The UX behind designing a Keyboard app in 2018

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Today we announced the launch of the Fontmoji keyboard; a project almost a year in the making. In this article I’m going to dive into some of the design questions that we encountered making this keyboard and how the goals of designing a keyboard have changed in recent years.

User behavior and the keyboard

Designing a keyboard in 2018 is vastly different than it was for the hundreds of developers that took to creating a better keyboard once Apple started allowing third-party keyboards in 2014. At that time, many users were very vocal about their displeasure with the standard iOS keyboard so third-party developers took to building a better mousetrap. Something that was easier to type on, faster, smarter ect. …


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This is a repost from Fontmoji. I designed and helped create this app! Take a look and let me know if you like it! Thanks everyone! — Michael

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Have you ever wanted to send a text but instead of writing it in boring old SF UI Text (that’s Apple’s default font btw) you wanted to write it in the shiny gold letters from Game of Thrones? or in the magical and whimsical lettering of Harry Potter? or maybe you wanted to write something in a font made entirely of 3D balloons or a whole font made out of poomojis 💩? No? Well now you can! …


And actionable steps and real documents I used to make it happen

This post was originally written by my buddy Ryan Shank and is a great piece on how he built his latest company from scratch. What I really love about it is how actionable it is. He not only tells you what he did but lays out exactly how he did it, how much everything cost him (time & money) and the steps you can take to build a software company yourself. He even shares all the docs and communication he had with freelancers along the way. Now here’s Ryan.

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Click to check out our daily VLOG through Techstars NYC.

Why I decided to build a company… again.

About 6 months ago I decided that I was going to build a SaaS company from scratch. I had recently sold my company and found myself in discussions with a number of startups around making angel investments. This didn’t get me too excited so I wanted to see if I could build and launch a SaaS company for the same amount of money that I would have otherwise angel invested into other companies. …


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Breaking Down the Sweetgreen iOS App

Sweetgreen, iOS App

So I’ve never actually used the sweetgreen app. I mean, I’ve had it on my phone for about a year and I play around with it pretty often, but I’ve never used it for it’s primary purpose; to pre-order a salad.

I guess I figure if I leave it on my home screen long enough maybe one day I’ll accidentally order a salad and that will kickstart a new lifestyle of shredded cabbage and Quinoa. But until that day I’ll stick to pizza and admiring the imaginative and elegant user experience my healthitarian brethren over at Sweetgreen constructed.

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Transitions as smooth as their housemade hummus.


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How the radest design newsletter ever came to be...

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This publication will serve as the archive for content from the righteous design newsletter HOT Apps (launching TODAY!).

HOT Apps is a newsletter for designers, entrepreneurs, developers or tech enthusiasts of all kinds. Each week I choose a couple apps to examine and go to work. I’m not necessarily looking for apps already on everyone’s phone or, ironically, what’s “hot” in the app/google play store right now. What I’m looking for is great and/or unique UX & UI that I can share with you, break it down and discuss.

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As a product designer, I am always searching for apps that exemplify great UX and/or UI and dissecting them. Now I have decided to write up and share my discoveries with you folks. Alright, enough chit-chat, sign up below and prepare for some totally bitchin newsletters!

-Michael


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by Michael Horton | Co-Founder, CEO & Head of Product at Slate

We have been living in a world of ‘clean and minimal’ for quite some time, so what’s next?

Over the last several months, some of the leaders of innovative design have taken ‘minimal design’ to the next level. Facebook, Airbnb and Apple have followed a similar blueprint to simplify prominent products in a way that reflects this new trend of ‘Complexion Reduction’ in mobile design.

WHAT THE HELL IS COMPLEXION REDUCTION?

You’ve never heard of ‘Complexion Reduction’ you say? Well yea, that’s because I just made the term up. Recently I’ve noticed a new trend that is beyond flat design, beyond minimal design and independent of progressive reduction. Some may claim that this is just the next step of minimal design being implemented into the mobile realm but I say it is something more distinct. There are specific similarities and characteristics that define this new trend. So I decided to name it. …


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A look into my process.

Intro

This project was something I created in early December of 2014 as part of my UI/UX apprenticeship with Bloc. The assignment was to take what I had learned so far in the bootcamp and apply it to designing my first mobile application. We were given a basic style guide to follow and the premise of the app; an application where users can find food trucks near them, view a menu, select items for purchase, and checkout.

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The styleguide I was given to follow.

Identify and Understand the Problem

The basic problem was identified for me in this scenario:

While several mobile payment solutions exist currently, like Square Cash or PayPal mobile, when pertaining to food trucks, a well-designed discovery and payment solution hasn’t been created. …

About

Michael Horton

Co-Founder & CEO at Slate, Product Designer

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