Tasks screams simple, elegant task management on the go. One look at it tells you that care and attention to detail is paramount to the team behind it. The founder and lead designer Ben Kucsan is someone who’s work we have absolutely admired for some time.
The Next Web
A year after Apple introduced the App Store and the first iPhone SDK, Ben and his brother, software developer Greg Kucsan set off to build a simple, intuitive task management experience. A thoughtfully designed, universally accessible and highly adaptive application that helped people get organised and make the most out of every day. One providing a place to organise all priorities while having a clear focus on the tasks of the day. A place with an easy and intuitive way to quickly capture new to-dos the moment they emerge and where structured content and clear concepts ultimately allowed for a useful and enjoyable experience that would fit right in with the rest of iOS.
Tasks was released in the fall of 2010 for iPhone and iPod touch. Besides its thoughtful design and sophisticated task management capabilities, Tasks also featured a robust and at the time revolutionary cloud sync and backup feature — a first among its competitors in the App Store. By simply creating a free account users had all their lists, tasks, notes and due dates effortlessly synced and safely backed up to the cloud. Edits, additions and reschedules made on one device instantly showed up on all other devices associated with the same account with regular, reliable and reassuring visual feedback about the status of the sync and backup processes.
The mission of Tasks from day one has been to help people get organised and make the most out of every day by providing an application that was missing from the suit of stock productivity applications on iOS. An app that felt like a sibling to the Phone, Messages, Mail and Calendar apps rather than a distant relative. The team of two considered the application as part of the larger, interrelated and interconnected system of stock apps. The conscious decision to utilise standard resources provided by the system not only helped speed up the prototyping phase but made sure the implementations were stable, spoke the same visual language as the rest of iOS and supported the large number of built in accessibility features of the operating system.
Two years after its initial release Tasks was pulled from the App Store due to shifting priorities and Apple introducing Reminders, its official to-do list application filling the gap Tasks was designed to fill. With Reminders iOS gained a great task management application that came with people’s phones right out of the box. While visually Reminders took a more custom approach with elaborate ornamentation, conceptually the two apps had much in common including using customisable lists as the backbone of their structure.
Though the life of Tasks ended in 2012 as an application distributed through the App Store, the designs, assets and overall product concepts are still being kept up to date to this day as showcased above. Throughout the years the project has developed into a case study of app and platform evolution. A detailed showcase of the ideas and the thinking behind the sometimes nuanced design refinements. A visual history of design evolution taking the app and its guiding ideas from the early days of iOS all the way to today’s version of the platform.