How to Customize Your iPhone

Ever since iOS 14, it’s easier than ever to make your iPhone your own!

You can finally add widgets on your iPhone, and you can even change the icons of your favorite apps.

This is fantastic for all of us who love design, affording us the ability to have a truly aesthetic smartphone.

How to Change Your iPhone Background

The simplest (and oldest) way to customize your iPhone is to change your Home Screen / Lock Screen background.

It’s super simple: find a good collection of iPhone wallpapers (I love dark iPhone wallpapers as they allow me to use my phone at night without blinding myself) and then simply tap on one of the photos and select “Add to Photos”.

Then, go to your gallery, find the photo you just saved, tap on the “share” button on the bottom left, and choose “Use as Wallpaper…”.


How to Customize Your iPhone Icons

It’s easy to change your iPhone’s icons to custom ones. All you need is the built-in Shortcuts app and a nice app icon pack.

In the Shortcuts app, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the in the bottom corner.
  2. On the “New Shortcut” screen, tap “Add Action“.
  3. In the menu that pops up, search for and select “Open app”.
  4. On the new shortcut pane, tap Choose and select the app you want to open.
    • For instance: Instagram.
  5. Click the … in the corner to access the details screen.
  6. On the details screen, tap Add to Home Screen.
  7. On the preview screen, tap the shortcut name field (under Home Screen Name and Icon).
  8. Delete “New Shortcut” and enter the name of the app. (In our case, “Instagram”).
  9. Tap the icon next to the shortcut name (under Home Screen Name and Icon).
  10. In the edit icon menu that pops up, select Choose photo.
  11. Your photo gallery will pop up. Select a photo you want to use as an icon.
  12. On the preview screen, tap Add.
  13. Now leave Shortcuts and go to your home screen. You should see the app shortcut you created with a custom icon and name.
  14. Remove the original app from your home screen (so it doesn’t show both).

How to Add Widgets to Your iPhone

The simplest way to add widgets to your home screen, is to use the app called WidgetSmith.

It’s a very intuitive app that allows you to have time zone clocks / calendar / weather and more displaying natively inside your home screen.

Hope this post helps you create your very own custom iPhone design!

Leave a comment with your favorite iPhone wallpapers or resources.

How Big Data Is Changing Our Daily Routines

Big data is one of those fun terms that gets thrown around a lot. While there’s a lot of speculation about what counts as big data, this is what we know for sure: In recent years, big data is easier for companies to come by, and impacts the products we use every day.

The goal of these data sets is to design products that make our lives easier. Here are some of the biggest ways big data is changing our daily routines.


Gone are the days of map quest. Today we have almost real time driving conditions in the blink of an eye. Apps like Waze don’t just record your driving patterns to help other users, they encourage users to do it themselves. Several features on the app allow you to report accidents, police, speed traps, and other helpful tips that keep drivers safe on the road ways. This community based GPS takes advantage of their large user base to give you the fastest route every time.


The entertainment industry has been revolutionized b a little thing called streaming services. One of the most popular internet streaming services Netflix, users their customers data to suggest other titles they may enjoy. Other systems make recommendations based on the amount of stars you give to the title, or you giving it a thumbs up. Netflix doesn’t wait for you to tell it what you like, it already knows. By seeing which titles you watched all the way through, and which ones you stopped before finishing, it can tell your patterns. It will begin to suggest other titles that users have enjoyed which have also watched the same titles that you have. Just one little way Netflix is making it even harder to fight the all day streaming binges.

Health and Fitness

Our New Years resolutions are thanking us for the addition of big data to our health and fitness routines. Thanks to wearable tech devices like the apple watch and fitbit smart scales, we are better able to keep up with our bodies needs. I even found out through this review of the HiMirror, that you can sync your smart scale to a smart mirror, and keep you updated on your goals as you get ready in the morning. While some may think that it’s over kill, looking at data related to your goals more often, helps you achieve them more quickly.

