Play Small

Really good post from Ben Terret about the idea of Play Small. Spot on.

One thing that really brings home Play Small to me is iPhone web pages.

Most people would assume that a mobile web page is a compromise. Not as good or as rich as the main page. The thing is, more and more I’m finding I like the mobile pages better than the main pages.

Stripped of all superfluous content and navigation, devoid of over elobarate graphics, they’re like raw ‘what I came here for’ in one handy pocket sized rectangle.


I now find myself opting for the small version even when the full sized is next to me on the laptop. I prefer the BBC News small. I prefer Typepad small. Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Financial Times, Telegraph – I prefer them all small.


These aren’t iPhone apps. These are web pages designed for the iPhone.

Dopplr is pretty much the only site where the big version works just as well on the small screen, I’d even say it was better than the mobile version. Dopplr is very well designed and it’s also constructed around a very strict grid and I suspect this is why it works so well small.


The full Dopplr site is on the left, the mobile Dopplr site is on the right.

It’s a design truth that it’s better to design something with restrictions. And it maybe that size is just another restriction, but I think it’s more than that. Just like Wil’s sketches feel light and quick, so do iPhone web pages. Partly because they are quicker (quicker to load etc) but partly because they’re demanding less of my attention. I can get to where I want to go much, much quicker.

Make no mistake, we’re currently leaving the era of Baroque brands and moving into a new period of austerity in communication. And as we move towards Depression 2.0 maybe Play Small will become a vital tool for all designers across all forms of media.

Read the full article at Noisy Decent Graphics


What ever happened to .mobi?

Shazam and Midomi: Sounds like a magic trick, but it’s mobile technology voodoo

Recognise music anywhere

I’ve been playing with a few Apps for my new iPhone and there’s some nice stuff out there. Netvibes, Remote, and Facebook are on my “keep” list and one of these will be next.

Shazam and Midomi have slightly different features sets but both use some very clever technologies to recognise music; and ask what to do with it if identified.

The camera work is shaky and this guy sounds pretty stoned but here’s Shazam in action.

This brave fella called Soldier Knows Best (great name) bust out his singing skills for a demo Midomi.

Both are free downloads, although Shazam only for a limited time. Maybe they’re both trying to get me hooked before they charge.

Some other thoughts of interest i’ve seen:

If Apple was smart, they would keep these music apps free. It is just another portal for people to purchase music from iTunes which of course, will make them a profit. If they start charging, they might as well start charging just to have the iTunes app on our computers.

I would think that Apple would be smart to negotiate a one-time fee, carry the cost themselves, and continue to reap the benefits.

Maybe Apple will look to buy-up one service to integrate and offer it as part of iTunes. Anyway, take a look.

Shazam at the iTunes App Store:

Midomi at the iTunes App Store:

More info:

Andy: writing about a video called “Presenting Twitter?”

Jack Dorsey Presents Twitter from biz stone on Vimeo.

A lot of people ask me ‘What is Twitter?’ and to be honest it’s kinda hard to explain so it’s over to company founder Jack Dorsey to give some background on Twitter and its current use.

Turns out it’s a lot more than letting your friends know ‘Where you are’ and ‘What you’re doing’; and the bits we don’t normally associate Twitter with is actually where some of more interesting stuff is happening.

David Lynch shares his thoughts about watching films on mobile phones.

This is an example of when things “just work”.

To be able to mock the concept of watching “movies” on-the-go, whilst using Apple-esque simplicity is inspired. The original clip comes from the special edition DVD of Inland Empire. The use of language is evocative and Lynchs’ delivery is captivating. The anti-Jobs? Love it.

via Nicola Davies

Want GPS on non-GPS phones? Check out the new Google Maps beta.

Google can now tap into information broadcast from mobile towers to approximate your devices current location on the map. “It’s not GPS, but it comes pretty close..” Google explains on its website. I’ve installed this and tried it in New York. It’s amazingly accurate, and on my N95 you can activate true GPS too. Very cool.

Download the latest beta: