Monday, 11:00am
13 September 2010

Designing MyFry

Stefanie Posavec explains the thinking behind Stephen Fry’s new iPhone app

MyFry, an iPhone app to accompany Stephen Fry’s new autobiography The Fry Chronicles, is launched today, writes Stefanie Posavec.

The project was initiated by Jeremy Ettinghausen, the head of digital publishing at Penguin. I designed the ‘visual index’ navigation system, and Dare built the app. The app functions as a ‘visual index’ of key theme tags within the book, which have been divided into 4 major groups: People, Subjects, Emotions, and Fryisms (metaphors, similes, word play, and other interesting elements in Fry's writing). The book has been written in a style that is suited to splitting the text into separate ‘moments’ in Fry’s life. Check out the app here.

Top: Initial sketches for myFry

Below: Early development screenshots

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myFry screenshot 1

Above: The finished intro page - the opening page of the app, showing the entirety of the book, represented by circular ‘spines’, each of which represents a section of text. They are colour-coded by the main four groups according to the proportion of tags in each section. The arcs around the outside of the circle connect sections that are tagged with the same theme.

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Above: Scrolling the wheel - scrolling magnifies the selected section, producing a clicking wheel sound and providing a short text description of the section in the center of the screen.

Below: Tags - holding down on a section brings up a screen showing the theme tags within. The user can click through to read the section or click on one of the theme tags.

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Above: Filtered view - clicking on the tag 'Comedy' isolates every text section that is tagged with this theme. (The arcs faintly link all of these sections together)

Below: Reading - the user can choose to read every section tagged with 'comedy'. All sections of text are represented in this simple fashion.

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Below: A video showing how the app works, as explained by Stephen Fry:

Eye magazine is available from all good design bookshops and at the online Eye shop, where you can order subscriptions, single issues and back issues.

The summer issue, 76, out now, is a music special – full contents here, and you can see a selection of visual details on Eye Before You Buy on Issuu.

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