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News

Facebook redesigns the “Like” button

Facebook is pushing a new design to its iconic “Like” button. The “Like” button is now more or less a constant on just about any website, to get visitors sharing links on their own Facebook profiles.

Today, Facebook’s developer blog introduced a new way the “Like” button will show up. The new button has vectorised design. Facebook is also introducing the option of getting websites to use both the “Like” and “Share” button. The two buttons seem similar to people but they are actually very different. The “Share” button allows users to add a comment to the link they are sharing on their timeline. The “Like” button only shares the link on a users timeline.

FB new Like Button
The new Like and Share buttons rolled out by Facebook

How does one test the new “Like” button?

The Facebook “Like” and “Share” buttons are used by 7.5 million websites. But rolling out the new buttons to websites over time, Facebook is rolling the new button design to a percentage of users.

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This is a bit strange as it might mean that a website owner might not see the newly designed button while visitors to the site might get to see the button. This could be problematic especially if the new design breaks or does not go well with the overall design of a website.

Are you seeing the new “Like” button and do you like it? 😉 Do drop in your comments.

Source: Facebook Developers Blog

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News

Yahoo gets a new logo after 18 years

Yahoo today unveiled its new logo. The Yahoo logo has been the same for over the last 18 years. Yahoo had previously run a 30 days of change campaign where everyday for a month a variation of the logo was posted. Yahoo has had major failures over the years and still is considered a company with a tricky future. But in the last year, under a new CEO it has tried very hard to re-invent itself.

So here is the newly designed logo for Yahoo against different backgrounds.

Yahoo New Logo
Yahoo’s New Logo

The new logo does not have any straight lines. The letters have thin and thick strokes.

The new logo is not impressive. It is different mainly in the context of typography but still retains the idea of spelling out the word “Yahoo!” from the old logo. By the way, here is the old logo which Yahoo has discarded.

Yahoo Old Logo
Yahoo’s Old Logo

Marissa Mayer is a ex-Google employee who took over as Yahoo CEO. She is a geek and has tried to reinvent Yahoo back to its geeky glory. The Yahoo CEO has not disappointed with her hands on with the new logo designing process. She also outlined the process of creating the new logo in a blog post.

Yahoo has lately over the last year made a lot of noise. They firstly bought Tumblr and rolled out 1 TB free hosting space for photos on Flickr. They have revamped email services with a new interface or rather phased out the older email interface. Yahoo mail is even offering saving attachments directly into Dropbox accounts as they do not have their own cloud sync service. Yahoo seems to be getting its act togeather but I feel it might be too late for it to ever reach its former glory.

Getting back to the new logo for Yahoo, what do you think about it? Do drop in your comments.

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Analysis

iOS 7 beta: Apple has got lots of things to fix

Apple has finally unveiled its much anticipated next generation of iOS at WWDC. Apparently, due to the rumours that circulated for months, people expected a radical change – nothing surprising in that, it happens at every WWDC event.

iOS 7

But what’s surprising is, this time Apple has actually delivered. iOS 7 is indeed the biggest change to Apple’s mobile operating system.

The biggest change is of course the change in user interface. Talking about design, it’s like they started all over again.

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If you’re a long time iOS user, you’ll be surprised to see that there are no faux wood, leather, stitches and other skeuomorphic elements. The new interface looks minimal, focused on content – it’s great, on a whole.

But it’s buggy, it feels like Apple’s design team has rushed to ship this product. It doesn’t feel perfect. Here’s why.

Not exactly Flat

This is not a bug, this is a misconception from people.

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Flat design. If you know very little about design but want to make up stuff, this is the best way to do it – call everything as flat design.

Flat design has been a trend in graphic and web design for a while now, and there’s nothing wrong about that. What’s stupid though is, complaining everything as flat.

Layers

iOS 7 is not exactly flat design. Few reasons:

First up, in Flat design, gradients don’t come into picture at all. The icons in iOS 7 have gradients as background. Some of those gradients look lame, but yeah, they exist.

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iOS 7 shows off a new thing called Parallax effect – it creates a 3D illusion on your iPhone when you tilt it. There’s no way 3D illusions can come into flat design.

