Blog: Secrets from the Chef

Windows 7: clothes count for first impressions

Yegor Gilyov, 12 February 2009 Comments (0)

Criticism Reviews Visual style

Judging by the many online reviews, the brave souls who have downloaded and installed the beta version of Windows 7 are, in general, pleasantly surprised. Your humble servant likewise entered into the ranks of the brave souls. I confirm: it’s actually pleasant to work with No. 7. However, given the many new and different functionalities, and well-written reviews of other authors, allow me to throw in my two cents worth in our particular area of expertise: visual interface design.

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10 Outstanding Metaphors in Icon Design

Denis Kortunov, 22 January 2009 Comments (4)

Icon design Reviews

10 outstanding metaphors in icon designFor each and every action or object, different icons can be drawn. These can have any variations: in style, color, perspective and even metaphor. In my view, the latter is the most valuable in the design of icons — the concentrated thought. And if the metaphor is original, and humorous, then it turns out to be not just an icon, but genuinely brilliant! I present for your review my personal selection of icons based upon unusual and shining metaphors.

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Three top racing games for the iPhone

Dmitri Joukov, 1 January 2009 Comments (0)

iPhone Reviews

What do you use to keep your hands busy outside of home or work if you are already holding an iPhone? The answer is simple – download and play games. I like racing simulators. Honestly, I was rather skeptical about the first releases of racing games for the iPhone, since a good racing simulator requires buttons if not a steering wheel with pedals. “The iPhone is a steering wheel in itself”, – my hero – an attentive reader – might object. Now imagine that you don’t have to hold on to your steering wheel in your car because it is not attached to anything. You just have to swivel it in the air. Sounds odd? But the game developers together with Apple suggest that we do just that.

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WorkSection Review

Yegor Gilyov, 26 December 2008 Comments (0)

Basecamp Reviews Tools

WorkSection: logoWe have been using Basecamp (web-based project management and collaboration tool developed by 37signals) for many years. I will not be able to truly emphasize on how important this tool is for us since our clients are scattered around the Globe and all communication with them is handled online.

For small service IT companies like ours, Basecamp became a de-facto standard. On one hand it is very convenient: new users recently invited into our cozy Extranet have no problem getting around. On the other hand, we get the feeling that Basecamp is “too tight”. And it is not surprising: you cannot please everyone and the guys from 37signals are well aware of that and not even trying.

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Silverlighter

Denis Kortunov, 11 December 2008 Comments (0)

Case Studies Icon design

SilverlighterOnce upon a time Microsoft invented a cross-browser cross-platform technology for developing rich interactive web applications based on .NET called Silverlight. Later appeared the people who liked the technology and they created Silverlighter, a community of Silverlight supporters.

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What icons are for

Yegor Gilyov, 6 November 2008 Comments (0)

Fundamentals Icon design Master-class Usability

What icons are for You would not believe it but in 1985 Apple asserted an idea in its developers’ guide to replace text messages with icons wherever possible. As though icons would be more clear to a novice user than words. Of course this is bollocks. It is much easier to express any idea in words.

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Supermarket interface or Cart 2.0

Denis Kortunov, 29 October 2008 Comments (0)

Future

Supermarket interface or Cart 2.0When I visit a supermarket I sometimes engage in somewhat indecent activity amidst endless shelves with groceries. I like to peek into other people’s carts. I observe what other people buy. But it is not some useless habit. Sometimes I happen to like some buyers and I pick the same products from shelves. This way I have discovered for myself a range of tasty products and many extraordinary but useful things.

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Interface to the past

Denis Kortunov, 24 September 2008 Comments (0)

Future

Many people fail to differentiate between a GPS receiver and a navigator but it seems to me that the scope of application for the global positioning is much wider. If you fit a GPS module into simple and utilitarian things, you may create new and surprisingly useful possibilities. And if you through in the Internet and add some social networks ad gustum — the impossible becomes real.

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Stitcher iPhone Application

Dmitri Joukov, 23 September 2008 Comments (0)

Case Studies Icon design iPhone

Stitcher iPhone ApplicationOur good friends from d.workz approached us for help in creating an interface for their Stitcher version for the iPhone. The work demanded the best.

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Dribbler

Denis Kortunov, 2 September 2008 Comments (0)

Case Studies

DribblerOur friends from Thematic Media had an idea of creating a community of football fans with role-play elements. They came up with the name — Dribbler on their own but let us draw the logo for the project.