While we may think of big data as a way for companies to get all our information, but in reality, these little changes are also good for us. They help us get to work faster, find shows we enjoy, and keep us in good health. And you know what they say, Go Big Data or Go Home!

Game Design vs Mechanics

It’s no secret that design is an important aspect of video games. But, recently, big companies have started to place more and more value in design, and less and less in actual fun when it comes to the game mechanics.

Like most guys, we’ve played through pretty much all of the latest Call of Duty titles, and we’ve always had some fun. But, after a while, everything becomes very repetitive.

Then, we’ve tried games that tried to combat that, by simply throwing more stuff at the player. A game like Titanfall 2 adds the whole Mech gameplay on top of a regular CoD game. So now, you have twice as many settings and perks and weapon types and characters and yada yada. The result? If you just get in the game, it’s very overwhelming. And that’s coming from an experienced player.

Thankfully, with Steam Early Access, a lot of independent studios are creating titles that are all about the game mechanics.

The two titles that stand out in recent memory are Rocket League, which was an immense amount of fun, and, more recently, the record-breaking PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds.

PUBG, as it’s commonly called, is a game that offers a fantastically fun game mechanic, creating a game where everything’s always new and unexpected.

That’s why people have been going crazy over the game, and a lot of streamers are making a killing playing the game for their audiences. So much so, that some pro gamers like shroud turned to full time PUBG streamers.

Now that PUBG is racking in big bucks, we can only hope that the big game companies will realize their mistakes and follow suit with more interesting game mechanics, and lots more PVP titles.

Best Ways To Personalize Your Website

When we read an article, or post, we want to feel that human conection. The purpose of the post may be to give an opinion, present an argument, or even just to inform. Regardless of the purpose, as a reader we want to connect with the writer. The information is much easier to digest when we feel like it’s not written by a robot. With that in mind- here are 3 easy ways to personalize your site, to help you better connect with your audience.

Personalize Your Website
  • Add A Signature At The Bottom Of Your Posts

You would be surprised how this slight little addition can really affect your readers. It gives them an instant reminder that YOU are the author. You can also make it a small bio box, that includes a brief summary of who you are, and why you write about this subject. Makes all the difference in someone remembering to subscribe to your posts!

  •  Include Pictures Of Yourself Doing The Things You Are Discussing!

It sounds like common sense, but if you include shots of you doing the things you are talking about, you seem 100 percent more legit. For example if you are doing a review of a hair straightener brush, then add pictures of you using the thing! People will believe you are an expert on the matter if they see you’ve actually tried it! Are you writing about making a lasagna! Put step by step photos so people can follow along. Make sure the images are great and you’ve got a setup for success!

  • Encourage People To Comment By Ending An Article With A Question

If you want your reader to invest in you, you need to start a conversation with them! If you are writing about building a garden, as your readers to comment their favorite thing to grow. And when they do comment, REPLY TO IT! This engagement will help grow your readership and show you are a real person! Consider adding a comment box service like Disqus to make it easy for your readers.

Personalize Your Website

If you’ve got an other tips for ways you have personalized your site please send em our way! Thanks for reading!

Things You Should Definitely Add To Your Blog Page


Since WordPress has made it so easy to create an amazing user friendly blogging platform, new blogs are popping up left and right. So if you are new to the blogging game, how do you make your site look professional? Here are the top 3 things you should FOR SURE add to your blog to make it look legit!

Quick Links To Your Social Media Profiles

Make is as easy as possible for someone to find all your social media handles in one place! It sounds like a no brainer, but some new bloggers may think the person will just look them up independently. Not always the case, so do yourself a favor and make it easy peasy for your readers.

In your Logo header, or somewhere on the tool bar, add the social profile buttons for your instagram, pinterest, facebook, or whichever forms of social media your users are interacting with most often!