Transparency is everywhere in the OS. Pull the Control Center from down and you see the transparent rainbow colours as background. Again, transparency doesn’t come in Flat design. That’s the reason Microsoft removed Aero from Windows 8.

Now let’s see what Apple has got wrong.

Icons

Icons are the worst thing about iOS 7. There’s just no sense of unity among them.

icons

Take a look at Mail icon – there’s a gradient going from dark blue to light blue (cyan). Next see the App store icon, the gradient goes from light blue to dark blue.

Grad

Opposite gradients, seriously?

That’s not all, thought. Take a look at the Phone icon. It looks there is a solid colour as background, right? No, it’s a gradient. A very subtle gradient. Then there is the Camera icon which looks like clipart.

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The Stocks icon looks as if the colours are inverted, and the Settings icon doesn’t even look like a gear.

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Apple says they have put a lot of effort and made all these icons on a new grid
system, which is nice, but they looks plain ugly.

Control Center

Control Center in iOS 7 is very exciting. That’s because you can quickly toggle settings without opening the Settings app. But let’s look at the design.

Control Center

At the first look, it looks beautiful. As you start examining closely, you’ll get a doubt on whether you’re looking at an Android ROM. Because, there are so many settings in this very single window.

There are two types of icons here – the first ones are circular and the second ones are rounded rectangles. There are three sliders here. Three, I repeat. One for brightness. One for volume. And the last one for Music. Seriously, Apple?!

Also, who needs a Camera inside this, when you already have it on lock screen? Also, I have no idea what that second icon in the last row means. A timer may be? I don’t know. The calculator app is pretty useless, too.

Also, while we’re at Control Center, it’s important to notice that the new Notification Center still doesn’t fix the small x’s. Enjoy tapping those minuscule buttons.

Consistency is missing

You’ve just seen the design of Control Center, now take a look at the design of Share feature.

Share

Why are the icons drawn as outlines? Why not draw them as filled ones like Control Center? Also, even the stroke width seems to be lesser. The Camera icon doesn’t convey any meaning, it doesn’t look like a Camera at all.

Photos

There’s no consistency in buttons. Take the Photos app for example, here you have Select and Share buttons at top right. Yeah, those are buttons, not pieces of text (Hello, Windows Phone!). Buttons in iOS always used to be distinct – with a unique gradient and shadow. That makes it easily distinguishable. Not anymore.

These buttons co exist with “Install” buttons in App Store which look like the old buttons.

At the end of the day, iOS 7 is still just a beta update. The design community largely being consistent of iPhone users, I’m sure (or at least hope) Apple will take suggestions from them and fix these things in the stable release.

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News

Microsoft Reboots With a New Logo

Microsoft might have decided to dump the word “Metro” to describe the UI for Windows but they have remained loyal to the design philosophy in the new minimalist looking logo for Microsoft.

The new logo is a lot more simpler and stylish from its previous iteration.

Microsoft New Logo

The new logo for Microsoft was not surprising as it has rolled out new branding exercise for many of its products. The biggest being a new single coloured Windows logo.

Here is a video below which shows how Microsoft has brought about the new logos which have similar style for Microsoft, Windows 8, Office and Xbox.

What are your views on the the new Microsoft Logo? Do drop in your comments.

(via Microsoft Blog)

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News

Microsoft’s “Metro” Style to be called “Windows 8 style UI”

Microsoft over the pass year or so has pushed it’s new design philosophy as “metro-style”. The new tile based design philosophy is used extensively in Windows 8 and even the recently unveiled email service called Outlook.com.

All of a sudden, Microsoft has been asking developers to avoid using the word metro in their apps. It means dropping the word “Metro” from its branding and replacing it with the lamer version “Windows 8 style UI”.

Why the sudden aversion for the word “Metro”?

Microsoft has been unabashedly using the words “Metro style” for describing its new design philosophy. According to ZDnet, the Microsoft suddenly claims, that “Metro” was only a code name during their product development cycle.

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Now that Microsoft’s Windows 8 has hit RTM and up for a public launch in 26th October, it has suddenly decided to do away with “Metro”.

In this press release by Microsoft about Steve Ballmer at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, I came across the term “metro-style” about 12 times and the word “metro” 27 times.

