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Influx interview-designer series- phil lu- starbucks/iphone application

January 14, 2008

In the last few days, just ahead of Macworld , a series of fantastic visuals were sent around the web at lightening speed.

People wondered if they were real, that’s how good they were.

The visual concept was for an iPhone Starbucks quick ordering system, using Wi-Fi.

Starbucks/iPhone Quick Order Visual Exploration
It made sense because the technology basically exists and some people are already aware that Apple recently applied for a patent to do something similar.

I tracked down the designer of these images, Phil Lu, (to see a fully animated version of the Starbucks application, please look here) for a very short interview.

This is one in a series of interviews Influx is going to be conducting with designers over the coming months.

1. Briefly describe your background and what you do?

I’m a multimedia designer currently living/working in San Diego, CA. My backgrounds is in media art and graphic design. I did a little bit of graphic design before moving on to multimedia design.

2. How do you come up with the idea for the Starbucks iPhone application?

The “what if?” thought came to my mind when I was waiting in line at Starbucks. I spend more time waiting to order than waiting for the drink. It got me thinking, since iPhone supports iTunes download over wi-fi using iTunes account; why not order my coffee over wi-fi with the same account?

3. How did you work out the conceptual design?

I looked through various interface design and studied the Starbucks’ brands. I wanted an interface that feel like the iPhone interface with the touch of Starbucks’ branding, The reason behind the design is that I don’t want QuickOrder to feel like a 3rd party application. Instead, I want the application blend in seamlessly with the current iPhone interface.

4. How long did it take to make?

Once I have the concept worked out, the design phase goes rather quickly.

5
. What’s next?

I’m currently working on different online-social networking site that will bring like-minded people together.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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