Posted by core jr
| 6 Mar 2013
Congratulations to our App to the Future Design Challenge finalists and winners!! We asked designers to change the future by designing an app for Windows Phone that would help us create, connect or simply impress our future selves. You answered the call with hundreds of amazing and inspiring submissions from scrapbooks and font managers, trip trackers or convoy road managers, to diaries that don't broadcast your every thought or will even seal them up for the future. After hours of review and deliberation by our fantastic jurors Chris Caldwell (GSkinner.com), Jennifer Bove (Kicker Studio), Corrina Black (Microsoft), Pratik Kothari (Techark Solutions), and Eric Ludlum (Core77), we are proud to announce our 50 finalists and five winners!
All winners and finalists will receive a 1-year subscription to the Windows Phone Dev Center development community and any finalists who launch their apps in the Windows Phone store will become our notable finalists, scoring a Windows Phone. Winners not only receive a subscription to Dev Center, Windows Phone and Microsoft Surface with Touch Cover, but they also get an app design consultation with a Windows Phone design team member and their app featured on Microsoft's Channel 9. Keep checking back over the next few months as we start Phase 2 of the competition: watching the winners and finalists turn their ideas into reality. And now, the Apps to the Future...
4weather—a weather app that lets you zero in what the weather will be like when and where you actually plan to be outside by utilizing a new adaptive forecast feed at its root, an extended and more informative set of "climacons" and finally the choice of the best forecast data vendor for your region.
"Of all the weather apps I've seen this is the only one that actually does something useful for you as well as telling you the weather." —Chris Caldwell
"Lots of thought into the data/algorithm, smart use of sensors, phone in idle mode, seems like content/utility delivery is simple. Prototyping with users would show whether passive information presentation is contextually relevant / useful and if the user input is too laborious." —Jennifer Bove
"This could be boiled down to a simple AI + GPS that would quickly learn what weather conditions you like or dislike in which locations." —Eric Ludlum
"Very unique idea. The description of the app concept provides a very good explanation behind why there is a need for such an app. Instead of providing a general weather forecast, this app exemplifies the Windows Phone's You paradigm by personalizing weather based on you and your information." —Pratik Kothari
Alexander is currently a Master of Physics student and expects to graduate by the end of 2013. Right now he is working on his Masters project, which is related to an econometric subject.
At the age of 16 he gained his first insight into human-computer interaction as a tutor and not long afterwards took over the soft- and hardware- support of a small pharmaceutical company.
Getting to know different cultures, and new people with other traditions fascinates him. Right after finishing school he went to Australia on a work & travel visa. He completed the first part of his Master studies in Leeds, UK as an exchange student.
Alexander's strength is blending creative and problem solving abilities. He is passionate about solving versatile tasks and looks forward to the challenges the development of 4weather will bring along.
fitCHAMP—a social fitness app that combines the powerful APIs of the personal fitness trackers that you and your friends use onto a single, beautifully designed dashboard where you can track and compete with your friends through certain metrics like distance moved, steps taken, and calories burned.
"Could be fantastic if the platform API's work well together and you can map data onto similar and comparable points." —Chris Caldwell
"Great socialization/gamification of the dataset and activity." —Eric Ludlum
"Similar apps exist but the design of this app provides a fresh look. Social component is certainly a motivating factor to challenge someone." —Pratik Kothari
Christian Valencia & Shelby Blair
Christian Valencia and Shelby Blair are User Experience Designers who work at Ratio Interactive, a small digital agency in Seattle, WA. They design experiences for: Web, iOS, Android, Windows 8 and now Windows Phone.
Christian recently graduated from Seattle Central Creative Academy where he mainly focused on Interaction Design. He loves designing simple, yet engaging interfaces for any of the platforms listed above.
Shelby graduated from the University of North Texas and got into UX design just over a year ago. She is an explorer at heart, and will always love illustration and print design.
HappyAppy—a smile is contagious and what better way to spread a smile than by sharing a dance? HappyAppy is an interactive mobile application that allows friends to connect by dancing for one another when words are not enough. This allows people to virtually connect in a physical and emotional way that is not currently possible.
