Can I Copy Your Homework?
Indian telecommunications company Reliance Jio last week released the tremendously innovative JioMeet – a carbon copy of Zoom, from appearance to text and, alas, even those rubbish toggle buttons I whined about last week.
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but Zoom is even so pondering suing JioMeet over the two apps’ likeness (which they most certainly ought to). Jio, to my complete lack of surprise, couldn’t seem to care less and has cloned the WhatsApp home page in their most recent update to JioChat.
All this is funny enough alone, but add to it the fact that Facebook (who owns WhatsApp) has invested next to $6 billion in Reliance Jio and matters become more absurd still. I must say the utter shamelessness of Jio is beyond belief.
A New Phase for Waze
The navigation app Waze has introduced a new identity that ‘enhances the platform’s collaborative spirit and provides a better experience on the road.’
The iconic Wazer – to me, until now, a bit too naive – has a bolder, more mature appearance. It stays true to the brand’s charming friendliness but looks incomparably more trustworthy. The same is true for Waze’s new typography which does away with the hideous rounded sans-serif of 2006 in favour of a semi-geometric typeface called Boing.
Icons have black strokes and brighter colours, illustrations have black strokes and brighter colours, and ‘Moods’ have – did you guess correctly? – black strokes and brighter colours. I quite like this more deliberate look.
Last, a system called ‘Block by Block’ creates modular patterns that look like cityscapes and tie the brand together in communications. All of the above makes for a great enhancement of Waze’s previously underwhelming identity, building on top of its expressiveness with much-welcome advances.
Evernoticed These Flaws?
Bad design is mainstream, and I have learned to accept its existence. By no means do I enjoy having to put up with it, but I have long stopped asking myself the question ‘Who’s designed this?’ because I know nobody has.
Small flaws in good design are, however, another story. They hardly ever impact usability, but always provoke the unanswered question ‘How has this come to be?’ Which is why I have just uninstalled Evernote for the sixth time despite truly wishing to use it. (Call me a nitpicker – I am.)
The status bar vanishes in modal views, notifications look remarkably like buttons, and sheets have awkwardly little bottom padding. I could go on for the rest of eternity, but for all our sakes, I won’t.