Ryan McLeod Wins Prestigious Apple Design Award for the Accessibility, Uniqueness, Game Play and Innovations of his iOS App, Blackbox

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Every year at its Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC), Apple celebrates and acknowledges through its Apple Design Awards the mobile and desktop apps which raise the bar in design, technology and innovation.

Presented in a ceremony that traditionally follows the WWDC keynote presentation, it was tremendous to see Ryan McLeod - developer of the iOS app Blackbox - think outside the box - winning one of these prestigious awards this year. The award was cited by Apple as recognition of Blackbox being "fully accessible, and offering unique and ingenious gameplay, deep iOS integration, and clever innovations".

According to Apple’s own report on the 2017 Design Awards, Blackbox is:

... a refreshingly stimulating, engrossing, and clever puzzle game that breaks through the “fourth wall” of iPhone to take you beyond the screen and make your world a part of each solution. Designed and developed by one person, Blackbox was chosen as an Apple Design Award winner for being fully accessible, and offering unique and ingenious gameplay, deep iOS integration, and clever innovations. Blackbox offers puzzles that rely on minimalistic clues, deliberate movement, elegant animations, and visual cues to expand creative thinking and encourage players to solve puzzles by turning, shouting, clicking, snapping, and more. It is fully accessible, taking a highly visual interface designed to be navigated by touch and and other sensory inputs, and adding a brilliant sonic interface that enables a new world of gameplay for everyone. It uses haptics for sensory feedback to make puzzles more personal, nuanced, and tactile, and relies heavily on the iPhone’s camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer to enable sensory inputs. Additionally, by using CoreAudio, CoreLocation, Core Telephony, AVCaptureSession, iCloud, and GameCenter in novel ways, this app takes advantage of an enormous range of iOS technologies. Blackbox challenges the player's ingenuity and creativity through innovative presentation and unique interactions. The result is a game that is impressively clever and unlike anything we’ve played before.

As many of you will know, Ryan has actively engaged with members of the AppleVis community in his efforts to enhance the gameplay and user experience of Blackbox for VoiceOver users.

Blackbox - think outside the box is a free download from the iTunes App Store.

Our congratulations go to Ryan for this well-deserved recognition.

This news is yet another tool that can be used by the community when advocating for app accessibility. Not only do we think that fair and equal access is important, but so do Apple, and Apple is prepared to recognize the developers who share that vision.



Submitted by JeffB on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Well earned congrats Ryan!!

Submitted by Mitchell on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Congratulations to Ryan for winning the award.

Submitted by Faerie on Thursday, June 8, 2017

Very well deserved. I cannot imagine the amount of work you put in to making such a game in the first place. You've absolutely earned the honor, and the new update makes it better than ever. Keep up the good work!

Submitted by Teresa on Thursday, June 8, 2017

The minute i solved a puzzle, I knew this was a ground-breaker. Congrats, Ryan!

Submitted by DrummerGuy on Thursday, June 8, 2017

Very well deserved distinction, Ryan. You have done an excellent job with this wonderful game. Very creative and refreshing. Just wonderful. You deserve it, Ryan. Thank you for having brought this wonderful game to us.
May this be the first of many distinctions yet to come.

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Thursday, June 8, 2017

Congratulations Ryan for this great honour. It is definitely well deserved and, like many others, thank you for making the effort of making your app addictive, fun and fully accessible.

Submitted by Ryan McLeod on Saturday, June 10, 2017

The feedback and response from the AppleVis community has been incredible and the game is getting better and better for everyone with all of your help.

Blackbox helps so many people explore creative problem solving, it's my sincerest hope that it can also help the large player-base of developers realize that their own apps and games can almost always be made more accessible with some outside-the-box thinking.

Submitted by Ekaj on Sunday, June 11, 2017

Ryan, thanks for thinking outside the box and making this game accessible. I'm not currently an iOS user, but now I know of at least one app to download when I do get an iPhone.

Submitted by Brandi on Sunday, June 11, 2017

Congratulations! This is a very well-deserved award! Ryan McLeod has done an amazing job with making this app accessible and uniquely fun! :-)

Submitted by Maria Reyes on Thursday, June 29, 2017

Congratulations, Ryan!! About to download your app! Go and show some other game developers how to make their game accessible.