Category Archives: Interaction Design

LESS is Lean CSS

Here at Factotum we’ve been using LESS for a couple of years to create websites on the for fly for LESS stands for Leaner CSS. It is a dynamic stylesheet language designed by Alexis Sellier that is influenced by Sass and has influenced the newer “SCSS” syntax of Sass, which adapted its CSS-like block formatting syntax.

LESS is open-source and its first version was written in Ruby, however in the later versions, use of Ruby has been deprecated and replaced by JavaScript. The indented syntax of LESS is a nested meta-language as valid CSS is valid LESS code with the same semantics.

LESS provides the following mechanisms: variables, nesting, mixins, operators and functions; the main difference between LESS and other CSS pre-compilers being that LESS allows real-time compilation via LESS.js by the browser. LESS can run on the client-side and server-side or can be compiled into plain CSS.

I think we’ll be seeing more of LESS in the future.

iOS7 Geo-Location Based Weather App

This new weather App is designed to exploit the new styles, themes and functionality in Apple’s iOS7.

Users can source the weather for as many cities as they like and enjoy a simple tri-color theme that indicates temperature. With its fresh and lean icon set users can see clearly see the forecast for today, tomorrow and the next seven days while a stats page gives average temperatures and interesting facts.  There are plans to have local advertising based on geo-locationing, so if it looks like rain in New York, Nordstrom can push an advert for a new umbrella or rain coat! Or if its going to be a warm spell, cafe’s can stock-up in cold drinks and ice-cream and then let you know!


Apple expects to sell 5 million to 6 million iPhones worldwide this weekend!

From Mashable – Analysts believe Apple may sell more iPhones during launch weekend this year than in 2012, but not by much.

Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, expects Apple to sell 5 million to 6 million iPhones worldwide through Sunday, according to an investor note obtained by Mashable. Munster expects that Apple will sell about 2.5 million iPhone 5S devices and about 3 million iPhone 5C devices, with pre-orders accounting for 1 million of the latter.

“We believe that Apple will likely sell all of the 5Ses they will produce for launch weekend,” Munster wrote in the note. “Based on Apple not taking online pre-orders for the 5S, which we believe was to avoid customers immediately seeing delivery times for 2+ weeks out, we believe the 5S is more production-constrained than the iPhone 5 was at launch, likely due to the addition of the finger print technology.”


Apple’s iOS7 Released

As you might already know given the massive global coverage, Apple released a new Operating System (OS) for its mobile products yesterday. iOS7 has a new look with the theme’s design led by Jonathon Ive, the SVP for Design.

The former glossy, brash and textured themes have been replaced by a minimal sallow pastel look with ultra thin Sans Serif Font.

A number of the big social networks and apps have already developed their themes to maximise the new OS and here is a list of the best twenty apps.

Here is a picture of Soundwave’s App – which is going down a storm in the App store. Brendan O’Driscoll said the team at the digital start-up, which is now based in the ‘Silicon Docks’ area of Dublin City (Soundwave is just around the corner from the Google, Facebook and Linkedin) is “really excited” about being listed  again on the worldwide App Store as they sought to refresh the Soundwave design theme with a more “simple and colourful look.”

SCAD Students in China – West Goes East

While Pete Fossick, Factotum’s Principal Designer and Director was a professor at SCAD he arranged for two study trips to China. With 15 students and colleagues they visited design studios, consultancies, OEM, ODM and OBM firms as well as large and small factories manufacturing everything from smartphone cases to high-tech consumer products.

This was part of Peter’s approach to immersive, collaborative and project-based teaching as he was preparing students for professional and commercial practice.

Students spent time in Hong Kong and China where they presented a range of advanced project work to industrial sponsors and partners.

Some of the students were awarded internships  and all the students secured premium design positions upon graduating.

Take a look at the video here – it was part of their project submission.

SCAD is Savannah College of Art & Design and is one of the USA’s leading universities for art and design education with campus sites in Altanta, Savannah, Lacoste (FR) and Hong Kong (PRC). Find out more about SCAD here.

Photo Credit: A. Brodowski et al