I admit I have a soft spot for Helvetica. So when I saw the iPhone app “Calvetica” (a calendar app) I thought I’d give it a spin. The calendar app provided by Apple needs attention. Adding an event is not quick nor is it intuitive. Does Calvetica improve the data entry experience? Yes.
However, the UI is terrible. It shows complete disregard for Apple’s Human User Interface Guidelines by gracing the screen with large expanses of block colours. The icon sticks out like a sore thumb which is a real pet hate of mine. Instantly relegated to any home screen but the first - let alone the dock!
But what really annoyed me was the fact that Helvetica seemed like it had been used as a gimmick. It feels like the message is: “because this calendar is set in Helvetica, it is a more refined experience”. Using Helvetica has no bearing on the functionality of the app. Helvetica is not a metaphor for making things better. And it grieves me that it makes the title. The reality is that it doesn’t actually look all that good.
Calvetica is not brilliant because it uses helvetica; it’s the functionality. The UI leaves a lot of room for improvement and I hope the designers drop the Swiss pretence and flat UI and appreciate the fact that they’ve made advances in calendar app functionality.