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  • Mixel: FREE App for iPad
  • Mixel is a free app for iPad that lets anybody create art instantly, regardless of talent. Users can bring in images from virtually any source and collage them together quickly and easily using standard, intuitive multitouch gestures.

    The app's unique social network dynamic lets anyone reuse any image from any other collage, which ensures that there is never a shortage of good source material to create new works from. This also creates a powerful remix dynamic, where a collage can be reworked with a touch of a button, spurring robust visual conversations.

    Mixel launched in November 2011 to great reviews and was designed by CEO and co-founder Khoi Vinh (NYTimes.com, Subtraction.com).

    These are the latest designs for the app as of late January 2011.

    → Download Mixel FREE
  • The Updates tab displays the latest collages posted by other Mixel users. Social activity (e.g., comments, likes, remixes) relevant to you are signified by an orange snipe in the top right corner of appropriate mixels.
  • Tapping on any thumbnail from the view above leads to the thread view, which shows that collage at a larger size. If the collage is part of a thread of remixes, the previous and next remixes are shown at left and right.

    Conveying the heredity of this 'family' of remixes was one of the toughest parts of the designing the user interface. The team iterated through several different ideas, some of them much less linear, before creating this relatively straightforward presentation.
  • From the thread view each collage can then be viewed at full-size in an 'explore view.' This gives the user access to each of the pieces that compose the collage. In the example below, the piece at the left edge with the red outline is being pulled away from the main collage. When released the image will snap back to its original position, but this feature makes every collage explorable in such a way that gives insight into how it was assembled. Some incredibly creative collages, such as this one which was composed entirely of clever crops from a single image, reveal even more of their artistry in this mode.
  • The read-out in the lower-left hand corner of this mode shows all of the other uses of any given piece of the collage. Here, the user has tapped on the image of Marilyn Monroe, and the read out shows that the thirty-one other collages that use that piece. The user can then choose to reuse that single piece in a collage of her own, or remix the entire collage by tapping on the Remix button.
  • The editing environment is simple and very easy to use. There are no complex modes for any of the tools, so users can manipulate the images quickly and easily. Here, the canvas displays all of the uniquely cropped pieces from another collage, copied over and resized and arranged automatically on the canvas. All of the pieces can be duplicated, flipped, resized and even cropped again from their original, uncropped source image -- all images are stored on the Mixel server, so editing is completely non-destructive.
  • To add new images to the collage users also have access to virtually any image they can think of from within the app. They can bring in images from the iPad, from Facebook, or perform a web image search for any term. The Popular tab shows the most popular images recently used in collages.
  • The best stuff on Mixel, however, is the amazing work that users create with it. Here is just a sampling of what people have done with the app's very limited, but creatively inspiring, tools.
  • Promotional imagery, art directed by OCD.