Roadmap 2014

At first, I hope everyone had a great start in 2014!

It has been quiet for the last few months since I was busy due to school exams and Christmas time. Today I want to give a little preview of my plans for 2014.

2013 for sure has been a great year! I learned the basics of how to write a website using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Furthermore I worked together with clients who were kind and uncomplicated.
However, I try to achieve even more in 2014.

Last summer Freecns received a big update with lovely weather specific icons. The feedback was great and downloads increased incredibly.
Since then I continuously worked on a new pack and so far, it turns out great! There are tons (yes, tons) of new icons and new styles.
Right now I can not give further details but be prepared for something HUGE!

With that being said, I plan to make my website even more comfortable. For example, Freecns’ website will be completely redesigned.

In addition I plan to open my own store. I look forward to upload several designs on Society6 within the coming months.

These are the plans for the next few months and I am pretty excited of how things will turn out!

Comment - Using Text in App Icons

Some weeks ago Apple released a major update for its mobile operating system iOS and with that many developers updated their apps to make them fit into the new OS.

Most of the recent apps received a complete redesign and in addition app icons got refreshed with a more flat style.

The Problem

After updating all my apps I was a little bit shocked and surprised to see a few apps which were updated with the app’s name within the icon.

”To a new user it might be confusing to have a name of an app both in the text area and in the app icon.”

Here is a quick mockup which reflects my problem:

The Solution

Instead of using a complete name, I do recommend to use the first letter of the app’s name. Let me explain why this is a better solution.

The first reason is the habit of a user: On his homescreen, he expects to have an icon with a symbol and a text with the name of the app. This rule should be considered especially when your app should be attractive to new iOS users.

Secondly, Apple recommends in its iOS Human Interface Guidelines to “embrace simplicity”. As they go further on: “[…] Find a single element that captures the essence of your app and express that element in a simple, unique shape. […]

Last but not least, many big companies, such as Facebook, Path, Google or Skype, are great examples how to use text/letters in their icons.

Summarizing, I want to mention that you should take a special view on your app icon before you upload it to the App Store.

Note: All quotations are from Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines from Oct, 12 

Announcing the dribbble invite winners

A little while ago I started a small dribbble invite contest and now I am pleased to announce the winners.

Winners

The first invite was send to Jay Visavadia. See his dribbble invite here.

Meik Schneider was the second guy who received a dribbble invite. Be sure to check out his profile too.

In addition both of them received a “dribbble certificate”.

Thank You

I want to thank everyone who participated and best wishes to those who did not receive an invite yet.

Comment - EXIF Data

Most of us love taking pictures with our smartphones. There are several reasons why we do not need compact reflex cameras anymore. In most cases our smartphone is in our pocket and the resolution of a normal iPhone or any other smartphone camera is more than sufficient. Now, there is one thing that some may not be aware of or even do not know that this feature exists: When taking pictures additional data is saved within the image.

What is EXIF data?

EXIF data in images, also known as metadata, is for sure a great thing. It gives the opportunity to save a photo’s location, the date and time when it was taken and the device it was taken with but sometimes you do want to hide these data especially the location. “

Sometimes you just want to be private.

A while later you want to post your images on several social networks. There is only one thing you forgot: In most cases the EXIF data is saved within the image and that means it is also included in your image that you just published. 

How to remove EXIF data

On a Mac there is a quick and easy way how to remove EXIF data. Simply download ImageOptim and drag and drop the image into the window. 

image

On both an iPhone and an iPad there is Reduce which is not only able to remove EXIF data. For further information you can read a review of MacStoires. 

image

Summarizing you may think twice about uploading a picture to the World Wide Web and if so you should consider to remove EXIF data.