29 July 2011


Zero – iPhone App design


I was hired by Ian Kono and Benjamin Gilbert to design Zero. Zero is a super simple task management app for the iPhone.


Zero iPhone screens

Zero App

When Ian and Ben came to me, we talked at length about what we wanted from a task app. It had to be super quick to add tasks, have the ability to add notes, add reminders and sync with iCal.

I was surprised at how different the experience of designing the UI for an iPhone app was. It’s interesting because you’re far more restricted in where you can place certain elements of the UI. There’s no room for error. If you need to add an addition feature at a later stage without having thought about it from the beginning you risk having to completely change the design of the app. It was definitely something I enjoyed and would be happy to do more of.

As well as designing the app itself I also designed the Zero logo and website. I always enjoy creating a visual style/ identity for products like apps, because they are what you make them. There is a lot of creative freedom which is nice, especially compared to designing the app itself!

Anyway, If you want to try Zero app, it’s available in the app store now.

View the Zero website.


  1. Gary Aston

    29 July 2011 | 9:03 am

    Nice work Mike. Great colour and textural choices.

  2. Rob Hampson

    29 July 2011 | 9:14 am

    Looks very nice. Will have to give it a try!

  3. Giles Talbot

    29 July 2011 | 9:18 am

    First of all congratulations M. Awesome piece of work… all round.

    I know what you’re saying about ‘no room for error’. Having attended @sazzy’s iOS Workshop in Manc and worked on a couple of mobile designs myself, I’ve found that working on a smaller canvas results in lengthily planning, as there is more room for error.

  4. Dennis Coughlin

    29 July 2011 | 10:57 am

    Hi Mike,

    Congrats on your first App Design. Just downloaded and tried it out – looks great. Really like the website as well. High impact with a nice and simple delivery.

    On a related question, how did you find working with the retina vs non-retina visuals? Asking because I’m currently working on my own App design and the bit that scares me the most is creating all these slices in Photoshop for both resolutions! :-)

    I’ve read articles like this one for advice:


    But just wondering what workflow you used? Did you design at the lower resolution and then scale up in Photoshop? Or the other way about?


  5. Micha Posthumus

    29 July 2011 | 12:43 pm

    Great work as always!! It really has the Mike Kus signature! I like it!

  6. Alma Hesus

    29 July 2011 | 4:17 pm

    Discovered you via a Communications Conversations article. Love your work!

  7. Mike kus

    31 July 2011 | 10:18 pm

    Hi Dennis,

    Thanks for your comment!

    I did work the lower res first because I found designing at the higher res unrealistic. It makes you feel you can add smaller features because it looks so big on your computer screen…which when you look on an actual iphone just don’t work as they’re too small.

  8. Dennis Coughlin

    01 August 2011 | 4:36 pm

    Thanks for letting me know Mike. Good point about the higher resolution.

    Although I have to admit, I do enjoy designing in the retina resolution because everything looks so damn awesome at that size :-)


  9. Marc

    16 December 2011 | 5:08 pm

    replaced all of my to-do-apps (2do, taska, things, …). like the ui and the concept.

    greetings from germany – marc

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