Browser Power Consumption

Interesting web browser results on power consumption:

We measured the power consumption of watching videos on YouTube, browsing Reddit, streaming on Netflix vs Putlocker, creeping on Twitter and FaceBook, composing emails on services like Gmail and Hotmail, and searching for stuff on Google, Bing (yup, surprisingly, it’s still used), and DuckDuckGo. We used a factory-restored MacBook Pro Retina 13” to test each website on one internet browser at a time. No programs other than the browser were open.

Averaging data from all websites tested, Safari won first place with 6hours 21min of total usage, Firefox second with 5hours 29min of usage, and Chrome last with 5hours 8min of usage.

Basically, if you simply switch to using Safari instead of Chrome, on average you could get an extra 1 hour of usage from your battery life. It’s actually a pretty good browser, and now has a fair amount of extensions available.

Not a big deal if you work at a desk all day, but if you’re on the road a lot, what browser you use can make a huge difference.

via Daring Fireball



Eli Schiff has an interesting multi-part series on the “Fall of the Designer”.

Here’s a bit from Part 3, Conformist Responsive Design and the shift away from shiny, roundy, textural UI elements and towards ‘flat’ design:

Similar to web design, application design is becoming homogenized. Where before, apps like Tapbots’ Tweetbot were worlds unto themselves, with robotic sounds and futuristic cartoon aesthetics, today the only remnant of that past is robotic sound effects, devoid of any rationale as to why they sound the way they do.

Paul Haddad of Tapbots seemed to laud the shift, explaining in 2013 that he and his team “talked about making the Mac version a little bit more…plain” too. This hesitation might have invited our skepticism about their approval of flat design. But in the following years, Tapbots announced proudly their newly flattened Tweetbot 2.0 for OS X.

Tapbots is not alone in castrating Calcbot and their Twitter client Tweetbot. The Iconfactory’s Twitteriffic and Twitter’s proprietary iOS app in earlier days all attracted dedicated followings based on expressive designs which each exposed unique feature sets. But with their new flat interfaces, they struggle to differentiate their brands. Even with custom glyphs, animation and functionality, at a 10 foot view, it is difficult to tell one of these flat UIs from the next.

Did these developers suddenly have an epiphany and conclude that their former designs were ugly and overwrought? Or was it instead an imposed, though convenient, ideological shift by operating system designers?

I respect the time and thought Schiff has put into this series on design, and I think the answer to this last question is simple: fashion. UI design, like clothing, goes through different different phases and trends. Thats’ really it.

If you’re afraid skeuomorphism is gone forever, fret not. All you need to do is look at the achievement badges in the new Apple Watch exercise app:

There are gaudy ways of using depth and shading in UI design and there are tasteful ways of using depth and shading just like there tasteful and gaudy ways of using chrome and paint on a car.

I think what we’re seeing, as Schiff has pointed out is not so much flat design as lazy, flat design.