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Designer of notifications for Palm's WebOS hired by Apple

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
One of the key players in creating Palm's WebOS mobile operating system, a man who designed its non-intrusive notification system, is now Apple's Senior User Interface Designer.

Rich Dellinger worked as the User Interface Design Architect at Palm for nearly 4 years. During his time there, he invented the WebOS notification system and co-developed the application framework used by the operating system found on Palm's Pre.

Dellinger was also the visual designer, interaction designer and engineer of WebOS, and he created the icon suite for Palm, Sprint and other partner applications.

Dellinger, who has more than 15 years of experience in the technology industry, was hired by Apple in May, according to his LinkedIn page. It will be his second stint with the Cupertino, Calif., company, as he worked there from 1999 to 2006 in a variety of roles, including tech support, Web design, and a 9 month stint as a user interface designer for Mac OS X, the iPod and iPhone.

"I've worked at two companies over the past 15 years," he wrote this week via Twitter, where he also wrote he was attending new employee orientation on June 1. "There are great people doing amazing work at both places."

Palm has seen an exodus of employees since it was announced in April that the struggling smartphone maker would be purchased by computer maker HP for $1.2 billion. HP has said it plans to leverage the technology in WebOS to create tablet-style devices to compete with Apple's iPad. Company officials have suggested they are less interested in the smartphone market.

"Delliger represents the latest in what could be called a minor brain drain at Palm," wrote Palm enthusiast site PrecCentral.net, "after (senior vice president) of software and services Mike Abbot left to join Twitter and the main designer for webOS, Matias Duarte, left to join up with Android. We wish Dellinger the best of luck at Apple."
post #2 of 60
Hopefully this means Apple realized they've needed a MUCH better notification system for a while now, and this guy seems like he might be able to streamline it in very nicely. Having worked with Apple in the past doesn't hurt, either, since he already knows what will be expected.
post #3 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Hopefully this means Apple realized they've needed a MUCH better notification system for a while now, and this guy seems like he might be able to streamline it in very nicely. Having worked with Apple in the past doesn't hurt, either, since he already knows what will be expected.

What the iOS interface needs is:

1) Improved notifications
2) Daily Events, Weather, etc. on the lock screen (as an option of course)
3) Quick access to turn on/off GPS/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/3G from the top bar instead of having to fish through pages and pages of settings.

Do that, and the OS would be damn near perfect IMHO.
post #4 of 60
A notification hub would be most welcome addition and it's kind of surprising it wasn't in 4.0 considering it's so fundamentally flawed.

It's odd to see the mass exodus of WebOS designers. I would figure HP would try to keep everyone since they've never been good at UI design and they'll need these same people to work on the WebOS tablet.
post #5 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Hopefully this means Apple realized they've needed a MUCH better notification system for a while now, and this guy seems like he might be able to streamline it in very nicely. Having worked with Apple in the past doesn't hurt, either, since he already knows what will be expected.

Let me get this straight. Homey left Apple and went to Palm and now Apple has hired him back. He started at Apple first so be basically stole Apple's stuff and gave it to Palm. Yeah that is what happened.
Rubinstein and this guy took Apple's culture and gave it to the Palm's people to make a quick buck.
I'm not surprised. there are a lot of ideas at Apple that don't get out the door but they were developed there(even if they don't get made they still belong to the company). Webos has a lot of hypercard in it. Webos is nothing but the iphone OS and hypercard with a fully realized state of play. Period.
post #6 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

A notification hub would be most welcome addition and it's kind of surprising it wasn't in 4.0 considering it's so fundamentally flawed.

It's odd to see the mass exodus of WebOS designers. I would figure HP would try to keep everyone since they've never been good at UI design and they'll need these same people to work on the WebOS tablet.

It's actually quite typically when "smaller" companies getting acquired to have large employee shifts. Typically it's due to the new style of management the larger company employs. It's not unique to this deal.