That seems like a rather strange way to NOT promote “metro style” as a public brand.

The real reason could possibly be a trademark litigation over the usage of the word “metro” but one expected Microsoft to do its homework a lot better.

The term “metro style” has been in use for describing Windows 8 design for over a year now. The least Microsoft could have done was make sure they had the copyright to using it as a commercial brand and not leaving it things for so late.

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News

New Google Bar Brings Search Across All Google Products

In the past 4 months or so, Google has been busy updating all their products with new design layouts. Firstly Google+ was rolled out a different layout. Google soon brought about similar changes to other services too.

Everyone now has a black bar at the top across all Google products which is visible but not too much of a distraction. Actually a lot of people have never bothered with the Google bar at the top.

Now Google has announced a roll out of a new Google bar which does not seem to be as prominent as the black bar. Actually it looks more like a drop-down menu.

This will make the design of all Google products a lot more uniform than ever before.

Some might not like it, but from a practicality point of view it makes sense. The new Google bar will allow search from any Google product or service being used. The Google+ sharing options too will become more prominent.

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Here is a video of the new design change

The re-design from Google over the months as been something that we have never seen before. The uniformity brought together into products and their layout shows that Google is not just leaving it up to users to find interesting features about their services but is pro-actively pushing them to users.

Do you like the new design? Do you find it more user-friendly than before? Do drop in your comments.

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News

Facebook introduces Bigger and Faster photos!

Facebook once again changes it’s album photo size and the way Facebook shows it. The photos are now bigger and finally Facebook changed it’s black background photo viewer. The new size for the Facebook photos are 960 pixels (earlier it was 720 pixels) that means the new bigger photos are really that big! It’s gonna cover your whole screen so that person who’s viewing it will focus on the pic only as it will cover everything else on the page.

In the pic above you can see the difference between a 720 pixel and 960 pixel pictures. (For comparison only, not actual size).

The second change is that the photos now will be loaded faster with it’s new viewer. Also they changed the black background as we see in the current viewer. The new viewer will have a white background and the image will cover whole screen hiding the things in background.

Facebook faster loading pictures

Other options of Photo viewer are still the same. You still can’t right click on the photos and you have to click ‘download’ for saving a picture to your desktop. Please note that this feature is not available for everyone yet and Facebook will be rolling out this to everyone within next few days.

Do share your reviews with us. 🙂

(images via Facebook blog)

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News

Facebook copies features from Google+ in it’s new design [Leaked]

A moment ago, Facebook launched it it’s new design with lot’s of changes in it’s theme. This new interface is good and isn’t irritating like it’s older design changes. But somehow I feel that Facebook copied things from Google+ which is a recently launched Social Networking website from Google.

Like Google plus, Facebook also started showing bigger pictures in it’s news feed. Pictures uploaded by you or even those pics on which you have commented or liked. Also there’s a new ‘This is a Highlight’ feature which will move that post to top posts. Let’s have a look at all the changes in new Facebook design.

facebook new design

(click to enlarge)

  1. No option of switching between ‘Recent Posts’ and Top Posts’. It shows RECENT STORIES by default and once you will refresh the page it will show ‘Stories From The Last 5 Days’.

  2. Just like Google+, Facebook is not showing the space for sharing status by default. You have to click on the option ‘Share: Status’ first and then it’s will be opened.

  3. New option of ‘This is a Highlight’. If you select this option for a post it will be shown in Top Posts to you and other mutual users. That means every post is a highlighted post in ‘Stories From The Last 5 Days’.

  4. Little change in the way events are shown, now click on an event won’t open it in a new window, rather it will show a small tab in the same page. In case of birthdays, this tab will show space to wish birthdays directly on that person’s wall.

  5. New Ticker, In this ticker your friend’s updates will be shown just like a news channel shows ‘breaking news’ on bottom of the channel. Again this will not be opened in a new window, it’ll just open a temporary small tab. (See the image below).

  6. Again a feature copied from Google+, Facebook started showing images uploaded by you, those you have liked or commented. Also the size of these images is comparable to those in Google plus and it’ll be opened in the black window like Facebook used to show.

