Please rotate your device

Simple, intuitive
task management

Originally released in 2010, the thoughtfully designed, universally accessible and highly adaptive application Tasks helped users effortlessly capture, organise and navigate their to-dos.

A clear focus on
the tasks of the day

Today — intentionally positioned as the first menu item was the place for all daily activities. Acting like a smart filter, it conveniently collected all the to-do items needing attention from across the whole app.

It helped users get organised and make the most out of every day. For an even clearer picture, on each list view users could switch to only see the remaining tasks.

A place to organise
all other priorities

Tasks, lists and archives. Structured content and clear concepts allowed for a simple, intuitive task management experience — helping users focus on what’s ahead.

When adding new lists, users could choose to have the most important ones show up on the home screen. These also got a special icon that made them easy to distinguish.

Tasks could be moved around and shared directly from the list view. It was easy to spot the ones with a due date. The toggle between all and only remaining tasks remembered its status on a per list basis.

An easy and intuitive
way to capture to-dos

It was easy and quick to capture and file new tasks. Repeat and one-off tod-dos, with and without an end date. With natural language recognition Tasks even detected words like ”today”, ”tomorrow” and ”next week” and assigned the right due dates to them.

A visual history
of design evolution

After the initial release the next milestone came with iOS 7. The redesign touched on every single pixel with the clear goal of an experience that was simpler, more useful, and more enjoyable.

Simplification with
a new perspective

Considering the tiniest details, refining the typography and redesigning all the icons resulted in a much more harmonious relationship between individual elements.

The deferential list grid, the lighter font weights, the adjusted stroke widths of the checkbox icons; all these changes added up to a profoundly simpler experience — one that still felt instantly familiar.

The New Task screen was a clear representation of the design goal: An interface that is unobtrusive. One which gives way to a simpler, more enjoyable interaction.

Improved legibility,
a bigger canvas

The version for iOS 8 and iPhone 6 brought realigned icons, improved stroke weights and stronger type — ultimately resulting in a UI that is more legible.

Going from light to regular weight for the text along with adjusting the contrast on the checkbox icons helped make list views easier to scan — especially when looking at them in bright sunlight.

The increased screen size made it possible for the task capture text field to become bigger — now allowing for even longer to-dos while still maintaining overview of all the other relevant details.

A new typeface

iOS 9 came with the introduction of San Francisco, the new family of system fonts — both inconspicuous and beautiful. Tasks made great use of the set’s smart features like intelligent tracking, kerning adjustments and size specific behaviour.

Widget, notification
and quick actions

For iOS 10, Tasks got an intelligent widget helping focus on the tasks of the day right on the lock screen. It showed the option to expand the list to see even more. Individual to-do items were deep linked — pressing on a task opened the app in the detail view for that task.

The redesigned notifications allowed for 3D Touch, so with a firm press they would transition from this short, summary view of the task into a longer, richer one offering more details on it.

Other than showing more details like due date and notes, the long view also offered quick actions — a way to quickly mark a task done or choose one of the two remind later options. Right from the lock screen.

Glyph legibility

In the version for iOS 11 all glyphs got carefully redesigned to further increase their legibility. The new set is highly simplified in form, conceptually universal, and quickly readable in context. Shapes got filled in to provide an even greater contrast while considering optical weight and positioning.

A focus on wayfinding

Besides increased contrast and legibility, wayfinding was the other major theme for iOS 11. Inspired by real world signage systems, large titles got introduced helping users orient themselves throughout the system.

While in general UI elements shouldn’t compete with content, increasing the size of the titles proved to be a great improvement when it comes to orientation — quickly glancing on a list was enough to see to which project the to-dos belonged.

”Where am I?” is one of the most critical questions of wayfinding. Redesigning the task capture and integrating it into a modal sheet on top of the current screen further improved orientation and provided better context to where the task would go.

Simple, intuitive
task management

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.