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When I made this comment in last week’s issue, I didn’t think I’d be following up on it this week:

Why do I keep linking to David Smith’s posts on app design? Partially because he’s one of the few people blogging on this topic…

But David also couldn’t think of many people either, and Chris Clark, who also runs a great TikTok channel covering design and SwiftUI coding, made a good point that the subjective nature of the work means that most design writing is mostly thought leadership or case studies.

My favourite articles are subjective, though, and not just with design topics. I learn the most from real-world stories from people working on real projects, no matter if it’s a coding or debugging issue, thinking around a design problem, or a retrospective of a marketing campaign. That’s why David’s post stood out to me last week. It was a story about solving a real issue in his app, and while he could have solved that issue in many ways, reading how he approached the problem was fascinating.

But that also explains why there’s less of this type of content around. Writing about solutions to real-world problems isn’t easy to do regularly because of how much work must happen before you put down a single word. It’s much more straightforward to produce objective or educational articles where you pick a subject and explain it. There’s lots of that kind of writing around coding and much less on design, primarily because there’s rarely a concretely correct answer with design. It’s easy to verify whether Swift code that calculates the first hundred prime numbers works and much harder to do the same for even a constrained design problem like “How would you design screen X in Y app?”

Please note that I’m not trying to diminish the effort or usefulness of objective, educational writing, but it serves a different purpose than I was just talking about.

I’d also like to highlight a few recent real-world subjective design writing examples. I already linked to it, but Sahand Nayebaziz’s article on the keyboard-driven operation of his Details Pro iPad app was fantastic. You should also read this post from Neale Van Fleet on designing Audio Hijack 4. I also really enjoyed this post from Yves Jannic on not worrying too much about your app icon.

I’ll finish this week’s comment by echoing my call to action from last week. If you know of anyone writing or producing any content on design, development, marketing, or anything related to app development, please either let them know to add themselves to the iOS Dev Directory or, even better, add their site for them!

Dave Verwer  

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Mac & iOS Software Engineer @ Flexibits Inc. – We make Fantastical and Cardhop, award-winning calendar and contacts apps for Mac and iOS. We were honored to win Apple's Mac App of the Year in 2020 and we're looking to make our apps even better! Our team is a 25 person, fully-remote company spread across the US and Europe. – Remote (within US or European timezones)

Senior iOS Developer @ Shareup – Want to build something new? Join our small, design-led team at @shareupapp to build the fastest, easiest, and most secure way to share anything with anyone. We use Apple’s best tech, including Swift Concurrency, Combine, Catalyst, UIKit, and SwiftUI, and you’ll work closely with our talented team. – Remote (within European timezones)

 

Is your company hiring? Don't forget that you can post any open Swift or app development positions for free over at iOS Dev Jobs.

 

And finally...

Rendering a scene from Moana with a renderer built in less than 10.000 lines of Swift code? That’s surely not possible, is it? 😳