"I started smiling instantly :) You made my day! Besides being unfathomably simple, this is an experience that you'll have fun creating as well as receiving." —Chris Caldwell
"Simple, delightful, great use of physical gesture. Adorable characters, smart constraints around time limits, movements, etc." —Jennifer Bove
"It is cute and there is opportunity for a broader spectrum of sentiment (angsty appy? morose appy? estatic appy?)." —Eric Ludlum
"Uses various Windows Phone accelerometer features to create a customized greeting. This is certainly designed to connect and delight." —Pratik Kothari
"What a creative and fun way to connect with your friends and family and make them smile! This app makes me smile :D" —Corrina Black
Yian Ling Cheong & Sarah Sykes
Singapore & Wisconsin
Yian Ling and Sarah met while attending graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University. Although they come from opposite ends of the world, their backgrounds are surprisingly similar. Both Yian Ling and Sarah have a bachelors degree in industrial design and work experience in design research. When they are not designing, both of them enjoy traveling the world, collecting fresh inspiration and getting their hands on new projects.
Tide&a Surfing forecast app that creates a more gestural way of exploring the waves through time whilst allowing fast access to the data that most is important to surfers.
"This makes me want to buy a surfboard, abandon my landlocked city, and drive thousands of miles to the nearest ocean and start surfing!" —Chris Caldwell
"Simple, quick access to info on the go. Fluid use of gesture, application interface doesn't get in the way. Easy to share." —Jennifer Bove
"Awesome and beautiful. The sine wave display feels like the pure essence of the phenomenon and is at home in the Windows UI." —Eric Ludlum
"Overall very good design and a useful app." —Pratik Kothari
Warwick, United Kingdom
Martin is a young Industrial Designer currently working for DCA Design in Warwick, United Kingdom. Having graduated from Loughborough Design School in 2011 his work focuses on creating connected products, brands and experiences. When these are designed at the same time, really new and interesting experiences emerge. This is not currently being implemented by most companies.
It is an exciting time for design, where different fields such as UI/ UX, Web Design, Packaging and traditional Industrial Design are coming together and the boundaries are becoming more and more blurred.
TripUs—connect all your social activities about a trip through one app. Organize all your pictures, Facebook updates, check-ins and tweets into a Trip timeline with invited friends and share information and photos with those friends in your network.
"Where were you on my last road trip? What a great way to spread the travel bug!" —Chris Caldwell
"An easy way to organize personal media into a narrative—trips are a natural for this." —Eric Ludlum
"Good design and layout." —Pratik Kothari
"Fun way of connecting with friends to capture shared events in a visually compelling, immersive, and memorable manner." —Corrina Black
Sittisak is a Web/UI Designer living in Bangkok.
We can't reveal too much about these apps before they're launched, but here are the finalists we'll also be keeping an eye on:
Posted by core jr
| 8 Feb 2013
This is it, folks—this weekend's your LAST CHANCE to put the finishing touches on your brilliant, useful, touching and stunning Windows Phone app design and submit it to our App to the Future design challenge! Entries must be in and uploaded by 11:59pm EST this Sunday, February 10 to be eligible to win, so don't wait until the last minute. If you're looking for a bit more inspiration, check out the previous Lightning Design Review Sessions or step up your game by watching the Windows Phone Design Bootcamp 201 videos.
Winners will receive a Microsoft Surface and Windows Phone device as well as being featured in "Amp Up Your App" on Channel 9 and getting a direct consultation from the Windows Phone Design team and write-ups on Core77. All finalists will receive a 1-year free subscription to the Dev Center and any finalists and their developers who complete and launch their apps in the Windows Phone Store can also win a Windows Phone.
Our team and jurors are eager to start plowing through the already impressive stack of entries to select 50 finalists and then narrow those down to five winners. The winners and finalists will be announced in early March on Core77 and the App to the Future site. That's also when we'll announce the deadline to have your apps launched in the Windows Phone Store for finalists who want to win the notable Windows Phone prizes, and we'll provide some extra resources to help you make that happen.
So best of luck to all you daring app designers—we can't wait to see your plans for the future!
Posted by core jr
| 1 Feb 2013
Alright app designers—you've got one week left to review, finish up and submit your App to the Future designs! The FINAL Lightning Design Review before submissions close is next Thursday, February 7th at 2pm ET. Registration for that review session closes Tuesday, February 5th at 2pm ET, but space is limited so you'll want to submit your designs for review as soon as possible. You can also sign up to watch the session live, or view previous sessions.
Don't forget to also watch the Windows Phone Design Bootcamp videos to get the most out of Windows Phone design principles. The series is broken up into five 101 and three 201 videos so you can pick how far and deep you want to dive.
Submit your App to the Future Windows Phone designs by midnight Sunday, February 10th. The future's getting closer every second!
