Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:
A Lightbulb-Shaped Projector Could Power The Smart Home Of The Future
Beam, a lightbulb-shaped gadget, promises projects your smartphonescreen onto any surface you want. Launched on Kickstarter this month, the $350 projector screws into any lightbulb socket, so you can set it up anywhere you’d normally stick a lamp, allowing you to play videos on your wall, view digital photo albums on your kitchen table, or, in general, make your smartphone screen a (literally) bigger presence in your house. Read the article and see it in action here.
Your Brand Needs a Visual Style Guide: Here’s How to Create One
Style guides or brand bibles contain all the necessary information to create whatever assets, advertising, web site or collateral any company needs keeping it all consistent and on brand. So, if these guides are so important, why isn’t everyone on the bandwagon? The problem is that they are a lot of work and not many people know how create a really good one so this article does a nice job of laying out the basic of what should go into a solid brand style guide. Read the article here.
Apple and Hamburgers
The so-called ‘hamburger menu’ has been around for a few years now. Just open up your iPhone and you will probably notice that a lot of your apps are using this technique to display their menu items. If you viewed this site on your phone, you will see that I am using it as well. But is it really effective and the best way to display your site or app’s navigation? I’ve been told that Apple has always been against using the hamburger menus for their apps. In fact, I watched a talk given by Apple UX Evangelist Mike Stern during the WWDC 2014 and he took a moment to describe in detail why they think it’s bad UX to use the hamburger menu. This looks at what Mike had to say and why a hamburger menu isn’t the best solution on mobile experiences. Read the article here.
Stylus Maker Adonis’s New Drawing and Workflow App Forge
Now, stylus maker Adonit has a sketching app that’s designed to not only get the most out of its drawing accessories, but to boost your productivity as well. The software is called Forge, and its simple interface keeps tools handy, but out of the way so you can focus on the task at hand. When you need to create multiple versions of the same sketch — a logo project, for example, — the app allows you to easily copy the drawing and build on top of it, organizing the old and the new on separate layers. As a designer myself, that’s been the most useful thing about Forge: the ability to try new things with the same idea quickly and easily, without mucking up the original. Find our more and get the app here.
Coca-Cola Spreads Happiness With Emoji Web Addresses
Coca-Cola hasn’t had much luck making the Internet a happier place lately, but maybe this will help—a fun campaign from Coca-Cola Puerto Rico that puts smiley-face emojis right in the brand’s Web addresses. The brand registered URLs for every emoji that conveys happiness. Entering any of these happy icons into a mobile Web browser, along with the .ws suffix, leads users to Coca-Cola Puerto Rico’s website. Read the article here.