UI Design: Animation

on Oct 26, 2007

Being fairly busy this week, I am going to skip over the regular Friday Review. Instead, I will offer my thoughts on the use of animation in user interface (UI) design.

Today, OS X Leopard is released for the Mac. It’s a new operating system that offers many upgrades, one of them being Core Animation—a technology that allows for complex animations to be integrated easily into the UI. As technologies like these become more common, as we gain more processing power and as developers realize the importance of visual quality in their interfaces it is important not to jump in and implement eye candy for the sake of it. Animating the user interface is a risky business because (Click to read more)

Friday Review: ArtRage 2

on Oct 19, 2007

ArtRage UIIt’s that time again, the weekly Friday Review, and for this article we are showing off a great little application for sketching and digital painting—Art Rage 2. (Click to read more)

Typesetting UI Elements

on Oct 18, 2007


Alignment of text is important on things like buttons and tabs, and this is something that many times designers get wrong. For example, I’ve been browsing some blogs and found an interesting new application for the iPhone that let you calculate tips. Great idea, and the app looked pretty nice too—except for one thing…the alignment of text on the buttons. Now, I don’t know whether the designer or the actual SDK is at fault—that is really irrelevant—I’m not here to criticize the app, but to just illustrate a simple point about text alignment and how to do it right.
(Click to read more)

Blog Action Day

on Oct 14, 2007

blog action day banner

Today is a special day—it is of course the Blog Action Day. What this means is that over 15 thousand blogs around the world are blogging about one very important global issue today—and that issue is the environment. While Pixelshell is not a political or environmental blog, the issue of our current climate crisis concerns us all, and so I think it is important that everyone is (Click to read more)

Friday Review: Pixelmator

on Oct 12, 2007

Today we’re looking at a brand new application for the Mac called Pixelmator. As the makers of Pixelmator say, it is an image editing program “for the rest of us”. This is the stripped down version of Photoshop that anyone can use, especially that the price tag is only $59 dollars and not the colossal $600+ that Photoshop may cost you. (Click to read more)

User Interface Aesthetics Matter

on Oct 9, 2007

a UI button

A lot of people say that they don’t really care about what the software they use looks like, as long as it does its job. They are wrong—they do care—even if they don’t know about it. The cosmetic polish of a user interface (UI) should never be underestimated, and yet, hundreds of products on the market today look like the developers didn’t bother putting any effort into making things look nice. Why should they spend time “prettying” up something which in the end is only going to get used for its function?—or so they might think. What is important to understand is that the “prettying” up of the interface will actually enhance the function, through user experience. Let me give you a real world example from a completely different industry. (Click to read more)

Tutorial: Saving Images for the Web

on Oct 8, 2007

saving images for the web

I’ve just updated the site with a new illustrated tutorial on how to save images for the Web effectively. This isn’t an advanced tutorial, but more of an introduction to people who aren’t really sure about what formats to use and when. The guide is a practical overview of the three formats, PNG, JPG and GIF, and my own suggestions on where each one is most appropriate, together with some examples. Click here to read the guide. Enjoy.

Friday Review: AppZapper

on Oct 5, 2007

appzapper reviewThe Mac OS X operating system is great. Everything is elegant. Everything is simple. Whatever task you wish to do—it’s easy. Apart from one thing that is…uninstalling applications. Uninstalling applications is just plain confusing. Sure, you can just take that little app out of your Applications folder and dump it in the Trash, but will it really be gone? Are there still some system and preference files lurking around your system and wasting that precious space? Indeed, most applications can be just trashed, but some will require a more thorough removal process, which may involve you looking around many system folders, trying to find all the support files that are no longer required. (Click to read more)

Pixelshell Business Cards (Front & Back)


We had a few requests to see the back as well of our business card, plus we’re pretty darn pleased with how they came out so just want to show them off again:

Front & Back of our Pixelshell Business Card

We went for matte finish and it turned out to be a good decision. Whilst hard to capture on camera, the texture of the paper really suits the design and colors and gives it an earthy feel.

If you’re interested to know, we used VistaPrint and were pleasantly surprised. The image quality is very good and the prices cheap. The finish around the edges is a little rough on some cards but the overall presentation is very professional.

Why Apple is Keeping the iPhone Locked

on Oct 4, 2007

iPhone locked

Recently, Apple have started to lock the iPhones of people who have either unlocked their devices without first buying a proper contract with AT&T, or even more interesting, those who have installed custom programs and hacks to extend the iPhones capabilities. Despite the public pleading Apple to open up the iPhone and release a real SDK (as opposed to the current web SDK that allows developers to deliver their apps through iPhone’s inbuilt Safari web browser) to help developers make applications for the iPhone, Apple is still firmly resisting. The reasons they have given feel inadequate—will it really compromise the security of the device? Surely Apple has everything to gain from opening up the iPhone and allowing thousands of developers to make their own apps for it? (Click to read more)

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