For the first time ever, a Mac app has won the super-prestigious Red Dot design awards’ Communication Design category. The app comes from Ukrainian Mac and iOS developer MacPaw, and you may have heard of it: Gemini is a de-duplication app that Cult of Mac has loved for years.
Gemini 2 wins Red Dot
Red Dot awards go to all kinds of objects and software, from a travel app for Lufthansa, to kitchen gadgets and ad campaigns. This year, MacPaw’s Gemini 2 received an award in the Communication Design category, for its user interface design. And if you have used the app to hunt down and destroy duplicated files on your Mac, then you’ll know that the UI is indeed exemplary. As we wrote in our 2012 article on the app, the interface is clear, beautiful, and easy to understand:
The best part of the app is the clarity: you always know at a glance which files will be kept, and which will be shredded. And shredded they will be: hit the final “delete” button and the list of files and folders drops into a slot at the bottom of the window, only to shower out the other side as ripped-up ribbons of paper.
The design has changed since then, of course. Now the app is gamified, with rewards for destroying ever more of your own files and folders.
MacPaw started on a Powerbook
MacPaw CEO and founder Oleksandr Kosovan first started developing Mac apps when he got his first Mac, a G4 PowerBook, he told Cult of Mac in a post-award interview in Berlin. His first app was the Mac cleaning utility CleanMyMac, which is still an important app for MacPaw, despite often being confused with competitor MacKeeper, which advertises itself using scareware popups on porn sites.
Customers even contact MacPaw support to complain about MacKeeper, says PR and media manager Julia Petryk. One person even complained that the MacKeeper’s popups wouldn’t let him enjoy his porn, and was hopefully embarrassed when MacPaw’s customer support person set him right.
MacPaw is now a big deal in its hometown of Kiev, Ukraine, with around 100 employees, and a while range of Mac utility apps. More recently launched Setapp, a subscription-based alternative to the Mac App Store that give you access to all participating apps for a flat fee of $10 per month.
MacPaw is an indie success story
It’s great to see an indie developer doing so well, especially one that makes such well thought-out apps as Gemini 2. The Red Dot design award really shows that software design is as important as any other kind of design. And the smiles on the faces of the MacPaw team when we met up for breakfast after the award ceremony showed just how important the award is for them.