Writer Intimacy

Since the iPad has been released, it’s been interesting to see how application designers are taking advantage of the generous screen real estate. The recently released Twitter app, for example, is a miracle in interface innovation for the platform — it packs a huge amount of content into a smoothly multi-layered and very flexible interface.

One of the things that makes using the iPad so unique, is how it draws you in and focuses your attention. Its single-app “limitation” results in longer engagement with each app, reducing your multitasking, and, in a very positive way, encourages you to slow down.

The recently released Writer app takes this idea and approaches it from the opposite direction of Twitter. It offers only a surprisingly minimal, but perfectly appropriate, interface, for writing. The app has almost no options or formatting controls. “It avoids all distracting glitz in the user interface and puts all the beauty in the shape of the text.”

The app has some pretty unique features. Its keyboard has cursor movement keys so you don’t have to move your hands into the text. It gives you hints about how long it will take someone to read your text. And “Focus Mode” reduces your view of the text to just three lines — encouraging more organic and fluid writing, and hiding too much text in order ti discourage editing and jumping around. It’s all about creating.

It’s a great example of Brian Eno’s quote, “Turn off the options, and turn up the intimacy.”

(Quote from Wired, via @frogdesign.)

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