A 99¢ lesson in elegant user interface

I'm a fan and a student of interface. It may 'only' be the surface, but it is the one thing we have to interact in this world.

Today I purchased yet another ipad app. This one on the recommendation of Lifehacker.com. The very last item on this list is Weather HD. Lifehacker is correct when they write "Weather HD is hands down the most gorgeous way to get your weather forecast. "

Weather HD is gorgeous. It is also a great example of elegant user interface. Firstly when you open the app for the first time, the normal view is obscured with an overlay of hand drawn arrows and instructions. This is a great feature to quickly inform a new user of the interface options. In addition, when you navigate to a new page of the app for the first time, you again see the hand drawn instructions.

The app itself is beautiful and functional. There is a globe, courtesy of NASA, that you can spin (AKA pan) and zoom that shows selectable weather information, with pins showing conditions of your cities. I've spent more than a few minutes 'playing' with this app. Who knew weather information could be entertaining?

I'm going to be working hard on my next interface to bring some of this elegance to my clients.

Also, you can get this lesson for free. There is a free version, which I guess has all of the above. I paid the 99¢. I'm sure an ad would diminish this beautiful program.

Factory in a box. No, really.

Gizmodo is a great gadget site, and occasionally has interesting manufacturing-related posts.

This one really resonated with me. There are so many issues addressed in this story. Just-in-time, continuous innovation, reduced shipping costs (to zero!) etc.

The Next Industrial Revolution Starts in this 20-foot Shipping Container

I think there are some great concepts here, even if you don't take it down to the container level. Why not build modular manufacturing with repeatable processes that can be deployed wherever products are consumed?

Why are factories generally in-efficient, one-off monstrosities? Why not franchise modular manufacturing?