Once you’ve lived in New York for a while, you don’t necessarily need a specific route to get between two points. You know roughly which subway lines will you get from point A to point B. The important thing becomes knowing which trains are operating normally and which are delayed or rerouted (which seems pretty common these days). To that end, the MTA site provides a status widget providing an overview, but I’d like it to be a single click (or two-finger swipe) away in the Today view of the Notifications Center. A similar display would also be useful on phones.
Here's the UI as seen in Safari Technical Preview 41, released October 4, 2017.
Revised Responsive Design Mode
Add a bandwidth throttling menu:
Improve the contrast of the selected viewport setting in a style consistent with the Web Inspector
Show a rotate icon when hovering on a device icon
Align label baselines
Add a screen mode menu for iPads that would allow selection from:
This provides an explicit UI for using the iPad multi-tasking modes and would allow users to switch between portrait and landscape orientations of different iPad models while staying in a multi-tasking view. In STP 41, you can skip cycling through the iPad multi-tasking modes by Option-clicking the iPad icon.
When resizing objects in Sketch, I’d like to see the increment (or decrement) value along with the dimensions.
The change value is always relative to the dimensions before the drag began, so if you increased the width of the example above by 10, then decreased that by 5 without releasing the drag handle, the counter would read +5.
If they prove distracting, maybe a “Show dimension change counts” checkbox in the Layers section of Preferences.
Ideally, these would display when resizing using the keyboard as well.
Throw typography nerds a bone by using a proper multiplication symbol rather than an x for the width/height separator. I assume you can add it from the Characters palette to the appropriate place in Xcode.
I’m really happy with how the new (nestable!) symbols are shaping up in the Sketch 3.7 betas — great work by the team at Bohemian Coding.
I used the icon font Apple released as part of the 30th anniversary of the Mac to create a couple 2560 × 1600 desktop backgrounds. I stuck to particularly notable Macs and the models I or my family have owned.
In the move to digital 1, and particularly with streaming, the musicians who play on recordings are rarely given credit outside of AllMusic or Wikipedia. A PDF of the liner notes might mention personnel, but I don’t know of any download or streaming service that embeds such information in tracks. For MP3, there is a standard in place for such metadata — ID3 has the TMCL and TIPL for tagging files with personnel credits. There are Apple namespaced equivalents for MP4 (AAC) files. I’ve long used the Comments field for this purpose, but it suffers from limited character length and lack of structure. The only software I’ve found that supports TMCL and TIPL with an interface designed for their input is a Windows application called ID3TagIt. Not wanting to fire up a virtual machine to use an app which has not been updated since 2006, it would be great to see support in Metadatics2. Currently, it handles musician credits only as raw text:
I’d like to see a UI for inputting credits:
The menu button at the right of the name field would give you access to commands to remove the person, the instrument or role, or add another person with the same instrument or role.
Providing a field for the Lyricist would also be nice:
Of course, this is pointless if playback software doesn’t provide some way to use this metadata. I want to be able to start a stream of songs with lyrics by Stevie Wonder, or create a Smart Playlist with all recordings of Pino Palladino on bass. Unfortunately, Apple seems to have lost interest in expanding iTunes’ metadata support and Spotify and Rdio have only the most basic track metadata.
The persistent alignment controls in Sketch could double as a way to add guides around canvas selections. The basic idea is that depressing a modifier key would switch the toolbar into a guide placement quasi-mode, with the icons and tooltips updating to reflect the change. Ideally, the icons in the toolbar would reflect the guide color set in Sketch’s preferences (red being the default).
A few ideas to improve the alignment guides in Bohemian Coding’s Sketch, which I’ve been using more and more since Adobe announced that they pulled the plug on Fireworks — just like Obama will do to your sweet old granny.
In the current version (2.3.1), guide positions are hard to read and you can’t easily space them from each other and the edge of the artboard.
There is also currently no way to position them by numeric input, a feature I found very useful in Fireworks.
Say you’ve decided to change the height (or width) of an element in your design, a change that must propagate. It would be great to be able to move all of the guides on one axis in one pass.
The input boxes for individual and batch position adjustment would of course let you increment their values using the arrow keys and change them using mathematical operations, two features I’ve found really useful in Sketch.
Working with a laptop and large external display reminded me of an interface irritation particular to multi-monitor setups in which the displays are of different sizes. For instance, a stacked arrangement with the menu bar on the large display on top and the Dock on the small one below. You can easily move the cursor to the large display anywhere along the top of the smaller screen. The inverse is not true; there are portions of the large display that will not allow the cursor to move to the smaller display.
I believe an indicator showing just the passthrough zone is the best design, but there are alternatives:
Show indicators for the portions of the display that do not allow the cursor through
Show indicators for both
Keep the existing “mouse around until you find it” implementation
The color of the indicator could be calculated based on the desktop background to ensure sufficient contrast.
Some smarts about determining cursor movement direction (like that used to keep sub-menus open when the cursor is moved diagonally) would prevent the indicator from appearing when the cursor is moved toward a hot corner to activate Mission Control or an Exposé mode.
The indicator is obviously not needed when moving between displays of the same size.
Rather than displaying the Specifications box on the right of the Apple Store’s BTO pages (such as the grande iMac), the images to the left of the sections could update to show more specific information about the current configuration.