Preparing for a New Era of Design
Wunderlist on iOS 7 and beyond

September 20, 2013 — Reading time: 4 mins — Comments

There’s been a lot of buzz around the recent release of iOS 7 and its entirely new design. While last week's 2.2.2 update for iPhone and iPad made Wunderlist fully compatible with the new system, there were no changes to its UI. Today, we wanted to explain why we decided to not immediately change the overall look of Wunderlist and shed some light on its future design direction. We'll also share some of our ideas with you that extend beyond just a single platform.

A few months ago, while we were busy delivering new features for Wunderlist and Wunderlist Pro, we began working on an entirely new design for the product. This new approach to Wunderlist's design will make it ready for growth over the next few years. And it goes way beyond just a facelift. Our goal is to scale Wunderlist’s unique character to all devices, both now and in the future.

When we launched Wunderlist 2 it was much more than just a polished version of the original. With its all-new re-engineered, re-designed native apps, it set the starting point for an entirely new, scalable productivity platform. With the introduction of Wunderlist Pro, we entered the team collaboration space. Most of all, due to these changes, the relationship our users have with Wunderlist has deepened and productivity increased as a result. Wunderlist is growing faster than ever, and with its inherent simplicity and human touch, it appeals to people all around the world.

But, the world keeps turning, our users needs are continually changing, and we are only at the beginning of our journey towards making the world more productive. We want to put Wunderlist in the hands and hearts of tens of millions of people.

iOS 7 and our approach on truly human design

The new design direction for Wunderlist started with one simple question, “What makes Wunderlist, ‘Wunderlist’?”. We stripped everything away we felt wasn’t an essential part of the overall experience, looking at everything from a completely new perspective. It led to a number of breakthrough realizations of how to look at our own product. We started with the Wunderlist icon, the red ribbon and the star, the three-sheet layer navigation, handmade pictograms and the colorful backgrounds.

Then we looked even deeper – past the visuals, the textures, typography and pictograms. We really took the time to think about what was most important to our users: ease-of-use, performance and speed. The result is something you won’t see today, or next week for that matter. We decided to take our time to rethink, redesign and refine Wunderlist for iOS 7 and the future. We don’t want it to be just a facelift, but we want to make use of all the new technologies, powerful physics APIs, and fluid animations that iOS 7 offers. Here’s one of our concept designs we made early on:

Wunderlist Inbox task view on a red iPhone 5s

We are truly inspired by the approach taken in iOS 7 to fuse software and hardware, as well as the idea of utilizing device sensors to manipulate an app’s UI with subtle effects. For our users, all this means they will experience the simplest, fastest, most fluid experience we’ve ever shipped on an iPhone or iPad, or any other device for that matter.

iOS is just the beginning. Since Wunderlist is developed to offer the very best cross-platform experience, our new design approach goes beyond just iOS 7. In fact, it inspired an entirely new app for Windows 8 and Modern UI, allowing us to play on new grounds, creating an experience that feels at home on Surface tablets and any number of other touch devices.

Simplicity, affordance and emotion

Our work on Wunderlist is focused around creating a natural, consistent and familiar experience for our users, at all times. Since the beginning, we focused only on functionality that was essential. No “this could be nice”, no “what if…”, no bells, no whistles. We reduced productivity to what was truly beneficial for our users.

The concept of a list is familiar to everybody – it is a simple, yet powerful way to structure information. By making lists shareable with others, we made it easy to collaborate on any project no matter how big or small the team. And everyone can style Wunderlist the way they want and make it their own with awesome backgrounds. All this led people to love their Wunderlist. But more so, it let them return to their lists, not only because they were looking at their work related to-dos, but because they kept track of their favorite movies, restaurants, and shopping lists there as well.

Devices are going to be all around us, no matter if we will hold, wear or drive them. The strive for simplicity in everything we build is part of our DNA here at 6Wunderkinder. No matter how the future and its devices will look like, we believe in the power of the simplest solution. More so, we believe that in order to really enhance productivity, our tools need to get out of the way and feel natural, even human.

About the Author

Benedikt Lehnert is the Chief Marketing Officer at 6Wunderkinder, leading the Product Design and Marketing teams. For further discussions on design and its growing importance in shaping businesses of the future please visit his blog www.benedikt-lehnert.de or follow him on Twitter via @blehnert

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