For iOS engineers, iOS 7 offers a lot to get excited about: Background data tasks, UIKit dynamics, new gestures, a freshly Ive’d-up design language…the list is long. Born from that excitement, this week the Gilt mobile team released a pretty major update to our flagship iPhone app. Much is new about this latest iteration of our mobile experience, but here are two new things worth highlighting:
- A new look and feel that incorporates the UX / design patterns of iOS 7. Possibly the best principle that Apple is driving with its new OS is de-emphasizing UI chrome to get out of the way of content. One of Gilt’s best assets has always been its extremely high-quality photography, which we generate in-house. Our photos help us sell products better than any text style or gradient ever could. Gilt’s Mobile team worked hard to eliminate and consolidate some UI elements in our new app, cutting out the tab bar and reorganizing functionality into a cleaner layout.
- Of all of the great new under-the-hood improvements we could take advantage of, background data tasks had the biggest immediate appeal to us. For Gilt members, being first in line to take advantage of our daily flash-sales offers a real advantage. Background fetches can allow us to pre-cache some preliminary sales data that will allow our most competitive shoppers to walk through our virtual door and buy the products they want the exact moment a sale starts. Turning an OS feature into a competitive shopping advantage is an enormous win for us.
When it comes to UI, achieving simplicity in design is often difficult to execute. One of my favorite aspects of our app and its progression is that, despite the increasing complexity of our feature set, it continuously evolves over time to be less cluttered and simpler to use. Want proof? Gilt Director of Mobile Product Christopher Gonzalez put together this awesome series highlighting changes to the launch page since the early days of Gilt 1.x. Check it out! And while you’re at it, give the app a try!