With that being said, I think Apple knows that it needs to revise their notification system but there were other things that got prioritized. I mean, 1,500 new APIs for developers and all the other new stuff in 4.0 is no small feat.
post #7 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Let me get this straight. Homey left Apple and went to Palm and now Apple has hired him back. He started at Apple first so be basically stole Apple's stuff and gave it to Palm. Yeah that is what happened.
Rubinstein and this guy took Apple's culture and gave it to the Palm's people to make a quick buck.
I'm not surprised. there are a lot of ideas at Apple that don't get out the door but they were developed there(even if they don't get made they still belong to the company). Webos has a lot of hypercard in it. Webos is nothing but the iphone OS and hypercard with a fully realized state of play. Period.

If he did anything Apple thought of as "basically stealing," Apple would not hire him back.

Don't be an asshole.
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post #8 of 60
Well, widgets for iOS are right in the doorway.
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post #9 of 60
Forget orientation... straight to work!!

I was pretty shocked there's been nothing done to improve this in OS4 despite what is supposed to be 100 new features.
post #10 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

If he did anything Apple thought of as "basically stealing," Apple would not hire him back.

Don't be an asshole.

Agreed.
post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

What the iOS interface needs is:

1) Improved notifications
2) Daily Events, Weather, etc. on the lock screen (as an option of course)
3) Quick access to turn on/off GPS/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/3G from the top bar instead of having to fish through pages and pages of settings.

Do that, and the OS would be damn near perfect IMHO.

I agree that pretty much covers it. Maybe something to enable the alarm clock real fast too.

I just hope it's not a year for them to get it done.
post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

What the iOS interface needs is:

1) Improved notifications
2) Daily Events, Weather, etc. on the lock screen (as an option of course)
3) Quick access to turn on/off GPS/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/3G from the top bar instead of having to fish through pages and pages of settings.

Do that, and the OS would be damn near perfect IMHO.

Agreed. The black Search page that shows when you hit the home button looks way too simple and it seems like a waist of real-estate. Why not add a customizable home page...
post #13 of 60
Finally. Notifications are absolute garbage on the iPhone. This is where they are themselves years behind the competition.
post #14 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post

Forget orientation... straight to work!!

I was pretty shocked there's been nothing done to improve this in OS4 despite what is supposed to be 100 new features.

There were plenty of other HUGE things added to iOS4. Not every feature request can be added with every OS release. I'd rather them take the time to think it out. There are good and bad things with regards to competing notification systems, and just as with cut/copy/paste & multitasking, Apple will take its time and hopefully come up with a better implementation.
post #15 of 60
That's very good news. I hope he's been put to work at overhauling iOS's utterly terrible notification system.

And that his work will progress fast enough to be rolled out in a 4.1 or 4.2, waiting a year to finally get modern notifications is going to be excruciating.
post #16 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post

I just hope it's not a year for them to get it done.

I hope so too. A 12 months release cycle for iOS seems very long if you compare to Android's 6 months. Regardless, how can the dev team at Apple outperform Android's massive open source coders...
post #17 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post

I agree that pretty much covers it. Maybe something to enable the alarm clock real fast too.

I just hope it's not a year for them to get it done.


Doubtful that it will happen pre-iOS5. Apple has always had at least 2 major new features per iOS release. iOS2 brought 3rd party apps and the app store, iOS3 brought push notifications and copy cut and paste, iOS4 brings Multi-tasking and app folders, so I am guessing iOS5 will have a complete overhaul of notifications. One more thing... I still think Palm's implementation of multi-tasking/fast user switching is more elegant that Apple's just sayin'.
post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by replicant View Post

I hope so too. A 12 months release cycle for iOS seems very long if you compare to Android's 6 months. Regardless, how can the dev team at Apple outperform Android's massive open source coders...

Actually, Android's quick OS cycles is part of the reason the market is so fragmented. Google has pretty much said that they had a lot of catching up to do and that is why they have been cranking out releases, but that they would be slowing down their release cycle.

General consumers can't be constantly rushed into major new features. You have to incrementally roll them out.

With that being said, we could potentially see a new notification system by the time iOS 4 hits the iPad. Here's hoping.
post #19 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

If he did anything Apple thought of as "basically stealing," Apple would not hire him back.

