UIKit tips, tricks, and various tomfoolery

The UIKit framework is the cornerstone of any iPhone app. The paradigms it employs are new to the UI/UX experience, so it’s critical that Apple gets it right. I would say that for the most part, they do.

Our first app, like many apps, uses the drill-down technique going from general to specific. This is certainly a noble design pattern. It’s intuitive, clean, and pragmatic. What I’ve learned today from the the army of black-turtleneck-wearing Apple Evangelists is that pragmatic, while safe, doesn’t set an app apart from any others in the sea of competing applications. What ultimately makes apps rise to the top is the ‘neato’ factor (not to be confused with the ‘wow’ factor). It must engage the user’s instinctive tendency to manipulate his or her surroundings.

And it must survive it’s own novelty.

As developers and designers, we must think of usability paradigms that exist outside of our tech-filled environs. Think of all the ways we use things with our hands. Locks, keys, coffee cups, zippers, spatulas, magazines, whatever. A handheld multitouch interface is only as limited as our assumptions of our users.

But I digress…

The UIKit is analogous to any other grand oversimplification in our lives. In most object oriented intro programming courses, we are introduced to the metaphor of a car being perceived as just a car, despite the fact that it is the sum of several thousand parts. That metaphor applies directly to UIKit. It is composed of so many more interesting parts that we have yet to crack open.

I am excited to crack this architecture open and make great apps.

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