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How to draw an icon. Minimization process

Olesya Kozlova, 25 June 2008 Comments (2)

Adobe Illustrator Icon design Master-class

So get your magnifying glasses handy — we continue! After long and feisty arguments (do not worry — no blasters involved) we have 3 approved icons sized 64×64. Further starts the work that requires attention and patience but its end result will be seen by the Alien Invaders much more often (as it happens in the process of evolution they did not enlarge the screens but worked on improving their eyesight). Now we will grab your attention with the proper method of drawing small icons.

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Why the new Google favicon is bad

Denis Kortunov, 10 June 2008 Comments (44)

Criticism Icon design

Google faviconA few days ago I visited the site of my favorite search engine and saw a new icon in the URL line. My first thought was that I misspelled the URL but then it occurred to me that Google had changed its favicon. I do not reckon it’s some kind of world-shaker for the whole IT industry but to me — an GUI designer — this fact appealed as rather interesting.

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Fancy color names or Royal Blue

Denis Kortunov, 28 March 2008 Comments (1)

Fundamentals

Royal BlueIt all started when our client wrote, seemingly as an afterthought: “Please change the color of the icon to royal blue.” To tell you the truth, this request struck me as rather unusual. We have dark blue, light blue and ordinary blue, but no royal blue that I knew about. So I did some research.

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Enlarge your icons

Denis Kortunov, 18 March 2008 Comments (4)

Icon design

Tom Cruise playing Mr. SheetA small icon is OK! It’s nothing to be ashamed of; it’s not a big deal. Icons can even be very small or plain tiny. This has been their iconic fate. For many years it was the reality and everyone was happy. But something went wrong. All of a sudden, icons got big!

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10 Mistakes in Icon Design

Denis Kortunov, 12 February 2008 Comments (94)

Criticism Fundamentals Icon design

10 Mistakes in Icon DesignIt is much easier to criticize somebody else’s work than to create something cool yourself. But if you apply a systematic approach to criticizing, make a numbered list and prepare illustrations, it will be regarded as a fully-fledged analysis! In my opinion, icon design is undergoing a transitional period. On the one hand, screen resolutions are increasing, hence enhancing icons. On the other hand, we still have good old pixels. Icons sized 16×16 and even smaller are still widely used. And so, here are the most commonly observed mistakes in icon design…

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My GTD experience: emptying my inbox with GTDInbox

Yegor Gilyov, 10 February 2008 Comments (2)

Productivity Tools

It was a year and a half ago, my head brimming with ideas about GTD, when I realized that an efficient system of self-organization based on the principles of GTD would make most sense if built around the email client; simply because the vast majority of incoming material requiring attention is delivered via email.

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My GTD experience: emptying your head

Yegor Gilyov, 23 January 2008 Comments (0)

Books Productivity

I wanted to share my own experience in organizing my life in accordance with GTD for a very long time. You have most likely heard about the GTD. However you have probably missed the book under the same name. I would definitely recommend everyone to read this book. Nevertheless I will try to tell you my story so that some of the methods comprising the theory would be clear to you even without reading the book.

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Autokadabra

Denis Kortunov, 16 January 2008 Comments (0)

Case Studies Icon design

AutokadabraThematic Media thought about setting up a social network for motorists, however this was meant to be a special network with some RPG features. It was called Autokadabra.

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All you wanted to know about Turbomilk but were too shy to ask

Yegor Gilyov, 30 October 2007 Comments (1)

Turbomilk

Our zealous readers must remember how we hosted our dear guests from Dominion this July. And prior to that we had paid a visit to that wonderful studio ourselves where we were treated with some tea and a Q&A session. So, what kind of questions can site builders have to interface designers? Luckily we got all the moves on paper and nothing will prevent us from sharing it.

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How to change icons: guidelines for inducing coziness

Igor Koroluk, 6 September 2007 Comments (1)

Desktop

The use of free iconsIt would not come as a surprise for you that a man always tries to arrange his living within the bounds of his personal idea of beauty: the Amber Room or new IKEA rug, freshly painted cave painting next to the fireplace or a stuffed stuffed sword fish in the conference room — no principal difference here. The motive is always the same.

Turbomilk is happy to help the mankind in its aspiration to make the world a better place and to increase the enthropy to a whole new league. Do you remember our outstanding collections of free icons?

Some still ask how they can change one icon to another. The answer is easy. The most complex thing about it is to come up with a name for a sleepy walrus and what about that golden altar from the Monsters set. Let’s suggest that our test object is the Annual Reports folder.

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