Podcast Players: The New UI Design Playground

Nice post from Supertop, the duo behind the excellent Castro:

By making Overcast free with in app purchase, Marco has lowered the barrier to trying a third party app. From our perspective, a user trying any third party app is good for all third party apps. If a user is persuaded to download one alternative they should be more likely to consider others in the future, especially given the variety of apps that are available. Marco referred to this diversity in his Macstories interview:

With a podcast app […] there are tons of big and small design and priority decisions that each developer makes along the way. These decisions add up to radically different apps — I can’t point to any two podcast apps in the store today that are very similar to each other in actual use.

I encourage you to try Overcast. In fact, if you really love podcasts, I encourage you to try all the others too. If you spend hours listening to podcasts every week, it’s going to be worth your while to find the app that suits you best.

Back in 2009 I wrote a piece titled “Twitter Clients Are a UI Design Playground”:

There are several factors that make Twitter a nearly ideal playground for UI design. The obvious ones are the growing popularity of the service itself and the relatively small scope of a Twitter client. Twitter is such a simple service overall, but look at a few screenshots of these apps, especially the recent ones, and you will see some very different UI designs, not only in terms of visual style but in terms of layout, structure, and flow. I’m not saying it’s easy to write a good Twitter client. In fact, that’s the point — that it is not easy to write a good client for something as small in scope as Twitter hints at just how hard it is to write a good app for anything, let alone something truly complex.

Less obvious is the fact that different people seek very different things from a Twitter client. TweetDeck, for example, is clearly about showing more at once. Tweetie is about showing less. That I prefer apps like Tweetie and Twitterrific doesn’t mean I think they’re better. There is so much variety because various clients are trying to do very different things. Asking for the “best Twitter client” is like asking for the “best shirt”.

I think the same is true of podcast players today.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Ads via The Deck Ads via The Deck