Brian Nelson

HCI Grad Student at Carnegie Mellon Joined almost 9 years ago

  • 3 stories
  • Posted to With Material Design Rules, Google Has the Upper Hand on Cross-platform UX, in reply to Nick Sloggett , Jul 29, 2015

    I'm a fan of MD, but I have to agree. Asked them about some issues and they replied that it's still a WIP.

    I think Matias Duarte has also publicly acknowledged that MD on the web in particular has lots of room for improvement. Almost all one-page/ marketing sites seem to have a skewed sense of hierarchy (eg, and some MD web products seem overwrought (eg

    1 point
  • Posted to Is Sketch filling up your hard drive?, Jul 28, 2015

    Here was their response on Twitter a while back.

    Ran out of space --> deleted autosaves --> now running out of space again. Would be great to get a better, more permanent solution for this.

    0 points
  • Posted to Looks like Google is testing a new design on mobile, in reply to Daniel Golden , Jul 27, 2015

    Haha I know these things were obvious. Wasn't sure what was going on from the title of the post though?

    0 points
  • Posted to Looks like Google is testing a new design on mobile, Jul 27, 2015

    Is your phone jailbroken (Devin network)? Is this an unofficial redesign? The type both for Google and iOS (status bar) aren't Roboto and Helvetica Neue, respectively. Also the Safari icons aren't the same.

    2 points
  • Posted to Google Calendar Concept, in reply to Miguel Solorio , Jul 14, 2015

    "I don't feel like this solves any issues that other calendar apps are trying to solve..." That's the point! It's much harder to be successful when you're doing what everyone else is doing. Peter Thiel gave a great talk about this which you can find here:

    "... it just adds noise" Sorry you feel this way. All app connections would be opt-in, as would event suggestions. [There would also be app-level settings]. What would you like to see in a future calendar?

    Regarding usability:

    This concept is based off Google Calendar's current iOS app. The mechanism for changing views (in app bar menu) would remain the same. The views themselves would remain the same as well ("Schedule", "Day", "3 Day", and "Week"). I just tackled the "Schedule" because I saw the most potential in it, and I needed to limit the scope of the concept [ie mocking every view would have been too time consuming].

    Here was my reply to a commenter who asked about overlapping events (screenshots included):

    Here was my reply to someone who asked about events without much media on reddit (

    For the purposes of this concept, I chose media-heavy examples. If no (high-quality) media is available to display, none will be displayed. I agree that it's much better not to display an image than show a low quality or ambiguous one.

    0 points
  • Posted to Google Calendar Concept, in reply to Arjun Penemetsa , Jul 14, 2015

    Thanks for the feedback and interesting questions, Arjun!

    I think that this will happen at both the OS and apps levels. Apple will index apps in iOS9 and allow you to search for app content from spotlight search (swipe down). Android is also making this content available at the OS level with Now (swipe left).

    Google wants control in Apple devices too, but can't operate at iOS's level, so it must try to do so through apps. Apple, on the other hand, wants to keep its walled garden to attract people to their ecosystem (and keep them there).

    Great question on app engagement. This, like Facebook Instant Articles, would likely be controversial. Some publishers would prefer for traffic going to their app/ site so that they can show ads without sharing any revenue.

    Let's pretend you're ESPN though-- you have two options: A) Not integrate with Google Calendar [though Google Calendar could still show the score in the Calendar anyway, using your search history or inputted favorites as it does with Now]. Pros: more ad $. Cons: Less brand exposure.

    B) Integrate with Google Calendar. Pros: More brand exposure. Less ad $.

    Different publishers/ developers would likely make different decisions.

    There has been a lot of conversation about messaging as a platform. Here's a cool perspective I found recently (references at the bottom are insightful too):

    0 points
  • Posted to Google Calendar Concept, in reply to Brad McNally , Jul 14, 2015

    Thanks so much! This does bear a ton of resemblance to Google Now. I imagine that Google wants all of their apps to be extremely intelligent, predictive, and assistive (Now, Calendar, Inbox etc).

    Some people may prefer the Calendar UI (which has an organization that all people understand) to Google Now (whose order isn't as apparent). Google wants to be able to serve people with both preferences effectively.


    1 point
  • Posted to Apple's new typeface is called San Francisco , in reply to Phil Rau , Apr 24, 2015

    This is a fairly standard and well-accepted method for comparing typefaces. I disagree that it's obvious that your "eye is going to blend the two fonts into a single set of letters..."

    Why should sans serifs designed for readability on small screens look the same? One can easily see why any two would be similar, but it's not true that all must be.

    I don't think the JMD's intention was to say that San Francisco was based off Roboto. He was merely pointing out how similar they are, which makes sense given that they took inspiration from a couple of the same faces.

    Furthermore, there wasn't any implication that Apple didn't put time and care into developing the San Francisco.

    0 points
  • Posted to What are your thoughts on distributed teams? Can we expect to see more and more companies become more lenient on location policies?, Mar 10, 2015

    There are some good insights in this lecture, "How to Build Products Users Love", by Kevin Hale (Wufoo, YC) about how distributed teams can work effectively. Hope you find it helpful.

    1 point
  • Posted to AMA: I'm Matias Duarte, a VP of Design at Google!, in reply to Joel Christensen , Mar 04, 2015

    Pretty sure that this is exactly right. Thought I saw this in the MD spec at one point, but I think it may have been removed for conciseness.

    Here are two other ways that you can think of this distinction:

    1: Elements (folded or unfolded) always stay in their original state.

    2: Interactive elements in particular can never fold (due to the aforementioned lack of depth in the environment).

    The folding interaction and animation as used by Flipboard and Facebook Paper look pretty unnatural, as they assume a disproportionately large level of depth (~3") on relatively thin devices (less than 0.5").

    0 points
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