Alexander Käßner wants to improve the user experience for the iPad crowd. As a digital product designer at Diagrams For Mac, he plays around with ideas and iterations that can make an Apple gadget far more usable and attractive to a consumer.
In one of his experiments uploaded to Vimeo, Käßner decided to tackle a simple question: What would a main menu look like on an iPad? As part of his thesis for 2020, the designer shared his concept which, he believes, can make iPad a "true computer replacement." It's actually pretty compelling. And making the iPad a genuine full-blown computer is something Apple's edging ever closer to.
What Käßner says — In the official website for the iPad Menu Study, the designer explains his vision:
This concept brings the main menu we know and love from Mac to iPad. It keeps the numerous advantages of a written menu, redesigned with touch devices in mind. iPad Main Menu helps bring a vast amount of features to iPadOS for people who seek out this power, while keeping the OS accessible for users who prefer a simpler experience.
In his Vimeo demonstration, Käßner shows how the redesigned iPad would feature the main menu on the left-hand side, which would be a more intuitive method for interaction according to the designer. And if you feel a little hesitant about a re-do like that, Käßner makes a straightforward case for it: it's "the menu we've been using since 1983." Here's what it looks like.
The three issues Käßner's design tackles — The current interface for iPad lacks consistency and consolidation, and has a dearth of what Käßner calls "pro-features for power users." An iPad Main Menu like the one above would provide consistent access to various interface elements right in the dock.
"No more features hidden behind icons, gestures, share sheets, modal views or other UI elements," the designer explains. A dock nestled in the left-most position would, according to Käßner, make the "menu rock solid in every situation" plus a three-finger-tap would immediately open it.
Small space no longer an issue — Käßner adds that a split view would make practical use of iPad's otherwise limited screen real estate. You wouldn't have to leave the menu when accessing other apps. Additionally, Käßner calls for the elimination of "excessive use of icons."
Every now and then, people will have ideas for improving Apple products. Sometimes they're a hit. But most of the time, they don't stick. Käßner's digital renovation of iPad, though, could do wonders for the product given the pragmatic use of screen space and familiar concepts for navigation. Käßner's left his contact info at the bottom of his thesis, just in case Tim Cook or someone else at Apple is interested in an iPad makeover like the one he proposes.