Don't be an asshole.

Ditto on the first statement.

Rather harsh on the last.
post #20 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by replicant View Post

I hope so too. A 12 months release cycle for iOS seems very long if you compare to Android's 6 months. Regardless, how can the dev team at Apple outperform Android's massive open source coders...

Well, ignoring for the moment that Android is faux open source, if "massive open source coders" were such a tremendous advantage, Linux ought to have taken over the desktop OS market by now.
post #21 of 60
This is good news. Let's see what they come up with.
post #22 of 60
wow, the only guy here making any sense is called an asshole. classy. what he said sounded pretty reasonable. anyway, apple made huge improvements to iOS this time around. multitasking, 1,500 API's, etc. i know it's early, but i think we can be more constructive then that.

that being said, i really don't like the look of the notifications, and how they make my fish freeze when i have Wa Kingyo on in the background (WAY better than the koi pond apps, highly recommend).

i like the idea i just read from a commenter on 9to5mac that said, from the home screen, swipe up to see notifications, swipe down for update widgets like weather and such. i hope they keep the multiple pages to the right and the easy access to search on the left.

i can't wait to get the new iphone, it looks freaking amazing.
post #23 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Dellinger, who has more than 15 years of experience in the technology industry, was hired by Apple in May, according to his LinkedIn page. It will be his second stint with the Cupertino, Calif., company, as he worked there from 1999 to 2006 in a variety of roles, including tech support, Web design, and a 9 month stint as a user interface designer for Mac OS X, the iPod and iPhone.

So, he is some brilliant technical minded person that worked for Apple, then Palm and now Apple, and yet they had him in Tech Support? Does this not sound strange to anyone else? Do you really make your smart sought-after designers man the phones?

Maybe I am misunderstanding. Maybe he started in Tech Support and quickly moved up once they realized his talents. At least I hope this is how it went down. \
post #24 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by replicant View Post

I hope so too. A 12 months release cycle for iOS seems very long if you compare to Android's 6 months. Regardless, how can the dev team at Apple outperform Android's massive open source coders...

6 Month release cycles don't mean squat if it's difficult or impossible for the user to obtain it and update thier device.
post #25 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post

I agree that pretty much covers it. Maybe something to enable the alarm clock real fast too.

I just hope it's not a year for them to get it done.

Unfortunately, a complete overhaul of the OS to redesign the notifications system sounds like a full release to me, like probably iOS 5. Sooner would be better than later, but I'm not holding my breath.
post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

So, he is some brilliant technical minded person that worked for Apple, then Palm and now Apple, and yet they had him in Tech Support? Does this not sound strange to anyone else? Do you really make your smart sought-after designers man the phones?

Maybe I am misunderstanding. Maybe he started in Tech Support and quickly moved up once they realized his talents. At least I hope this is how it went down. \

It's the modern equivalent of starting in the Mail Room.
post #27 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

If he did anything Apple thought of as "basically stealing," Apple would not hire him back.

You don't think he will ever get out of that room they put him in deep in the basement do you?
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post #28 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Well, ignoring for the moment that Android is faux open source, if "massive open source coders" were such a tremendous advantage, Linux ought to have taken over the desktop OS market by now.

I think there may be some other factors here - like 20 years of Windows, software incompatibilty....
post #29 of 60
LinkedIn public profile:

Rich Dellinger
Designer

San Francisco Bay Area Computer Software

Current
  • Senior User Interface Designer at Apple Inc.
Past
  • User Interface Design Architect at Palm, Inc.
  • User Interface Designer at Apple Computer, Inc.
  • Lead Web Designer, Online Support at Apple Computer, Inc.
  • Web Designer at Apple Computer
  • Senior Technical Support Engineer at Apple Computer, Inc.
Education
  • Oklahoma State University
Portfolio

P.S.
``People keep saying you are very bright guy, but everything you did in your life was crap. Come work for me we'll set it all right' '

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

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People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #30 of 60
Better Apple employs anyone from ex Apple - Palm background than Google! May be a defensive hiring as well as gaining him back.
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post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by raybo View Post

I think there may be some other factors here - like 20 years of Windows, software incompatibilty....

