Saturday, 14 January 2012

EXO UI 2.0, designed by The Skins Factory

EXO UI 2.0 was showcased during CES 2012 on both Windows and Android tablets. The feedback was extremely positive, thanks to the new design signed The Skins Factory. They are some reasons.

 


Jeff Schader, CEO of The Skin Factory, took the time to explain why:

The Skins Factory was brought in by EXOPC to completely redesign the look and feel of the first generation EXO UI experience and lay the groundwork for the next generation of this exciting platform. As a design studio, there's nothing we enjoy more than the ability to completely throw out what came before and start from scratch with a brand new canvas — with our imaginations given free reign to explore the possibilities, we were able to produce an absolutely breathtaking and innovative experience unlike anything that came before.
For EXO UI 2.0's interaction design, The Skins Factory deployed the "simplicity principle" – our core philosophy being that a user shouldn't have to read a manual to successfully navigate a user interface the first time they come into contact with it. A famous quote by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry states "It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." This is the design methodology our designers adhere to whenever we embark on imagining a new experience. Before committing a single pixel to final artwork, we exhaustively explore and refine the entire layout and workflow in wireframe form, thus providing everyone involved with a single reference document from which to build out the experience to specification. Only when the experience has been massaged to perfection does, The Skins Factory's world-renowned team of artists get to work transforming magical ideas into magical reality.
In developing EXO UI 2.0, an incredible amount of attention was given to the fact that this was an experience that needed to sing on both touchscreen-enabled tablet devices and desktop computers. For instance, the previous environment, EXO UI 1.0, utilized segregated vertical toolbars. We replaced these tool bars with a unified workspace interaction panel, allowing a user to hold and support a tablet with one hand comfortably, while performing navigation and controls with the other. For desktop users the benefits of this reconfiguration translate into minimized eye and mousing fatigue as their primary focus is directed to one side of the screen. Special attention was also paid to organizing the experience in both a logical and uncluttered way so as to allow for maximum control in a minimal footprint. Subset functionalities only reveal themselves to the user as needed, and interaction with the UI becomes effortless, intuitive and (most importantly of all), fun.
The visual design of EXO UI 2.0 utilizes a number of subtle yet eye-catching embellishments to present the user with an environment that both exciting and elegant. Expert application of layered transparencies, deft use of light and shadow, a sleek symposium of reflective and matte surfaces, all sculpted to pixel perfection across a beautiful onyx base and augmented with striking bursts of vibrant color. Taking things a step further, we've also developed an array of color theme choices, allowing the user to customize and form a closer bond with the experience. Every pixel is there to please – both the end-user and ourselves.
Having worked hand-in-hand with the largest brands in the technology and entertainment industries for more than 11 years, The Skins Factory has become widely known (and often imitated) for both innovative interaction concepts and trend-setting visuals. The user interface for EXO UI 2.0 represents a culmination of our vast experience in transforming our imaginations into reality.
For more info and screen captures: EXO UI 2.0

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