Over 20 million people worldwide had already been using Calendars by Readdle on iOS before we started working on a Mac version. When we asked our users what they love the most about Calendars, they said the way how we organized the calendar views, color-coding, event creation with natural language, customizable recurring events, weather updates, and interesting calendars, as well as integrations with video communication services (Zoom, Google Meet, GoToMeeting). The main goal of this project was to bring all the features that our users need to Mac but also use an opportunity to improve the calendar experience by using the advantages of a bigger screen.
We designed the calendar views with our iPad and iPhone apps in mind. By keeping it consistent across all the platforms, we made the transition between apps as smooth as possible for our users.
The event popover shares the same structure as the iOS app popover, so our current iOS users would find it familiar with how to edit events or where to find the information they need. At the same time, the popover design considers the MacOS factor: more vertical space, needless of the screen keyboard, and a precise Mac cursor allow us to make UI components more compact and display the popover card in full size.
The task management feature on iOS wasn’t much popular. There are a few reasons why. First of all, we are a calendar app and not a to-do app; users who explore and download a calendar app have no intention of installing a to-do app too. There are many good to-do apps on the market, and we didn’t have much advantage over them.
Our research studies found that sometimes people who use a calendar app create tasks as events just to put them on the calendar timeline. They do that to make a time block in their calendar to complete a specific task. Moreover, they could barely explain the difference between a task and a calendar event since both might have a due date and duration.
Using an advantage of a big screen, we were able to remove the wall between tasks and calendar events. In the new Calendars for Mac, users can drag a task from their task list and drop it wherever they want on the timeline. It makes it much easier for users to plan out their day.
In the sidebar on Mac, we added a new navigation component that makes navigating between days and months easier. Besides that, the sidebar on Mac kept the same color scheme and structure to be consistent with iOS and iPadOS apps.
I worked on the Calendars for Mac in 2020–2021 years. During that time, we went through tons of iterations and different ideas, trying to find a comprehensive solution for our current loyal users and new ones. I collaborated closely with a product manager, a lead designer, engineers, and a head of product to bring the old-good Calendars app for iOS to Mac.
The new Calendars for Mac was released in 2022 and featured as one of the best macOS apps in 9to5mac.com, Verge, iDownload, iMore, and more. You can find the newest version of Calendars for Mac in the AppStore.