Something I was working on quite intensively throughout December has finally come to fruition, with the Teletext Holidays iPhone application becoming available in the iTunes App Store.
Working closely with software development gurus Vivorum.com I designed the interface and sorted all the graphic and branding elements, and have to say I’m mighty happy with the result.
The interface is a very cool purple glossy experience, totally square with the brand’s “art of less” philosophy and has beautiful slick usability touches, such as swiping from deal to deal with a flick of the finger and a nifty “Saved” function whereby you can store off holiday deals (from the daily updates) to review later. Each deal also contains a handy button that instantly uses the iPhone to call the travel agent.
And each time the user launches the application they get a different inspirational image and brand message.
It’s a really nice piece of work, and it was a great experience working closely with Teletext and Virorum on it. I reckon it’s a huge and healthy jump in Teletext’s delivery and continues to move them from ‘analogue’ to very very very ‘digital’. And for me, an enthusiastic iPhone user, it was a revelation to get deep and dirty into imagining and delivering a completely new kind of user experience for a famous UK brand about which people tend to have very firm preconceptions.
There’s an info page on the application here – and the iTunes App Store link is here.
It’s a free download, and a great way to scout around for your next holiday deal.
Silicon Alley Insider has some choice snippets, apparently from someone who’s actually seen the forthcoming Apple ‘tablet’ / ‘slate’ device – about one of its (many) great mysteries… what it’s Operating System is going to look like. Is it iPhone-ish? It is OSX-ish? Is it a hybrid? How do you use it? What’s the interface metaphor and control paradigm?
Well apparently the best we’re going to get for now are…
• “It’s pretty.”
• “The UI has a good bit of new sexy to it.”
• “It’s a big iPhone, but it’s not just a big iPhone.”
Oh, and here, if you’re interested in the device, are a few artists impressions drawn from across the interweb of what it MIGHT be like (according to the voices in their heads). Some nice bits of ideas in there, but you kind of know the real thing is still going to exceed pretty much any expectations.
Roll on the end of January.
Very cool and leftfield design puzzle thing by the excellent Londonist.
If you’re having trouble working out what the “elements” actually are, then there’s clues, discussions and answers here…
artvinyl.com – a company specialising in display systems for album covers – has just announced the winner of the 2009 Best Cover award. Industry experts produce a liast of 50 nominations which are then voted on by the public. It’s good that the art of the album cover isn’t dead in the age of downloads, given that it’s such a tangible, physical thing – something currently on my mind with the recent post on the aesthetics of “Avatar” and the album artwork of Roger Dean – and a good choice for this year’s winner; “The Resistance” by Muse.
You can see all 50 nominations at artvinyl.com
I’ve just finished up a couple of wildly different books that have kept me occupied over the Christmas break.
The first is the autobiography of footballer Fernando Torres, “El Niño” – possibly a surprise choice for anyone who knows me pretty well given that soccer isn’t really the centre of my world. The reason I picked it was that I’d had a number of emails and messages sent to my El Canto Del Loco website from Liverpool supporters saying that they’d been checking out the band because of it being mentioned in the Torres book; not a surprise perhaps, given the friendship of Torres with ECDL’s singer Dani Martin (and his cameo appearance in the promo video for “Ya Nada Volvera A Ser Como Antes”).
It’s been a thoroughly good, if easy read. In fact, surprisingly easy – not too heavy on match stats and the like – stuff that’s a powerful anaesthetic for me when it comes to football I have to admit – but more a genuine autobiography in that it feels very much about the man himself. It’s a journey, geographical and emotional from Madrid to Liverpool – and also a seemingly heartfelt love letter to the fans of both Atletico Madrid and Liverpool; two tribes that he feels are from exactly the same mould in many ways.
Torres comes across as someone who’s perfectly aware of his gifts and yet admirably modest and genuine, and someone who values where he comes from and those who helped get him to where he is.
Also it has to be said that the book is beautifully designed for something so ‘mainstream’ – and for an autobiography. Lovely spreads, great use of space, typography, grids and image texturing. I could get into this soccer lark!
The other book couldn’t be more different: “The Suspicions of Mr Whicher” by Kate Summerscale, which is very much a documentary account of perhaps the definitive and original “country house murder”. It is an amazing account; extraordinary in its scope and detail, a work borne of incredibly deep research that could easily have turned out dry and drab, and yet comes over as nothing short of a page-turner.
Full of atmosphere like a Wilkie Collins novel – not surprising as the case of Road Hill House influenced him in writing “The Moonstone”, it’s a grim and disturbing mystery of child murder and a dysfunctional Victorian family with dark secrets, and also an account of the birth/emergence of the detective as the centre of an investigation and the centre of attention – of the genesis of criminal investigation as a science, and of the explosion of the media’s fascination with crime and trials.
It’s fascinating to see how things have changed – how crime scenes are investigated, how evidence is gathered and treated, the timescales over how events unfurl, and the politics of local and metropolitan forces in handling media interest and public appetite.
A genuinely interesting historical study, and at the same time a gripping and creepy murder story.
Brilliant for curling up with in the warm with a bottle of the red stuff…