Posted by core jr
| 28 Jan 2013
Guess what app designers? Your response to the App to the Future challenge has been so overwhelming that we're officially increasing the number of finalists from 30 to 50—AND extending the submission deadline to February 10th!
All 50 finalists will receive 1-year Dev Center subscriptions (where valid) and are eligible to receive Windows Phone devices by launching their apps in the Windows Phone Store. The app submission deadline will be posted when the App to the Future winners and finalists are announced in early March.
So you've got one extra week get your app design reviewed by a professional Windows Phone interaction designer in a Lightning Design Review (read his tips here), refine your app's focus by watching the Design Boot Camp video series and put the final touches on your entry before submitting it by 11:59pm EST February 10, 2013. That's 20 more chances to be an App to the Future—time to get crackin'!
Posted by core jr
| 25 Jan 2013
The best design meets our needs before we can even articulate them. With the App to the Future design challenge, Windows Phone and Core77 intend to foster the circumstances for intelligent, practical and beautiful design. The ingredients to get designers started are all here on the contest site: a smartly conceived UI, clear and helpful developer tips, and an evolved Windows Phone 8.
We held our first call for Windows Phone app designs last year and had incredibly conceived winning entries. This year, contestants will be designing for the next generation device. Windows Phone 8's changes include a new OS, faster processing, additional user features and general bug-stomping after careful review of Windows 7.5 feedback. The results have delighted developers and users alike. Many updates built upon well-received, existing elements like Live Tiles and grew them—literally. Live Tiles can now be resized with the added option to personalize content hierarchy based on user preference.
The 120k+ apps in the Windows Phone Store (formerly Marketplace) are a strong beginning for a phone that initially received the mixed praise of being a superior choice to Android but a latecomer to the game. Microsoft is aware that its well-built platform requires the buy-in from app developers and community in order to flourish. Developers new to Windows Phone could be understandably reluctant to invest their resources in building for a smaller market, but Microsoft has greatly expanded global access to the Windows Phone Store in just a year and continues to promote Windows Phone apps through various channels and provide regional Windows Phone Champs tasked to help developers locally. And this chicken/egg cycle yielded its own positive side effect: a remarkably clear design, development and submission process to the Windows Phone Store. After creating the platform and outlining hardware standards, Microsoft understood that removing barriers to creation and encouraging innovation are key in both catching up with iOS and Android app offerings and building their own app process.
Windows Phone's particular design principles mean that apps run nearly identically across different hardware. That reassurance of similarity is one less headache for users and developers alike. For example, Kid's Corner—a terrific feature that gathers all the games, apps, music and videos for your child into one place while securing the rest of the phone from prying fingers—will be precisely the same experience on Nokia, Samsung and HTC models.
Adding to the list of features developers can play with and users can enjoy, the technical overhaul includes support for HD screens and multicore processors. Business users can happily edit a Word document or create an Excel spreadsheet. And linked email means you can view all messages from different accounts in one inbox (something iOS users are accustomed to), then save your documents, photos and chats to Microsoft's cloud, SkyDrive.
For this challenge in particular, we suggest going through the Boot Camps on Windows Phone Design Language. After considering the app you'd like to design and mocking it up, have a Windows Phone interface designer take a look by signing up for a Lighting Design Review. Afterwards, you'll be able to integrate their feedback and further refine your app. Then, there's the business of actually getting 'er done. If you're not a seasoned developer, you still might want to give app dev a try via the Windows Phone Dev Center (their 2-day Jump Start has been widely lauded as great watch-and-do training). We had three winning teams last year develop their own apps (with one team being total—but gifted—noobs at developing) and submit them to the store. And developers that are looking for new design ideas to implement and grow (or simply would like a chance to win a Windows Phone 8) can offer their dev muscles.
So, onwards, potential Windows Phone 8 designers and developers! You probably have an incredible idea brewing in your noggin. The resources to make that concept a reality are at your fingertips...and now you've got a little fire under your tush with this contest. Good luck and happy designing your App to the Future!
[Editor's Note: For some great tips on designing for Windows Phone, check out 8 insights from Senior Interactive Designer Lincoln Anderson, who hosts the lightning design reviews!]
Posted by core jr
| 18 Jan 2013
To help all of our App to the Future entrants create stunning designs, we've asked the Lightning Design Review team to send us their favorite tips for designing Windows Phone Apps. SIGNUP BY TUESDAY for the following Thursday's weekly Lighting Design Review!
