What my followers are working on / December 2015

Designing the new Twitter profiles

Designing the new Twitter profiles

☰ The Origin of Tweet

Craig Hockenberry:

It’s not everyday that a word you helped create gets added to this prestigious publication, so I thought I’d share a bit of the early history of the word “tweet.”

Craig Hockenberry describes the origin of the word “tweet” and how Twitterrific was born.

☰ The right client for Twitter, App.net, Tent.io – A draft

It’s easy to find a wide variety of clients in any App Store out there. Some are mighty like Tweetbot, some are kind of unknown, like Weet. Then there is the official app by Twitter and a lot more – and I don’t love any of them.

Times changed. Tweetie was nice when it was released some years ago. Nowadays it wouldn’t be good enough, it would feel cheap. Back then, everyone liked that it looked and behaved like iOS in every way. Today that would just feel wrong. Not even the iOS standard apps do that anymore.

Those times felt like a gold rush for app developers and designers. Everyone built a client for Twitter. That changed some weeks ago, when Twitter announced a lot of new rules which basically render the development of a third party Twitter client useless.

Just a quick look on the five clients for Twitter that I consider worth testing:

  • The official Twitter app: It’s nice, looks good, feels okay, but somehow it’s cluttered with what Twitter thinks its needs to become a better brand. All those discover and connect things aren’t anything I want and need in an app that’s basically meant to communicate with others.
  • Good old Twitterrific: I never liked it. It was (one of) the first native apps for Twitter and it sure is not a bad client, but I don’t like the unified timeline approach and the look of it. It’s too cute, far too many colors, sweet little birdy patterns and so on. Also it lacks some of the basic functions like pull to refresh.
  • Twittelator Neue: Beautiful. It looks and feels unique. It has many nice ideas, the display of embedded images, for example, but somehow I never grew used to it. It felt far too designed and the font is too thin for my taste. (One of the best things is the little pop up animation when you tap on a picture.)
  • New to the game is Flurry: Beautiful and fast, it’s basically a Tweetie for 2012. It lacks some basic functionality but I think it’s on a good way.
  • Tweetbot: My go to client at the moment. I don’t really like how it looks or feels, but it delivers an all round experience. You can do nearly anything you want and its mostly without bugs and therefore reliable

What’s the problem?

There really is no problem. I like many of the clients on the market, but I love none of them. Also I’m a designer, so I figured I could try to build something that would fit my needs and my understanding of mobile design in 2012.

Disclaimer: This is nothing that’s really meant to get built, consider it something someone threw together in Photoshop to keep his mind occupied with something else than the stuff he does at work.

The main idea

I don’t really like how the screen space is used in apps like Tweetbot. A few days ago I watched the keynote Steve Jobs held to announce the iPhone (yeah, again). He describes how a touchscreen is better than hardware buttons because we’re able to change the keys to fit every situation.

So I looked at my Twitter client of choice – Tweetbot – and asked myself: ”Which are the things I don’t like?”

I want something that shows as much content as possible. Ana pp whose main aspects (the tweets, posts, whatever) are not squeezed between two dark bars, one that feels fast and adapts to the situation at hand.

What I came up with

I really like how Path introduced the button that hovers above the content. I saw it and realized how much potential there is. We can add as many fancy gestures as we want, they’ll never feel quite right, because we don’t do anything with gestures in real life. Try pinching a piece of paper. Good luck. My point is: I like the idea that there can be more options hidden behind something classic as a button.

Continue reading “☰ The right client for Twitter, App.net, Tent.io – A draft”

☰ Is Tweetdeck Twitters first choice?

Matthiew Panzarino:

A new version of Tweetdeck, version 1.5,  is now available, and it brings faster navigation between columns. This comes in the form of a redesigned column browse button, sideways scroll bar and gesture support.

Am I wrong, or is it right that everyone just assumes that Twitter will keep Twitter for Mac and nobody thinks about Tweetdeck? They’ve bought Tweetdeck, a client with versions for every major OS and obviously they’re updating it. It’s quite clear what’s going on, isn’t it?

☰ Brent Simmons imagines a Twitter without Twitter

Brent Simmons:

But there’s a practical reason to use the open web: your app can’t be shut down. And Twitter is looking more and more like a company that’s thinking about shutting apps down.

I’ve no idea if his suggested RSS solution would work in reality, but it’s kind of fascinating that the best solution is obvious and not officially considered by Twitter: It’s time for paid accounts. Accounts for pro users. Keep all the “convenient” consumer stuff — the new Discover and Connect tabs — in the official app, do what you want to twitter.com, but let me pay you money. Consider both ways. Advertising for normal users and monthly payments for those who want to pay and use the apps they want without any form of advertising. I’d be happy. Take my money, Twitter.

I know, it would be a bad deal for those advertisers and it’s better for them to force everybody to use the new, reimagined and way better Twitter with ads, but I like my Twitter like I liked my Google four years ago: Pure.

☰ TwitMax

Max Friedrich:

TwitMax is a very simple post-only Twitter client for Mac OS X by Max Friedrich. It’s completely distraction-free because it doesn’t show your timeline. Use it when you’re working or isolating yourself during an Apple Event!

Letztens wollte ich produktiv arbeiten und erwischte mich dabei, wie ich immer wieder in meine Twitter-Timeline guckte. Twitter for Mac hat ein eigenständiges Neuer-Tweet-Fenster, allerdings kommt die Timeline trotzdem in den Vordergrund, wenn man einen neuen Tweet via globalem Shortcut erstellen möchte. Was also, wenn ich ab und zu meinen Unsinn loswerden, aber nicht den Unsinn der anderen lesen möchte?

Genau dieses Problem löste Max Friedrich jetzt. Und er baute sogar meinen Lieblings Neuer-Tweet-Shortcut von Haus aus ein. CMD+Shift+? nämlich. Ziemlich gute Arbeit von Max und ich denke, dass es einigen anderen auch gefallen wird.