert 2

I always learn a lot from articles like this and I hope this will be useful to many of you as well.

Improving Shift key design on iOS 7 keyboard

I consider pre-iOS 7 keyboard design to be the best looking and affordably designed on-screen keyboard ever. The colors (subtle gradients) and animations when a key is activated were just perfect. When iOS 7 came, I was pretty annoyed how much uglier it looked like and consequently how it “felt” during use.

Which is why I casually followed the hubbub over the many changes during the 7.1 beta and the final result we were all given. Lots of people discussed it, mostly lamenting the result but I didn’t find any actual proposal for the better apart from Stefan Laketa’s colored button approach. Granted, I did not look much as I already said, but if there was something it would’ve blip on my twitter timeline (I follow over a hundred iOS devs and designers).

Here’s my proposal for the visual change but also a discussion about a larger issue with the keyboard behavior I did not notice before.