... and the fact that the Linux desktop user experience pretty much sucks.

Sometimes open source works fine, and sometimes it's like monkeys at typewriters.
post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Do you really make your smart sought-after designers man the phones?

It's actually a great way to understand what problems users are having with the systems you design. Designers, developers and programmers tend to ignore lists of complaints until they are directly confronted by customers via tech support or at sales/trade shows.

When you design someting, you're simply "too close to it" to realize how it appears to an average user.
post #33 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

It's actually a great way to understand what problems users are having with the systems you design. Designers, developers and programmers tend to ignore lists of complaints until they are directly confronted by customers via tech support or at sales/trade shows.

When you design someting, you're simply "too close to it" to realize how it appears to an average user.

You make an excellent point. I didn't think of it from this angle.
post #34 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

What the iOS interface needs is:

1) Improved notifications
2) Daily Events, Weather, etc. on the lock screen (as an option of course)
3) Quick access to turn on/off GPS/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/3G from the top bar instead of having to fish through pages and pages of settings.

Do that, and the OS would be damn near perfect IMHO.

Agreed. This is one area I've always though iOS was behind. I like how Android does it with the notification blind and the on/off panel for wifi/bluetooth/gsp/sync/brightness. The Google New and weather widget or the weather widget on HTC's Sense UI or Beautiful Widgets is really nice too. They are good additions on the home screen. But they haven't enabled the widgets on the lock screen, something Apple should definitely do.
post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by foad View Post

Actually, Android's quick OS cycles is part of the reason the market is so fragmented. Google has pretty much said that they had a lot of catching up to do and that is why they have been cranking out releases, but that they would be slowing down their release cycle.

General consumers can't be constantly rushed into major new features. You have to incrementally roll them out.

With that being said, we could potentially see a new notification system by the time iOS 4 hits the iPad. Here's hoping.

Except that Apple only has a handful of phones and one platform to update. So fragmentation shouldn't be an issue. This should leave room for Apple to update far more frequently than Android theoretically.
post #36 of 60
Maybe they should hire someone to rework OS X and it's God awful inconsistent abomination of an interface.
post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Better Apple employs anyone from ex Apple - Palm background than Google! May be a defensive hiring as well as gaining him back.

Very true. Google did pick up the WebOS lead designer (work on the UI I believe). And he's now responsible for Android's user experience efforts.
post #38 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by pondosinatra View Post

Maybe they should hire someone to rework OS X and it's God awful inconsistent abomination of an interface.

If you want to be taken seriously, try giving some specific examples instead of just a general statement like: "I hate it so therefore you should too"!
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post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

So, he is some brilliant technical minded person that worked for Apple, then Palm and now Apple, and yet they had him in Tech Support? Does this not sound strange to anyone else? Do you really make your smart sought-after designers man the phones?

Maybe I am misunderstanding. Maybe he started in Tech Support and quickly moved up once they realized his talents. At least I hope this is how it went down. \

It doesn't say WHAT tech support he worked at. Some of the sharpest engineers at Apple are in Dev Tech Support or moved thru it. There are a lot of areas to work in and the guys "answering phones" are merely the front line. It goes much deeper than that. I would not discount that at all.
post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Let me get this straight. Homey left Apple and went to Palm and now Apple has hired him back. He started at Apple first so be basically stole Apple's stuff and gave it to Palm. Yeah that is what happened.
Rubinstein and this guy took Apple's culture and gave it to the Palm's people to make a quick buck.
I'm not surprised. there are a lot of ideas at Apple that don't get out the door but they were developed there(even if they don't get made they still belong to the company). Webos has a lot of hypercard in it. Webos is nothing but the iphone OS and hypercard with a fully realized state of play. Period.

where do you think a lot of the original iphone engineers came from? Palm. not like Apple just threw a Designing Cell Phones for Dummies book at a few people and told them to design a cell phone
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