SNAPCHAT has been a very tough social network to digest because it is fundamentally built differently as to what my goal is with this project. Snapchat is a messaging service in where messages (mostly pictures) are erased after a number of seconds set by the sender. This is an interesting twist as you just never know what is on the other end before you click on the notification buttons. The button on the lower left hand side is for messages directly sent to you, the button on the right is messages broadcasted by people who you follow. You can also send text back and forth to other people, but it mostly intended to share quick photos that disappear quickly. It’s a fun app, but I put this in the gimmick category. It’s a very well done gimmick and I don’t want to give off the impression that I am bashing the service, but I have a tough time envisioning a large number meaningful relationships being started on Snapchat.

Notification and minimal clutter on Snapchat.
Notification and minimal clutter on Snapchat.



I try to keep personal feelings and politics outside of my day to day interaction with most people, but it has been a couple of weeks filled with tragedy, Walmart pulling the confederate flag from its stores, and Gay marriage finally being legal across the entire United States. I highlight some of these things this week because it’s illustrating how different this country is from only a few decades ago. The terrible tragedy in South Carolina highlighted some of the issues that displaying the confederate flag highlighted, it is often a sign of racial hatred as pointed out by Mitt Romney.

I think it’s time to put the confederacy in the past and live in history books, it’s only been 150 years since the confederates surrendered. If the fight for gay marriage is any indication of current trends, we are doing a much better job at inclusion rather than seceding, which the confederates were all about in the 1860’s. My condolences go out to those affected first hand with the tragedy that occurred in South Carolina.


Our cell phones are the most personal devices that we own today. It is a reflection of who we are, who we are connected to and a portal to connect to others with all the connectivity inside. It’s a bit disheartening to me how Windows Phone has never really took off in the mobile phone space as I think it’s the mobile operating system that has done the best job at connecting the people close to them. When I turn on my windows phone, I am greeted with a wallpaper…nothing different than you would find on an iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry. The biggest difference is the live tiles, live tiles give you more information than a standard app icon and a bit more personal than most of the half baked widgets I see on Android.

So what is it that means so much when designing something? To me the answer to that question is the polish and attention to detail to the small subtle things that might not add a ton of functionality, but can connect with someone on a personal level. For example, the messages tile on Windows Phone winks once you receive a text message…once that number reaches 4 it has an excited emoji before you click and see what is going on. When you connect Facebook to your Windows Phone it enchances the experience as the “people” live tile rotates images of those on your friends list periodically, another personal touch right at your fingertips. I think these are huge, but features that unfortunately many in the smart phone world out there have not experienced yet. Images pulled from Facebook don’t have much clutter around it, it focuses on the shot and doesn’t allow much of the bullshit that is flying around in your profile feed to detract your eyes from the object in play. I also love the fact that you only have 2 “view controllers” to play with, your home screen which is an infinite vertical view of your live tiles and a list of your apps on the other. The video below gives people a good idea of what you are to expect from a Windows Phone, keep in mind that this is a video with Windows Phone 7 in mind so some things have changed, but it is still pretty much the same consistent experience.

More nuggets soon.