jammylammy Just another WordPress site

October 23, 2012

Rethinking the App Switcher

Filed under: Apple,Design,Usability — admin @ 9:47 pm

Earlier this month, this redesign of the iOS app switcher garnered a lot of press.

I love almost everything about this idea with the exception of one thing: by using screenshots instead of the app icon I find it much harder to figure out what the apps in the switcher are.

iOS has always used icons to represent apps. The recognition of these icons is key to identifying apps, both on the homescreen and in the switcher. By using screenshots of the apps instead of icons, that link is lost and, for me at least, any benefit in seeing what state an app is in is far outweighed by the additional cognitive load placed on me to try and identify an app.

Yes, the name of the app is shown underneath the icon. But for sheer glance-ability, and for me, icons are a much better solution.

October 4, 2012

Massa & Sauber?

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 9:11 pm

Now that Hamilton has signed for Mercedes, Perez for McLaren and Schumacher has announced his retirement (again), speculation is refocusing around Massa and his position at Ferrari. Autosport think that Ferrari are looking for a one-year deal for any replacement so that Vettel can slot in alongside Alonso for 2014 and have mentioned both Force India drivers as possible candidates for this short-term deal.

I personally don’t think Massa will be at Ferrari next year. They’re obviously touting around for a replacement or they’d have made an announcement by now. Maybe they’re still weighing up their options — whilst Massa is a known quantity he hasn’t made the most of recent scarlet machinery; however any replacement will take time to settle in and, if the deal is only for one year, one has to think whether a new face would be worth it. It might take a few races for them to get settled (assuming they’re able to settle at all, knowing the length for the deal) which might make Ferrari hierarchy wonder whether they’d be any worse off keeping Massa for one more year.

I would love to see Ferrari take a gamble and sign Kobayashi for a year. He’s such an exciting racer to watch (my bum has never been squeakier than in 2009 when Button overtook him in Brazil on his way to the title) and would no doubt grasp the opportunity with both hands.

Where does this leave Massa? Regardless of who gets his Ferrari seat (assuming he leaves, of course) I think Massa will go back to Sauber. They use Ferrari engines and gave Massa his debut in 2002, so there are links. Peter Sauber has already lost Perez to McLaren so there’s room for Massa to slot in alongside Kobayashi (or whoever is in his seat should my dream move for him come off!).

(Incidentally, the idea of Vettel at Ferrari alongside Alonso is fascinating. Whether Fernando would allow it is another matter.)

Lewis Hamilton moves to Mercedes

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 8:52 pm

So it’s two to Eddie Jordan, nil to me. Just as I was wrong in not thinking Michael Schumacher would return to F1 in 2010 (as EJ did), I was also wrong in thinking Hamilton would not move to Mercedes (again, as EJ did).

I based my Hamilton judgement on the basis that, over the course of the past three seasons, McLaren have been far more competitive than Mercedes and that Hamilton would want to drive for the team that would give him the best opportunity of winning races & championships. I thought that team would be McLaren; Hamilton thinks it’ll be Mercedes.

When the announcement was made my initial reaction was that Mercedes must have offered more money than McLaren. Ross Brawn has since said that wasn’t the case. Hamilton moved to Mercedes because he feels they offer him the best opportunity to win races in the next few years. Whether that is the case will only be apparent after the next few years. If Mercedes are winning regularly by 2014/15, then his decision will be seen as a masterstroke. If they’re not (and McLaren are) then chins will be rubbed sagely and armchair experts will talk about Hamilton’s great mistake.

There’s something else at play here that hadn’t occurred to me before: Hamilton’s need to move from McLaren in order to develop as a driver (and, by extension, a person). Damon Hill has described Hamilton as being ‘caged’ at McLaren, of being managed to high heaven. A new start in a new team with new personnel and lofty goals sounds like the perfect antidote.

I started the week thinking Hamilton had made a mistake in leaving McLaren. Having thought about it some more and having read more details as they’ve come out, I no longer think it’s a mistake. I think it’ll be good for Hamilton the man; I hope it’s as good for Hamilton the driver.

Powered by WordPress