Similar to how Nespresso has revolutionsed the home coffee machine market, Special_T aimed to do the same with world teas. Special.T’s aluminum capsules are claimed to come from the top 1% of the world’s tea harvest, instead of general tea like other brands and are sold exclusively on the internet. With tea the world’s most consumed drink, this is a perfect niche to get in and one would expect their web presence to be equally as good. With their site completely in Flash, and no sign of an English language version, designers have seen a niche of their own to fit into. One of those was Michiel Andrea.
While enjoying an especially lazy night watching TV, I saw a commercial featuring a new machine: The Special-T. A hip new kind of way to make the perfect cup of tea. I was fascinated by the style they used, so went online to take a gander at their website. Their website is a Flash-framework website where the content was fit inside an artificial box. It was not selling their product and it didn’t match up with their commercial. The content was not convincing and pretty complex to navigate. That’s when I decided to see if I could do a better job. There are a lot of details that I could be tweaking for an eternity, and not all of the content from the original site is to be found here, but this was just from a consumer-marketing perspective. How would I sell this machine? Who would buy such a machine?
The joy of being one of most used and popular things out there, is that everyone has an opinion or thought on how they would like it presented. We’ve already seen one Spotify app redesigned by Maxwell Barvian but this one concentrates on the mobile app.
The mobile app tries to follow the desktop app as much as possible, for ease of use across platforms and continuity, but this can be a detriment at times, trying to have the same experience across all devices.
From Robin Kenell himself:
One of the things I miss in the current Spotify app is the ability to quickly share, star and add music to your playlists. The thing that I miss the most is the repeat and shuffle buttons, they are currently placed in the “more” tab. Personally I think that is way to far away. By making the album cover smaller I made more than enough space to add repeat, shuffle and volume controls.
Pepsi and its branding is one of the most recognised brands in the world, and when a change is done, people debate about it for years. Like anything popular, people will jump to its defence or slam it for change. Personally, I thought the new Pepsi was a brave attempt at modernising the brand, but ultimately failed in its delivery, with a poor icon revamp and ill-advised typography.
It seems like others thought so, especially the Design Boutique team where they did their own version. In their own words:
Recently when Pepsi updated their logo, as designers, we did not feel that it was much different than the previous one . Pepsi, throughout the years, have always did very small, and careful changes in their logo. We think it’s time for Pepsi to be brave and make a bolder redesign of their logo. This is our suggestion: We took the logo to a new level, taking it from 2D to 3D, just by playing with the shapes and the shadows (a very hot trend in design now).
WhatsApp is a great little paid-for app for iOS and Android, which allows you to send messages and pictures to friends numbers on tons of mobile networks and other platforms for free via your data plan. This a great little ad-free service which saves on your SMS allowance and expensive MMS charges, and has cited interest in being taken over by Google and Facebook.
The actual design of the app does its functions well. There’s no focus on exemplary design as what it does, it does well and with 10 billion messages sent per day as of August 2012, users clearly agree. That didn’t stop Dora Szabo though!
From Dora herself:
I tried to design a better looking version of the app by incorporating more of the visual identity of WhatsApp. I also tried to make the interface friendlier, more engaging and more logical, taking out some of the tabs in the tab bar and adding them on views that made more sense to me, an active WhatsApp user. I believe WhatsApp is used because of its simple interface but adding a little spice to it while still keeping its elements homogeneous throughout all the screens just might add more balance and rhythm to it.
With iOS, Apple brought a lot of design changes to its premier mobile application, some of which were applauded – the App Store, Passbook – and some of which were critically panned, namely Maps. iOS 6 brought in a few revamped screens including the keypad screen for dialling a number, which I believe was a great a turn.
Hugo França redesigned the new iOS 6 screen to be more like the App Store design, and I have to say, as much as I love the Apple version, this version stands out a lot more with the blue highlight on the bottom taskbar and the feel of the keypad itself. The pressed effect is particularly great, and brings a great highlight to the keypad design.