app release notes

1.7 — iOS7

This release includes an iOS7 friendly design, clarity in navigation and activity feeds, and a new icon.

This is the last of three releases focused on design. Read on for some background on our design goals.

Everyone is updating for iOS7 right now. It’s a fun time to download apps and look at other people’s designs. But we never make design changes just to be trendy.

So, let me share an internal email from Matt H., who is one of Lift’s two iOS developers and also does a lot of our visual design.

The next seven bullet points are Matt’s explanation to the team of (some of) what changed and why.

  • We changed the content areas to have light text in a dark container, giving them the highest contrast and heaviest weight in the activity feed. We wanted our activity feeds to highlight the most important information — the check-in and notes.
  • We also removed color from the activity feed to reduce confusion. We pulled out unnecessary tap targets like links to habits and groups, reducing the information load. It’s not until you tap into the activity detail that this content is interactive.
  • We also removed the blue accessory arrow icon. Tapping on a full cell to see more information is a reflexive interaction. The blue arrow was adding clutter, and reducing the cell’s usable width for things like check-in and notes.
  • A more minor change in the same vein, was removal of the clock icon next to the timestamp. This is another visual cue that is no longer needed. People understand what a timestamp in a feed is and don’t need the redundancy and unnecessary ornamentation in their feed.
  • We reduced the visual weight of prop/comment buttons. In the old design the prop/comment buttons were in a rounded rect button, with heavy gradients and shadows. When you propped an activity, this button toggled bright blue. While navigating the feed this toggled button state now arguably held the highest visual weight in the entire feed.
  • We ended up moving these out of the container. Using light outlines with color for these buttons tells the user they are important, you can interact with them, but they are not the most important thing in the feed.
  • We consciously reduced margins, spacing and borders all around to utilize the full width of the screen as much as possible allowing content like notes and comments to stretch wider. This gives the user the ability to consume more content at a glance and with ease.

I’m hoping that Matt’s note gives you some flavor for what we mean when we say that we’re hoping these design changes increase clarity and reduce the cognitive load for using Lift.

Good design clarifies what’s important in the app so that a user doesn’t have to think as hard.

What we’ve observed is that the less effort you’re expending interpreting our app, the more energy you have to apply Lift to improving your life. That’s the effect we’re going for.

Thank you,

Tony & Jon, Matt, Erin, Matt, Alicia, Sonya