  7. A minor change, Facebook moved some of it’s links from footer to it’s sidebar. These links are Advertising · Careers · Privacy · Terms · Help · English (US) and Facebook © 2011.

facebook design

These are some changes in the new Facebook design, please inform me if I missed anything. And don’t forget to tell us whether you liked the new design or not?

Note: Please note that Facebook is still testing this design and it’s not available to everyone yet.

Categories
Tips

What is behind Google’s Unified Design Theory!

If you have noticed Google recently, you should have noticed the new interface for almost all products.  The interesting part is that all the interface looks very similar to Google plus interface. Google is investing heavily in Google Plus to drive growth in its future on the web.  They have big plans for it.

The first re-design that took place was the black menu bar at the top of all its products.

Take a look at the Google plus interface. The tab that you are visiting is show in ‘Red’. Other significant options are highlighted with ‘Red’ prominent buttons.

Google Search Layout

Updating Google search interface is not something new.  Google repeatedly updates its search interface making the searching easier and more efficient for users.  However the latest update, unifies with Google plus.  Nothing more than that. Take a look at the screenshot.

New Google search interface

New Google search interface

 Google News:

New and updated Google news U.S edition interface

New edition is cleaner than the previous one.  If you have noticed closely, multimedia contents are more discoverable in this new one.

Google Docs

Google added an option to switch to new interface. However  you can revert back to classic interface, if you don’t like it.

Google Docs new interface

Google Docs new interface

This new layout also stays consistent with Google Plus.

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Gmail

Google had added the Google plus theme to Gmail Theme library.  You can enable it by visiting themes in settings and selecting ‘Preview’ and ‘Preview(Dense)’.  Unlike other products, I like new gmail look.  It appears less cluttered and more effective.

Gmail new interface
Gmail new interface

You can read more about that here

Google Books:

Google Books has also got its Google Plus like design update.

Google Books new interface
Google Books new interface

More white spaces now and less space for books, which I feel is not user friendly.

What is behind this unified design theory?

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  • With Google plus update on all Google product,  Gmail looks more cleaner, while other products remains same and Google books appearance gets downgraded.
  • Google might be looking to make fans for one service more to another product or service with a lot more ease, as the design and layouts keep things familiar.
  • It also might be a way to suggest that all Google products will come together at Google+.

But unfortunately Google products does lose its unique look and some people might get tired of the uniformed design across all Google services.

What are your views on Google’s new design layouts for all its services and products? Do drop in your comments.


Editor’s Note: This post was written by Guest Author Girish Mony. If you would like to write Guest Posts on Devils’ Workshop, join us here.

Categories
Analysis

List of 5 Best Designed Facebook Pages

There are millions of pages on Facebook which remain bound to the custom blue and white. This list is not about them. This list is about those extremely well designed pages which make you question where you are – Facebook or a beautifully crafted website! Here it comes people, the best designed Facebook Pages:

#1. Cheetos

The Facebook page of Cheetos is makes it to the top of my list. With sound effects, smart graphics and brilliant styling, Cheetos makes you forget that you are on a regular Facebook Page. Its customized and well branded for the target audience of the product. It’s a no brainer how it made it to my list.

#2. Nissan

Nissan zooms in to our list with a well-organized Facebook page catering to each individual product listed and linked to the related web page, YouTube videos and regular polls. Its a concise and neatly planned Facebook Page offering fans right amount of details.

#3. BlackBerry

Shouldn’t be surprised after the success of the BlackBerry models, how difficult is designing a sleek Facebook page? Not much for Research In Motion who sure does loves what it does. 😉


#4. YouTube

The Facebook page for YouTube is the next on my list. Its kept updated and retains the branding features of the original site.

#5. Levis

After inventing the alternative to skin (read: Jeans!), Levis keeps up its name amongst fans with a classic Facebook page.

So these are my top 5 picks for the best designed Facebook Pages. It’s difficult task to personalize the page as Facebook has it ‘blues’ all over which give brands with different trademark colors a tough time. Keeping that in mind, I think these 5 have done a commendable task at proving their aesthetic with fans.

Let me know what you think about this article. Don’t forget to leave behind your comments and suggestions below.