Help the user, but don’t get in his way

Ed Orozco
Ed Orozco
Jan 14, 2016 · 3 min read

When designing user experiences one must always mind the users’ intention and their context. The iOS team shows us some great examples of what can be achieved when designing for context.

One of my favorites is the quick access to the music apps.

1. Quick access to music apps.

Knowing that people use their iPhone’s music or podcasts apps on the go they’ve come up with a great way to help the user access them very fast. When iOS detects an input jack it shows an icon of the last app used for music or podcasts right on the left corner of the screen.

2. Dynamic font color.

Another interesting feature happens almost imperceptibly: the color of the font changes according to the background to provide better contrast, and thus, enhancing readability. This happens automatically thanks to iOS ability to recognize the hue of the images used as backgrounds.

3. Siri Suggestions and Spotlight

Whenever the user brings up Spotlight, the system shows quick access to the most recently used apps. Also it brings up the keyboard immediately so the user can start typing without having to tap on the search field.

As the user starts typing, and in a very Google-ish fashion, Spotlight begins to show real-time results from all over the cloud including appointments, e-mails, contacts, google search results, notes, podcasts and even Evernote notes!

These are but a few of the many pleasant -and often overlooked- details in iOS and the more you use it the more you will discovery how they enhance the software providing an excellent user experience that’s really focused on what ultimately matters the most: you.

What other features do you enjoy in iOS? What features you don’t like? What could be a good nice-to-have?

Originally published at on January 14, 2016.

Ed Orozco

Written by

Ed Orozco

Head of Strategy at WANDR. I write about Design strategy. Remote 🌎 –

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