Add A Search Bar

Imaging this- I find your blog on pinterest, and click your link because I want to read an article you’ve written. Somehow the link was messed up and I just get sent to your homepade. This happens more than you may think with other bloggers linking and re sharing posts.

Instead of having me leave straight away because I didn’t find the article I was looking for, I could simply use the search bar to find it easily. That is one way to encourage users to stay on your sight, and get new eyes on articles you’ve already written. A great example of this is the site where they have the search bar front and center!

Make Your About Me Shine

It is often a really neglected part of your page. Sure maybe you added a cute photo and a little paragraph about yourself, but that may not be enough. Remember as much as you want people to come back to your page because they found your content helpful- they are also investing in YOU! Therefore, it is great to have a separate page, where you talk about your background, expertise, and reason for starting the blog. That way, if readers want to learn a little more about you, you have another chance to sell them on why they should keep reading your blog!

All these little changes are very easy to implement with some creativity and help from a WordPress plugin! Make these small changes and it will really help grow your audience, and keep em coming back for more!

How Important Is Your Logo Design?

Whenever you begin a new website, so much effort goes into choosing the name. You want something catchy, effective and brand-able. You want something that focuses on a certain keyword or product idea related to your site. So much effort goes into choosing the name, yet when it comes to designing the logo, we think the hard work is over.

The logo however can be just as an important feature of your site as the domain name itself. With a logo design you have the power to set the tone of the whole website. Check out our tips for logo design below.

Choose Bright, Easy To Read Colors

The color of your logo is one of the most important things. You’ll need to consider what the background colors will look like, and if you are using your logo on images frequently you’ll need to choose something that will look nice with other color schemes. Be careful of bright yellows and light purples which can be hard to read for older people. If your background is white and you have a florescent blue  on your logo for example that may be harder to read than if the logo was against a black background. Choose a color that may fit the theme or the brand or your site,  without being too distracting.

Create Mood With Font Type

Using certain fonts can change the mood of your site. A site with fancy decor may opt for a soft scripted font, while a kids game site may have a more playful block lettering. A good example of this I came across while looking for the best pomade. Since pomade is used often in vintage hairstyles, the logo at pomademen has a vintage script and sheen to it! Reminds you of the product itself without being made up of pomade tins!

Use Caution With Logo Images

Often logos will have some soft of small icon or image next to the brand name. We have seen this done successfully, however the idea everyone needs one is untrue. Often times they can bulk up your logo and distract visitors from the brand name. If you do choose an icon or small image make sure it is simple, uses fewer than two colors, and that it looks fluid with your logo itself. Some users even use a small image as the dot above the “i” in their names.

Whatever you choose to do with your logo-have fun, and be creative!

Product Design in 2017

Design in 2017

As the year closes, it’s interesting to take a moment and figure out how design is going to be evolving in 2017.

From newer, better, more intuitive smartphones, to the rise of newer technologies that have changed the way we looked at the world, 2016 has been truly remarkable.

More and more, I think the stress will be placed on software design (User Interfaces and Usability — UI and UX) more than anything.

Your lamps, fridges, microwaves, audio players will largely look the same, but they will be powered by narrow AI that allows you to, say, voice-control them, or connect them to your phone. We’ve seen a huge push towards home automation hubs, like the Amazon Echo and such. Everything will be more intuitive and easier to use.

And yet, with cheaper and cheaper microcontrollers like the Arduino or the Raspberry Pi, as well as drones and cameras, we’re seeing a huge push towards innovations in hardware as well. All these new products are pushing towards the creation of better and cheaper sensors, as well as more accurate stepper and brushless DC motors.

This has meant that we get smarter gadgets every day, from camera stabilizers to hoverboards, the list is only going to grow.

So, I’d say that, in 2017, design is going to blend even more inextricably with function, in ways that we haven’t seen before. And this, for us, is the most exciting part of being alive right now.

With that, GrandPixels wishes you a very happy and fruitful 2017!