Redesign: Windows’ Disk Properties ‘Space Used’ Pie Chart Colors

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Windows 7 still has some ugly elements leftover from the Windows 95 days. In this case, it’s the colors for the pie-chart used to show you how much space your hard disk has left. Click on the Windows button, then “Computer”, right click on your hard disk, select “properties” and you’ll see it. Why they chose blue and purple I don’t know. Maybe it’s for the color blind. I’m not sure but using red for “used space” and green for “free space” sounds a bit more logical to me. Maybe they thought using red would make users think their hard drive had problems. In that case substitute black for “used space” and white for “free space”. read…

 

Invention: Introducing The “Content Aware Scrollbar” UI

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This new scrollbar design I made last week shows the user where content like videos, image galleries, customer ratings, and comments begin and end on a page and lets the user skip directly to that content without scrolling around and searching for it. It also lets users know what kind of content a page has so they’re more likely to stay. read…

 

Idea: Creating and Maintaining Exclusive Communities Through Crowdsourcing

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Sometimes you want to create a community exclusive for a certain group of people like video editors, film makers, web developers, product designers, actors, UI designers, lawyers, game developers investors, etc… A place where people who think alike can come together and support each other without getting spammed by recruiters, affiliate advertisers, and the dreaded “social media experts”. The problem is, once these communities get popular, they get bothered, harrassed, annoyed, and spammed by people who don’t belong there. So to prevent this from happening sites have come up with authentication methods. Things like confirming each and every person’s identity and credentials one by one, all done by staff. Or through invites that members can send to other people. This is just innefficient. So lets crowdsource authentication a bit more. read…

 

Creation: Simple Cutscene Control UI Design for Video Games

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I’ve mocked up two different versions, one for PC games and the other for Console games. Both will behave a little differently so it’s easy and intuitive to control cutscenes. Basically, each year the Video Game Industry commits an unforgivable sin, it creates games with cutscenes that cannot be skipped / paused / rewound / and fast forwarded. Now I know that most cutscenes today are rendered in real time, so rewinding and fast forwarding might get a little complicated, but there should at least be a replay / pause / skip feature then. Some games have tried to add a cutscene control UI but it’s cumbersome and usually requires you to press a button for the UI to pop up, then press left or right a few times to select the right control (pause, skip, etc) then press a button again to select it. This takes too long. So I designed something that flows better. read…

 

What a Difference Spacing Can Make: Redesigning Steam’s Spacing Issues

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Spacing is powerful, when it’s there you don’t notice it, when it’s gone something feels off. Every day when I load up Steam to play a game for a few minutes I’m overwhelmed by the hideous spacing issue in the Games Library list. The list of games has almost no spacing to the left of it, which gives it an awkward feel. Almost like the list is squished up against the left side. This lack of space keeps my eyes from comfortably scanning the first few letters of each game like I normally do and instead I have to fully read each title. I’ve noticed this over the months as my games list has grown. read…

 

Redesigning the Steam Friends List

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One thing that annoyed me about the friends list in Steam is that my username is included in the list of my friends. I am NOT my own friend. Also, I hate having to click those little tiny arrows next to my friends’ names so I can be given the option to send them a message, invite them to a game, join a game, etc… There were quiet a few things that bothered me, so I went ahead a made a mockup of how I’d like my friends list to look and function. A bit of simplicity and minimalism was lost in the process but a lot of functionality and usability were gained. In this particular case we swapped beauty for functionality. read…

 

Invention: Calendar Layout That Actually Has Space for Notes & Reminders

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I came up with this 2 years ago, basically I’ve tried all sorts of “Planners” and “Calendars” and “Calendar Planners” and their layouts were always unfriendly, loud, featured thick distracting borders, terribly designed, and never had enough room to write reminders and notes in, so I decided to make my own in Excel. I designed around 3 criteria: simple quiet design (borderless), lots of room for notes and reminders, and yet stick to the traditional calendar layout so that it’s easy for users to tell what day of the week a date is. So here’s what it looks like. read…

 

Invention: Laundry Detergent Cups That Don’t Leak

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It’s almost 2011 and laundry dispensers still leak and make a mess because of poorly designed cups. Yeah, they’re awesome, it’s just that they just all leak. Yes every single one. Every one I know that uses the dispenser with cup container has a leaky mess underneath it. The problem is the shape of the cup. After you’re done measuring and pouring using the cup, whatever little detergent is left in it slowly leaks out and makes a mess /or/ the detergent left inside the little valve you push leaks out into the cup. So I redesigned the cup so it has a place to hold the extra detergent and doesn’t leak all over the counter or washer. Sucks I’ll never get paid for this but oh well, gotta save the world from leaking detergent whether you get rewarded or not.

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Creation: “Songapore” A Media Player UI Concept

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Basically I’m a huge music lover who’s tried almost every media player imaginable over and over throughout the years, from Windows Media Player, Sonique, Winamp, iTunes, and Songbird, to Amarok, Totem, Sony SonicStage, TDK mix master, and a bunch of others that you’ve probably never heard of. Do you know which one I keep going back to? VLC player. Yes, that’s right, little VLC player. Why? Basically because it’s simple. So a week ago I decided to design my dream UI for a media player. Something simple.

