I didn’t start work on the Opera 10 redesign until April this year, so what was doing between November (when I started) and then?
Opera Mini 5!
My first day at Opera, was visiting the team out in Linköping, Sweden, where they showed me the work they had been doing. Up until now, Opera Mini has always been a text-based interface out of necessity. There was limit to the size the download could be (which I think was around 100k). Overstep that and some devices just fall over, but it was worth optimising in order to accommodate as many handsets as possible. Now the allowance is bigger, but not substantially, and it’s incredible how much fits into the Opera Mini download. They showed me an interface that not only used animations and visual speedial, but was touch screen compatible. A lot of the work had already been done, but I had a great time working on the interface.
I can’t take all the credit for the interface design though. Apart from the work that had already been done, my time on Opera 10 meant that the Mini team had to continue without me to do the final polish, and a superb job they’ve done too.
I’m working on separate blog post, going into more detail about the design of Opera 10 and Mini 5, but for now, go and have a play with the Mini 5 beta.