Project: DesignScene App

Different kinds of content demand different kinds of packages. For example as a designer, I—along with most designers and art directors—flip through magazines such as Communication Arts and Print, and peruse blogs and websites like and Seeing something cool usually sparks an idea for whatever we’re currently working on.

To get through the hundreds of design-related sites out there, I used RSS feeds to aggregate this content for myself in Google Reader—which is now discontinued of course, but not when I thought up this app. Unfortunately, because I was so busy, I was not able to keep up with all my feeds. I may have managed to check it only every few days. And I dreaded seeing that “1000+” number next to my unread items.

So when the iPad was introduced in 2010, I decided to find a solution as an independent side project. I knew that an app on this large dedicated canvas could be created to serve this need of efficiently consuming visual inspiration. I teamed up with a developer friend and we started work on DesignScene.

We set out to create something that designers would enjoy using and become part of their daily ritual. We had two primary objectives:

  • The UI must serve the content and the audience. It has to be beautiful and show off visuals well.
  • The content must be relevant. There’s a glut of design-related websites and blogs on the Internet. Let’s help designers navigate through them.

The UI we designed is sparse—a simple grid that takes advantage of the screen real estate afforded by the tablet. Users flick through the various grid cells to see an assortment of images. They can enlarge the images to fill the screen or read the accompanying text from the original source via the built-in web browser. DesignScene surfaces up the latest inspirational images of not only design, but also architecture, photography, art and so on. The content is a curated list of sources and—as a whole—has an editorial point of view to enhance discovery.

The app was very well-received with coverage in the press from GizmodoMacStoriesShawn Blanc, and MAKE: Craft.


Medium: Mobile app
Client: Lunar/Theory
Role: Strategy, user experience, visual design, brand identity
Date: January 2011