Juan Sanchez

Thinking out loud.

May 1, 2013

Naming is one of the most difficult exercises that needs to be done when bringing something new into the world. In the past, I've gone through exercises in attempts to bring the best candidates to attention. Now, I wait.

It's inevitable that something will pop into my head at the most unexpected time and I'll never be able to find a better option. Why fight it.

Nov 25, 2012

The iPad Mini is so damn tempting. The form factor seems absolutely perfect, but I continually resist purchasing it. Yes, I think it would be awesome if it had a retina screen, but that is not what is holding me back.

Developers seemed happy to hear that all of the iPad apps that were already out there would work on the iPad Mini by scaling everything down. The problem is that tap areas, interface elements and text start to get uncomfortably small. In some cases, elements are smaller than they are on an iPhone.

This scaled-down approach is what feels weird to me, but maybe it's something I could get over once I used the iPad Mini for a while. I'll find out once I'm unable to resist the nicer form factor.

Sep 30, 2012

Like every other model of iPhone that came before it, I upgraded to the new iPhone as soon as I had the chance. Yes, I stayed up until 1:15am to place an order and have it shipped, rather than waiting in line.

When I opened the iPhone 5 box on September 21, the first thing I noticed when I picked it up was how light it felt. After that, it was the height of the screen that I began to study and practice reaching my thumb for the spot where a back button would be. It felt a bit straining.

The on-boarding process of switching to the new iPhone was as seamless as it's ever been. I walked through a few steps, entered my Apple ID and the phone immediately became active with my current phone number. That was it.

I had been using iOS 6 during its beta period, so there wasn't really much there that was new. This allowed me to turn my attention to the hardware features, like the taller, more brilliant screen, the camera quality and the speed of the new processor. Things felt butter smooth.

Over time, I've become used to the taller screen and tolerant of the micro-scratches on the aluminum. I always loved the feel of the first iPhone and I'm glad to see the iPhone 5 return to some of those same materials.

Sep 4, 2012

Several weeks ago I received a Ubooly in the mail. Each person who sees it sitting on my desk asks the same question, "Why do you have a stuffed animal on your desk?".

Initially, I bought the Ubooly with the intent to design an app for it. More than that though, I was interested in what it meant to combine a powerful computer (yes, a smartphone) and a plush exterior.

The primary usecases I was interested in were things like based on hot weather, recommending sunscreen or drinking water. Or, knowing that the owner has landed in a new location and providing details about their new surroundings. Things like that.

Aug 7, 2012

Part of me wants to see a taller iPhone happen by removing the physical home button. What about going back to the home screen or fast app switching? Gestures could be used.

We're already being trained to use gestures like dragging up on the lock screen to reveal the camera or pulling down from the status bar to reveal Notification Center. I don't think it would be unreasonable to use a gesture to reveal the home screen or quickly switch between apps.

To get to the home screen, a drag up from the bottom of the screen to toss the current application out of the way and reveal the home screen could work. Perhaps dragging up a smaller distance reveals the multitasking tray of apps. Better yet, why not shuffle through apps by dragging in from the right or left of the screen, similar to the iPad's four-finger gesture.

I agree that the physical home button provides an easy target to execute common tasks, but I'd rather see the home button go away over altering the physical dimensions of the device to make more room for a larger screen.

For those users who have an extreme attachment to the home button, there could be a setting to show a digital home button as an alternative.

Jul 27, 2012

On September 02, 2010, I signed up for Simple and just a few days ago I received an invite to try it out. The on-boarding process so far has been one great experience after the next. From receiving the invite, to signing up and installing the iPhone app, to getting my card today.

All along the way, I was teased by friends getting their Simple accounts set up. Now I know why everyone was sharing photos of the Simple card packaging. It was a great continuation of the web experience.

If the process of getting my account set up is any sort of glimpse into what to expect from Simple as they make progress, I'm very excited.

Jul 26, 2012

The upgrade to Mountain Lion has been smooth. There are a lot of nice additions. In some cases, it feels like some key things were left out regarding iCloud and integration with other devices. Maybe those will be filled in with the release of iOS 6.

In the process of upgrading, I also moved back to using Mail, Calendar, Messages and Contacts. I've been using Google for interacting with most of that, but decided to give it a rest. Of course, that meant spending some time moving some things around. We'll see if it was worth it.

That said, my other computer completely borked on the install and I have to take it into an Apple store to be evaluated.

Jul 24, 2012

Whether it's wireframes, sketches, site maps or anything else; what you deliver to a client should focus on communication. No matter how much time is spent making something pretty, if it doesn't communicate the message that is meant to be carried, then that "deliverable" fails.

Quick and low fidelity can be awesome because the discovery of what doesn't work can happen more quickly and precious time can be spent polishing the final product.

Jul 24, 2012

As a smaller company, it's been really nice being able to drop a tool if it doesn't map to the way we like to work. At the same time, we've discovered new ways of working based on newly found tools.

Either way, being able to change the tools we use on a daily, weekly or monthly basis means we can be more productive rather than spending time fighting against the tools we use.

Jul 18, 2012

There's something exhilarating about putting something out there for the world to see and criticize. Nothing bad can come from sharing ideas. In fact, it can be rather addicting.