Toby Keller

Toby Keller

UI Director at Bletchley Park Joined almost 6 years ago via an invitation from Dave T.

  • 3 stories
  • 139 comments
  • 12 upvotes
  • Posted to Unofficial new Berlin rapid transit route map, in reply to Luca Benazzi , Apr 12, 2019

    I actually kinda like the naturally-shaped Ringbahn… it adds a nice amount of personality. If that was the only departure from a regular radius pattern I think it'd still be super legible. What really bugs me is that every S-Bahn seems to use random, differing radii… none of them follow the pattern set by the U-Bahn lines. That's where the spaghetti impression comes from, in my opinion.

    0 points
  • Posted to Unofficial new Berlin rapid transit route map, Apr 10, 2019

    I live in Berlin and use the transit system here every day. I've been staring at this for an hour now and in general I think it's very well thought out and makes improvements in several areas, especially the size and legibility of station labels and the inclusion of rivers.

    But a couple of things I find to be very clear retrogressions, the worst being the contrast ratios on several of the line numbers. The "U1" label is almost totally illegible, while the "S8/85" and "S45/46/47" lines are well below what I'd call ideal. And several lines are now less well distinguished from each other by color: S1/S7/U6 are all similar shades of pink now while S5/S45-46-47/U9 are all sort of beige tan which is indistinct from the U4 yellow and even the U1 to some extent.

    The designers claim the new line shapes and curves improve the ability to trace routes and follow lines, but I find it the opposite in practice. I think this is mainly due to the introduction of varying radii curves… The current map is rightly criticized for having too abrupt/small radii, but to its credit there are only two angles (45° and 90°) and a standard radius for all curves. This adds up to predictability and ease of tracing.

    I love the softened radii and simplified lines in the new map, and the U-bahn lines are all solid improvements over the old map. But then it goes and changes up the radii for S-bahn lines, making them far broader than the U-bahn curves and inconsistent from line to line (compare the 90° radius curves on the S1 between Rathaus Steglitz and Potsdamer to that on the S7 between Grunewald and Westkreuz). This proliferation of radii, compounded by the new organic Ringbahn shape, makes for a disorderly spaghetti impression. When I showed this to my wife her immediate response was: "That's tangled".

    Lastly, the A/B/C zones are way less clearly defined on the new map than on the old, thanks largely to the introduction of gradient backgrounds. Solid backgrounds would make it far simpler to tell one from the next.

    I applaud the redesign; clearly a huge amount of thought and effort was put into this and there's lots I'd love to see implemented from it.

    10 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Is Sketch stable with macOS Sierra?, in reply to Wenhuan Shang , Sep 26, 2016

    Same here. Sketch 40, suffering from almost constant flickering UI, disappearing edges, randomly resized text boundaries. A crash dialog when editing a pasted vector from Illustrator. Feels like Sketch circa 2014 all over again.

    1 point
  • Posted to Swift Playgrounds: Should we teach coding, or creativity?, Jun 17, 2016

    False dichotomy. Constraints breed creativity.

    9 points
  • Posted to New Logo and Identity for VSCO done In-house, Feb 11, 2016

    My biggest complaint about their app was the cryptic unlabeled icons used everywhere. This is just as cryptic

    1 point
  • Posted to Show DN: Invision Labs - Probably the best thing since Sketch, Feb 05, 2016

    I wish they'd dedicate half the energy to fixing bugs in their core app that they do to creating new features and products.

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: How has Apple Pencil worked for you?, in reply to Alex Montague , Nov 23, 2015

    Post asked about the Pencil, not the iPad. Pencils are still mostly backordered. Makes sense there are few replies so far

    0 points
  • Posted to Google "G" logo is wonky, in reply to Kat ☺ , Sep 03, 2015

    They brought it up by including the grid line animation… I'm just responding to the incongruity of showing off the grid geometry of a shape that doesn't map to their own grid!

    0 points
  • Posted to Google "G" logo is wonky, in reply to Kyle Decker , Sep 03, 2015

    I'm sure you're right… still kinda odd that they then presented it with this grid animation that seems to want to show off the shape's geometrical precision.

    I guess that's still what bugs me about this: it's not unapologetically imperfect or organic (like FF Meta, or the tilted "e" in the logotype); instead, everything else about the "G" sort of promises or implies precision and symmetry, then delivers an almost geometrically perfect shape, then just this one single, subtle aspect is not symmetrical. The curve of the G maps to a perfect circle; the stroke is precisely the same width throughout, no variation; the crossbar is perfectly centered on the yellow segment… but then there's the just slightly mismatched diagonal.

    I dunno. Not a big deal in the grand scheme, just struck me as off for such an otherwise symmetrical shape.

    1 point
  • Posted to Google "G" logo is wonky, in reply to Some Designer , Sep 02, 2015

    "Breaking the grid" is fine when it improves the visual perception of perfection. IMO this does not do that; the imperfection seems glaring to me. Evidently not to everyone though… which is ok.

    2 points
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