1. November 2011
Our latest iPhone app just hit the AppStore! Yearly is an app to remind you of upcoming birthdays and other dates like anniversaries. As with all of our apps, we made Yearly because we personally had the need for such an app. Yes there are already tons of birthday reminder apps out there. But none of them was satisfying for us. We just wanted an app which shows all upcoming birthdays (and other anniversaries) in a beautiful way and reminds us of upcoming events with local notifications. And hey this is an app about birthdays, about anniversaries, it’s all about happy days! So the app should reflect that in its user interface. It should look beautiful and it should be a joy to use.
We put a lot of effort in the user interface and we think the result really shines on the iPhone (especially on the retina display). At first sight it looks like a small and fun app, but there are some really interesting user interface lessons in it (which are important for us and we can use them in future apps and updates too):
- The main view just shows an elegant list of the upcoming events. No navigation bar, no toolbar. The space is entirely used to display the information which is most important for the user. Just a beautiful list. Of course this doesn’t work for all kinds of apps. Often you need navigation bars. But I also saw lots of apps which put a navigation bar or even a toolbar just to put there a label with the app title in there.
- Gestures: They are the shortcuts for touchscreen devices. On your laptop or desktop, you have keyboard shortcuts for the more advanced users. On touchscreen devices it’s the gestures. For example in Yearly if you are in a sub view (a detail view or similar) you can always go back with just a right-swipe. Of course there’s a back button too, but once you get used to the swipe gesture, it’s much faster and effortless. Another example: You can swipe on every row to reveal buttons for contacting the person. Of course you can tap a row and go into its detail view and then choose the contacting option you want. But it’s faster to just swipe and tap the button for SMS or whatever you like. And to be honest, it’s also more fun. And fun and emotions should play an important role in every user interface.
- Sound effects: Of course we’re not the first ones to discover sound effects in iPhone apps (and by apps I mean apps and not games). Tapbots with their Tweetbot are surely the most prominent example. And we really got inspired by them. I use Tweetbot everyday and I’m so used to its sound effects that when I tap a button in another app and I don’t hear a click sound, I think something is wrong. Sound effects are a very good way to give the user additional feedback. And again, as a side effect they make using the app even more fun. Of course we include the option to disable them in the settings.
So in one sentence, our goal was to make the app fun to use but concentrating on important features and not wasting space with unnecessary stuff or complexity.
It was an extremely fun project for us to work on and we hope this gets reflected in the end product.
View Yearly in the AppStore or check the video below: