You may not know Loren Brichter by name, but if I say Atebits, Letterpress, Tweetie… I’m sure you’ll hear more of it. And if I tell you pull-to-refresh or the burger button to open the submenu like the first version of Twitter for iPad did, you can get an idea of the character we are talking about today. He is a pioneer in terms of design and functionality of interfaces and today we will know a little more about him and his work.
Loren Brichter is a crack. After reading his outstanding track record as an application developer, I can only think of this adjective to describe him. Some of the highlights include Tweetie or Letterpress. With these two clues you can already guess where the shots are going in terms of design and functionality of these applications.
He is the creator of the sliders that were first introduced on Twitter for iPad, the pull-to-refresh for updating lists or slipping an item in a list to discover buttons, such as deleting a message. Every day we can perform these actions thanks to it.
Countless applications use the pull-to-refresh today. Even Apple has released a version that developers can use. Loren has expressed that anyone who wants to use his version can do so freely, although he is in the process of patenting it from Twitter. And not only this invention can be used freely, but any of its ideas. That this is so represents a great advance for other developers and, also, for the user.
If we look briefly at the biography of its creator we will understand its work a little better. Loren worked for a year at Apple to integrate software and hardware into the iPhone in the graphics section. He founded Atebits, the company behind the development of Tweetie for Mac. Tweetie was a turning point in OS X interface design. And with Tweetie for Mac, the pull-to-refresh of the Philadelphia developer was introduced.
Shortly after, Twitter bought the desktop client Tweetie and transformed it into the Twitter we have today in OS X. Then Loren became part of the mobile team. He also became Dom Leca’s advisor for the development of Sparrow and dedicated himself to advising him on how the transitions and animations should be. These are the details that make the difference between applications that have an exquisite design and those that are part of the pile. Later, as you all know, Google bought Sparrow.
It is normal that Loren Brichter’s design criteria are valued more and more every day and that his simplicity and functionality is the most valued by users today. Just look at the success of Letterpress: a simple word game that took the servers of Apple’s Game Center by storm for a few hours. Regarding the design of some applications that have menus that appear or fold over themselves, they are annoying because the interaction is not real:
In the Wall Street Journal article on Loren Brichter he comments that he is currently independently developing an arcade game but that he still has some development ahead of him. Loren prefers not to depend on Apple or third party technologies.