MetroUI inspiring poster designers

I was really surprised the other day when I bumped into this movie poster at a Paris bus stop. I had the feeling to look at a WindowsPhone home screen with lots of pictures and contacts pinned.

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The designer of this movie poster seems to have been influenced by Microsoft Metro UI. Is it conscious or not ? Usually designers are big fan of everything with an Apple touch.

I don’t know if the movie is featuring a lot of Nokia phones, but apparently Microsoft has found a new soft power with its UI.

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Improving the TV experience with HbbTV

I had the chance to attend the HbbTV Symosium in Paris last December. Here are some interesting slides I collected.

HbbTV is now really on the launching ramp.

ProSieben channel in Germany reports 1.4M connections of unique TV set to its HbbTV service per month with a growth of 20%.

HbbTV usage

More intersting is the usage of HbbTV to improve the experience of impaired people.

Sign language assistance is available through HbbT for hearing-impaired

HbbTV hearing impaired

Improved contrast and font size are also available for visually impared people.

HbbTV visualy impaired

So HbbTV is not only introducing interactive advertizing as one often reduces it, but also improving the whole TV experience.

Mobile design 2012 trends

Mobile World Congress just closed its doors and there has been no real game changer in mobile design. Mobile design is following tracks that have been established a few years ago:

Screen inflation

Screen are becoming bigger and bigger to a point that one doesn’t know if it’s a smartphone or a tablet like the LG Optimus Vu, or the Galaxy Notes with their 5+ inches screens.

LG optimus vu

Device thickness

Device thickness is decreasing at a slow space it is more and more complicated to pack all the components and antennas in less than 8mm. Each tenth of mm gained is a challenge in terms of engineering and structure strength. Nobodies expect to break one’s device when sitting on it when it’s on the back pocket. The Huawei Ascend broke the record with its 6.68 mm thickness

Screen bezels

Screen Bezels are decreasing so the screen occupies all the front panel of the device with little space wasted.

design trend 2012

What could be next?

I think the screen size inflation has reached its limit and the device maker that will create a new trend will be the one providing a small and thin device, let’s say a bit bigger than a credit card, full touch screen with nearly no frame. A device that could fit in any pocket or card holder.

Redesigning ugly things

I love this website Redesigning the boarding pass: http://passfail.squarespace.com/

This designer just realized before boarding his delta flight that his boarding pass was ugly and confusing. In a word badly designed. So he started to sketch a new one. Just have a look at the result:

Boarding pass before relooking

Boarding pass before relooking

New look boarding pass

New look boarding pass

Can you spot the difference?

This is just a reminder to look at things differently and not take for granted all the badly designed stuffs lazy companies and people want us to swallow. Open your eyes and mind!

Improving the in-car PND experience

PND experience is quite clumsy: you need to fix the cradle arm on your windscreen, put the PND cradle on the arm, and then plug in the CLA.
So far the only alternative has been to buy a car with an embedded navigation system. But these systems are usually not as good as a PND, more expensive and available only on the most expensive cars.

Renault ad with TomTom

Renault ad with TomTom

TomTom is trying a new approach to sell its PND with Renault. TomTom PNDs are offered as an option on middle range Renault cars. What is really new is that  Renault has introduced a cradle in the dashboard. So it’s not a classical embedded solution but a way to improve the PND experience. The TomTom PND is still a device that is plugged in and out in the dashboard removing the hurdle of the cables and arms.

Renault Dashboard with TomTom

Renault Dashboard with TomTom

I find this approach very smart and very flexible. Your PND is still affordable, removable, from a famous brand and the UX is seamless within the car.

With the introduction of the universal charger for mobile phones, let’s hope car manufacturers are working on similar solution to improve the in-car mobile experience.