- core jr
Senior Interactive Designer Lincoln Anderson, who hosts the reviews, analyzed common issues he sees and shares his top eight design tips for Windows Phone.
Write a "best-at" statement that clearly outlines what makes your app great and unique from the rest. Use it as a mission statement that guides design and development. Think about how different types of users will employ your app and focus on the top three "user scenarios" that truly support your best-at statement. Make these user experiences truly stellar before adding more features.
For reference: Windows Phone Design Process - Concept
Create a navigation flowchart, showing how the pages in your app interrelate. It will give you a clearer picture of how users should get around in your app. Group like pages and then decide if each group should be in panorama, pivot or app bar style based on how users will interact. Even if you're not artistically inclined, sketch simple wireframes for your pages and try different iterations. Sketches are always easier to modify than code.
For reference: Windows Phone Design Process - Structure
3. LOVE THE GRID
Grid based design is nothing new, but did you know that Windows Phone has its own grid? Use it while sketching or creating design comps. There is even a handy overlay included in page template. (It's hidden in the XAML comments.) Flip it on and see the grid in your own application. Snap to it!
For reference: Sketch Templates
4. THEME IT
One of the great things about Windows Phone is that users choose light or dark themes as well as personal accent colors. The entire phone takes on those themes. Don't let your app get left behind, or worse, perform opposite the user's intent. Theme and accent colors are available as resources you can use throughout your app.
For reference: Themes for Windows Phone
5. IT'S ALIVE
Users love apps that feel like they're an organic part of their phone. Make a great live tile experience, even if that's not the main feature of your app. Live tiles pull users back into your app, and give you an edge over the competition. Take a look at the templates and come up with some ideas.
For reference: Tile Design Guidelines for Windows Phone
Posted by core jr
| 13 Dec 2012
Today is the day! Our App to the Future Design Challenge is Open for Entries. Core77 and Windows Phone have teamed up for the second year in a row to challenge people around the world to design an app for Windows Phone 8! This year, we're asking the community to design an app that helps create, connect or delight their future self.
Apps have become a way for ordinary people to take control of their day-to-day lives. Today apps help us wake up, get dressed, get through our commute, stay abreast of news and reach each other throughout the day; and they offer endless options for dining, socializing and entertainment. At their best, apps can help us do the things we want to do, in a way we prefer to do them—they empower our passions—but what more can they do for us tomorrow?
This year we've picked three categories that App to the Future submissions should be inspired by:
- Design to Do. Love what you do, and you'll never work a day in your life—this is your chance to create an app that helps you do what you love. What part of the design process are you most passionate about? Design an app that focuses on creativity and improve it.
- Design to Connect. Sometimes it isn't what you're doing as much as whom you're doing it with. Design an app that keeps you close and connected with the people you love and care about.
- Design to Delight. Harness the power of that computer in your pocket and design an app that surprises and delights—get people excited about what they're doing, and they'll love it as much as you do.
To participate in the challenge, you must submit a design concept by February 3, 2013. It doesn't need to be a fully functioning app. A great mockup, images, brilliant napkin sketches, or a video will do. Our esteemed jury will look at the originality of the idea and how you blend your creativity with the Windows Phone design language to make their decision.
30 finalists will be selected, then the judges will chose 5 winners who will receive a Microsoft Surface, a Windows Phone 8 and 1-year Dev Center membership.
Sounds intimidating? Don't know where to start? We're excited to share two new resources for designers for this year's challenge: Windows Phone Design Boot Camp and Lightning Design Reviews.
Posted by core jr
| 4 Dec 2012
And we're back...from the future. App to the Future that is. Core77 and Windows Phone have teamed up once again to challenge people around the world to design an app for Windows Phone 8!
Design an app that helps you create, connect or delight your future self. Although our contest opens up December 13th, you can REGISTER NOW and get an ideas warmup and a jump on the competition by watching the Design Boot Camp video series.
Through Design Boot Camp you can learn from former Windows Phone Design Integration Lead Jared Potter about Windows Phone philosophy, inspiration and the visuals that comprise the Windows Phone design language. Ready your ideas for our special Lighting Design Reviews where you can receive valuable feedback from experienced Windows Phone 8 interface designers before submitting an entry. Take a look at our five winners from last year's Fast Track to the Mobile App productivity design challenge to get inspired.
Now you can change the future...with our App to the Future Design Challenge. REGISTER TODAY!