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Idea: Installation Feedback for Steam Games

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Everyone knows PC games are buggy, it’s hard to make a game run on millions of different computers that all have different components and software settings. In fact installing and troubleshooting them used to be such a pain in the ass that many gamers left the PC world and got into console gaming where the hardware’s all the same and there’s no installation problems. Then Steam came along and streamlined the download and installation process into a hands off approach which won over a lot of PC gamers, but there’s still show stopping hiccups. I’ve had problems with 4 of my Steam games before and I had to find solutions on my own. Not everyone’s going to be as patient and forgiving as I am. Most users are going to blame it on Steam and never use the service again. So we have to try to help them… read…

 

SoftOffice Logo and Rebranding Concepts for LibreOffice

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Long story short: Oracle, new owner of the free office suite OpenOffice, and the developers working on it had a fall out and many of them basically left. Which wasn’t really a big surprise, corporations like Oracle don’t care about free software they only care about profit. Oracle already deserted a few projects it inherited when it bought Sun Microsystems. So the poor developers started “The Document Foundation” and are working on OpenOffice’s code under a temporary name “LibreOffice“, until Oracle donates the OpenOffice trademark to them. Which will never happen. We at Reddit agreed that LibreOffice sounds really stupid so I came up with “SoftOffice” and registered the .org domain for it. Today I decided I was going to have some fun designing some real quick logos for SoftOffice. read…

 

Idea: Using Facial Recognition as Mass Transit Payment Method

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If it’s one thing that humans love it’s simplicity. The easier you make it for customers to give you money the more likely they are to buy your products and services. Public transit fails this simple rule. Tickets, transfers, passes, expirations, exact change, closed platforms, turn stiles, all make for a terrible user experience. So here’s my idea, use facial recognition as a speedy payment and verification system for mass transit like subways and trams. read…

 

Traffic Planning 2.0: No More Blind Spots for Left Turners

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I can’t tell you how many countless accidents have happened in my old neighborhood because of blind spots for left turners. When I lived near UCF in Orlando, Florida one small intersection would cause a traffic accident nearly every week. It happens when cars queued in U-turn or left turn lanes face each other in intersections and block each other’s view. Next time you pass one, look near the ground and you’ll usually see broken glass near many of them, even with traffic lights. And these types of accidents could all have been avoided if only someone had made one little change to the intersection’s design. Here’s the right way to design left turning lanes… read…

 

City Planning 2.0: Low Cost City Art Using Creative Commons Photos

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What’s up with the lack of art in our cities? Every time I go out I see nothing but ads, traffic signs, and concrete. It’s sad when the only art we can find in a city are poster and billboard advertisements. We’re already overwhelmed by hundreds of logos and ads on a daily basis. I wish for once I could see imagery without it telling me to buy something. And whenever cities do put up art it’s always some ugly painting by 3rd graders (sorry kids), randomly welded cloths hangers, or some abstract, LSD induced “random shape” art. All of which, unfortunately, look like doo doo in my opinion. read…

 

City Planning 2.0: Mini-Marketplaces at Mass Transit Stations

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What if we could make sterile, cold, concrete, light rail stations a little more lively and human by allowing small-businesses to rent out little kiosks on the platforms of the more busier stations. Not only will this provide income to the transportation authority but it will also provide an extra set of eyes and ears (aside from security and cameras) and make the station feel more inviting and safer. Kiosks can be rented by the hour, day, week, or month to businesses or can be auctioned off to the highest bidder.  read…

 

Idea: Using Split Screen and Picture in Picture For Cutscenes in Video Games

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Cutscenes are vital for passing on emphasis, storyline, emotion, and plot informing to the player. Unfortunately they interrupt gameplay. So players watch and enjoy cutscenes their first time through the game but skip them during subsequent play throughs. This cold shoulder attitude towards cutscenes gets worse in multiplayer games, which tend to avoid cutscenes altogether (and unfortunately story, plot, and emotion too). This is because cutscenes in multiplayer games have to be either watched or skipped by everyone playing so that one player isn’t in game while the others are still watching (same reason why multiplayer games don’t let one player pause the game for everyone). Thus cutscenes, and other storytelling elements, are left out of many of today’s modern multiplayer games and gone with them are the deep and meaningful emotions that were once created.   read…

 

Redesigning The Way We Teach The Controls To A Player

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Long ago I used to be a console person. I knew every button on a PS2 and GameCube controller and even back then I had trouble remembering the controls and combos to new games. Not to mention the more time passed the more I failed at quick-time events. It’s a lot easier to remember the controls to a game when the hints on screen not only tell you what the buttons do but also show you where the buttons are. So I came up with these button placement view tip things… I don’t even know what to call them … Just see below. read…

 

Logos For My Abandoned Startup, Rent-A-Toll-Pass.com

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I came up with this business about 3 years ago when I first moved to Orlando, FL (which has a LOT of toll roads) and got a Toll Pass. Whenever my parents came down to visit I’d mail them my SunPass Toll Pass so when they drive down from St. Louis, MO they wouldn’t have to stop and pay all the tolls. Instead they were able to just drive right through the toll plazas in the dedicated lanes and the tolls would be paid automatically. So why not start a company that rents out toll passes to vacationers so they don’t have to spend $28 buying one? read…

 

Invention: Sequential Text Boxes

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Windows does it when you’re entering your serial key right after installation, and online forms do it when you’re typing in your phone number, social security number, or zip code. Sometimes, online forms have multiple text boxes for numbers with multiple sets. Instead of the user manually tabbing or clicking over to the next text box to type, the developer can code up some “auto tabbing” JavaScript to move to the next text box automatically as you type in the numbers (Windows and Microsoft Office do this). Unfortunately, no one actually warns you when the form does this on its own. Many times users fill in the first set of numbers and hit the tab button manually only to find out the form tabbed over an extra time, resulting in them having to go back to the previous text box or accidentally filling in the wrong one. read…

 

Invention: Keyboard Shortcut Reminders for Online Forms

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Millions of people around the world, young and old, rich and poor, don’t know that they can move to the next text box in online forms by hitting the [TAB] key on their keyboard instead of moving their hand over to the mouse and clicking on the next text box. I made these as a reminder for these poor unfortunate souls. Just imagine all the time saved from filing out billions of logins and registration pages worldwide. read…