Interview with Matt Gemmell...

Sorry about the empty days everyone. I have some big things coming up, that I might be able to tell you about. But for now I will leave you in suspense. On another note we have an amazing interview on...

Matt Gemmell is one of the best iOS developers there is. He is...

particularly interested in touch-screen and multi-touch interfaces, and has created several designs, proof-of-concept implementations, notations, essays and articles in the field.

Matt is an amazing guy and I hope you enjoy the interview!

Q. What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?

A. Getting married. But if you mean in my professional life, I think it would be the sheer number of apps that use some of my source code. I have no idea what that number is, but I stopped keeping track when it was already in the hundreds. It's very satisfying to contribute to the community in that practical way (which is also one of the reasons why I speak at conferences). I'd also like to think that I've helped some developers to think more about user experience, and there are few things more important than that.

Q. As a user interface developer, what is the one thing you want in all of your interfaces?

A. Fewer controls, and less functionality. There's no magic widget or one-size-fits-all solution for software interfaces; I just want people to really think about what they're putting in there, and to remember that less is more. It's far better to do two or three things really well than to do ten or twenty things in a mediocre or poor way. Pick something to be the very best at, and do that - hide or omit everything else.

Q. You said you worked at Apple, what did you do there and what was the experience like?

A. Apple has been my client on several occasions, but I wasn't an employee. The vast majority of my work, as you'd expect, was on custom UI controls for their apps - mostly internal ones. I signed a stack of paperwork that says I can't tell you anything more specific than that. The experience was interesting. I worked with some great people, who care very much about making things beautiful and intuitive. People who haven't worked there always tend to assume that companies like Apple have fully vertical, centralised structures where everything conforms to one style and everyone is aware of what everyone else is doing - and no company is actually like that. Your experience when working with them is always a little different from someone else's experience. What Apple does have throughout, though, is a lot of people who really, really care about making great software. It's always refreshing to work with clients who understand the importance of delight, beauty and comprehensibility in interfaces.
Q. What is your favorite food?
A. My tastes are fairly conventionally British, which of course mostly means Indian, Chinese and Italian food. If we're including beverages, it would be either a decent black coffee or a single malt Scotch whisky.
Q. What computer do you use and why?
A. I use a variety of computers, depending on what I'm doing, and I upgrade them regularly. For development in Xcode or heavy Photoshop work, I currently have a 27" 3.4 GHz Core i7 iMac with 16 GB of RAM and whatever the maximum (2 GB Radeon HD something, I think) graphics option was. I have a solid state boot drive and a second internal HDD in it, and various further drives attached, and an extra 24" Samsung SyncMaster monitor (I love Samsung displays). I use a Magic Trackpad full-time on that machine, including for Photoshop work, but generally I rarely use a pointer and rely on keyboard navigation and shortcuts. When I'm away from the desk (or out of my home office altogether), I have an 11" MacBook Air that I use less and less often, and an iPad 3 that's never far from my side. My current phone is an iPhone 4S, until they release a newer model. I started using Macs when I was about 11 years old, and I've never looked back. Since that age, the only non-Mac computer I've personally owned was an Acer netbook a few years ago, running Linux. I keep Windows in virtualization using VMware Fusion.
Back on track!
The desktop background I designed for Matt is...
I hope you like it! And if you like it enough purchase it on Gumroad here : http://gum.co/oYiz.
Check it out!
Thanks Matt,
instantbight