The Retina­pocalypse: A Case Study

The ‘retinapocalypse‘ refers to a worrying new trend in web design which threatens to usher in a new age of information elitism. Its emergence owes itself to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets with high-resolution displays which can render text in crisp detail, arguably more legibly than print.

Graphic designers seem to have developed a form of tunnel-vision for these devices. Imagine their smug satisfaction as they recline their over-priced ergonomic chairs in a swanky over-styled Collingwood office. They’ve just spent weeks on the publication’s digital re-branding, involving countless hours staring into their 4K iMacs. It looks beautiful on their screen and fantastic in print, what could go wrong?

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Microsoft and Nokia

So Microsoft bought Nokia. I can’t say I’m surprised. It will be interesting to see if this can bring them back from the brink of irrelevancy. I love the look of Windows Phone as an OS, and have been quite outspoken on my anticipation for the Nokia Lumia 1020 as the ultimate travel companion. However, Microsoft needs to experience a fundamental attitude shift if they’re going to claw their way back into the mobile devices market.

The Apple vs. Android vs. Microsoft debate is thoroughly uninteresting. Each platform has their strengths and weaknesses. Apple got there first with shiny touch phones and pioneered the App Store business model. Google snatched up the software-only market by stealing Microsoft’s modus operandiā€”build the OS and the cheap hardware will come, along with butt-loads of market-share. Microsoft is kind of a wild card. They’re that arrogant corporate jock that storms in late and gate-crashes the hipster/nerd frat party. Google’s dominance and market share is quite straightforward. Android is popular, not because it’s good, but because it’s free and it’s “good enough”. The interesting debate, and the only one worth having, is about brand attitude.

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