Juliette Cezzar had some nice things to say about Mixel in her recent post on AIGA’s Design Envy blog:
Mixel, created by designer Khoi Vinh and developer/coder Scott Ostler, is one of the first of what I hope will be many tools created outright by designers. It is beautifully limited, rough and intuitive, a virtual sandbox for collaging and sharing images.
The reception to Mixel has been fantastic, but there have been some complaints about the fact that the app requires a Facebook account in order to be used. There is a good reason for that: Facebook lets us build the Mixel experience around real names, which is powerful for many reasons but most important to us in that it helps protect against the abuse of your personal photos. Lascaux CEO and co-founder Khoi Vinh has posted an explanation of this reasoning here if you’re interested.
By Khoi Vinh
We just made a change to Mixel that should make it easier to find and follow people whose work you like. Starting yesterday evening, when you view a share page like this one on your iPad, you’ll get two extra links, highlighted in the image here:
If you have Mixel installed on your iPad (and everyone should!), tapping on these links will open the app itself. The top link will take you to profile page of the person who made this mixel, and the button highlighted at the bottom will take you to the mixel itself. That’ll make it easier to follow the person or like, love, comment and/or remix the collage. We also have plans to improve overall findability within the app, but that’s for another day. Enjoy!
My very first Mixel.
Not that my opinion matters much, but I was sitting on the train today and felt really strongly about writing something about my morning using Mixel. In short, it was wonderful.
It’s been a rough few days at my startup. I feel discouraged, lost and very much alone in my new venture and really didn’t want to do my usual rush to the office. So I went on Flipboard and discovered an article about Mixel. Installed.
I breezed through the UI, discovered my friends using it, and was presented with a blank slate. ”Time to make the donuts!”. My startup involves dogs, so I naturally picked out some cute images of puppies. Cropping, sizing - easy breezy.
Here’s my ‘aha’ moment. With some swift finger strokes, I slowly created a scene that was more than just puppies - it was how I was feeling in that exact moment. The images started forming the first ever ‘visual self-expression’ I’ve done in a long time. I remember my art teacher in 2nd grade applauding my knack for cutting nice lines and making collages, but I never considered myself an artist by any means. My stick figures are disproportionate, my color choice is always awkward and I dress without style.
But kinda like Tumblr helped me believe I can be a writer, Mixel helped me believe I can be an artist. Sure - I’ll never be famous like Andy Warhol or Picasso, but I love that I have a tool where I can make something visual that tells people who I am and how I’m feeling. I got my very first ‘like’ for my very first Mixel, and that made this average Thursday morning into an exceptional one.
“Built on an instantly familiar multi-touch display, those of all ages will soon be exploring the Mixel medium.”
— Josh Constine at TechCrunch can see the potential for all generations.
“It’s 180 degrees from most Adobe apps (which trade simplicity for power), and I find that refreshing.”
— John Nack, from Adobe.com, comments on the simplicity of Mixel.
— Matt Jacobs (aka Capn Design) highlights that being a spectator is part of the fun in Mixel.