Mr. Brichter 'has this ability to put himself in the shoes of a five-year-old who tells you in an elaborate language what he's having a hard time doing,' says Mr. Leca, who now works at Google.
Mr. Brichter's reputation is growing as simplicity and design become more important in the highly competitive apps business. Influencers like Mr. Brichter--as well as former Apple designers Mike Matas, who is now at Facebook, and Bret Victor--thus draw big followings.
随着简约和设计在竞争异常激烈的应用程序行业变得愈加重要，布里切特的名声也与日俱增。像布里切特这样的有影响力的人物──还有前苹果公司的设计师、现在就职于脸谱公司的迈克•马塔斯(Mike Matas)以及布雷特•维克托(Bret Victor)──吸引了大批的跟风者。
Their ideas often spread informally and rapidly. Rather than patenting and licensing their designs, developers ask each other permission to mimic an idea or do so on their own, sometimes using open-source technology.
Mr. Brichter filed to patent the 'pull-to refresh' feature before joining Twitter, and the patent application, expected to be issued soon, is now owned by Twitter. But he says there are ways to build this feature using open-source software, and he has long given anyone permission to use it 'as long as they aren't a d---.' Twitter lets the inventors of its patents veto using them in offensive lawsuits.
Mr. Brichter, whose design aesthetic is inspired by information theorists like Edward Tufte, a proponent of minimizing extraneous information in graphic designs, says he thinks up new features for apps based on how people move objects in the real world.
'Everything should come from somewhere and go somewhere,' he says, adding that he's irked by apps that have menus that pop up or collapse on themselves because the interactions aren't real. 'The most important thing is obviousness. The problem is overdesign.'
Mr. Brichter, whose favorite apps include the weather app Dark Sky and calendar app Fantastical, says he has been surprised by how much his work has been picked up. 'It is more neat than anything,' he says.
Not everything he does has caught on. A gesture for wiping a menu off a screen in Letterpress hasn't gone anywhere, says Mr. Brichter, because he suspects it is buried in the app.
The son of a contractor and a restaurant owner, Mr. Brichter graduated from Tufts University with a degree in electrical engineering in 2006. He lives with his wife and two dogs, working from a small, tidy home office with a large Mac monitor and a framed chart of Tweetie's second version topping the app store revenue chart, a Christmas gift from his father. (The $2.99 app achieved the status in 2009 while making about $50,000 a day.)
Mr. Brichter also eschews conferences and networking gatherings, preferring Twitter and email. Short and fit, he is unassuming yet confident. His feedback and communication is direct, but sometimes tempered in email with a smiley face.