Dameisha Beach in Shenzhen, China
Thanks to Gizmodo I chased a rabbit down a long, dark hole. Years ago when Google integrated the satellite view into maps the world instantly felt much smaller and more accessible than ever. Later the “bird’s eye view” became an interesting view as planes would criss cross the sky and photograph cities. But I’ve always wondered when we would have a video feed from space at our disposal. I think of the scene in the movie “Patriot Games” where the raid is carried out in the desert and they watch live via a feed.
I’m sure that there are business cases for the use of HD Video from space and no doubt the cost implications are such that this is only going to be available to those with deep pockets. Perhaps one day we will have live video showing traffic issues and we can understand the situation better than a dark red line on a map. The possibilities are exciting.
In Car Infotainment
The Consumer Reports information is in and the news is not terribly good for car makers. The systems installed in new cars that control radio and other entertainment options are hard to use and do not always work as expected.
This does not come as a surprise to me. I don’t understand how anyone thought it would be an awesome idea to use a touch screen interface to control the radio, volume etc. But when the thing crashes? There is not sin in using analog controls, right?
I found this from @micmicr the other day and thought it was interesting, but wonder if Deloitte missed some things lurking between the lines. I can’t say I disagree with the findings based on any research or observations, but I do find two things that would benefit from additional research.
1. There is a need for speed. The assumption based on this summary of the research is that Cellular Data or Wifi speeds are slowing down the apps people use. Sure this can be the case especially during peak usage times, but it isn’t the only variable. Poorly written apps, bloated services, large image/video assets among other variable play a role. What this means to me is that there is a perception that users have that apps are perfect and the network is the problem. This is an opportunity for app makers to build apps that are performance minded.
2. People aren’t downloading apps. Well, they are obviously and there are more and more people getting smartphones every day. What they argue, without really saying it, is that 500 apps for reminders, flashlights and pimple poppers are not needed. The app market is starting to mature and kitsch apps are less desirable than quality apps that meet their needs. I do not think this is a bad thing for app makers. I would argue that people are still wanting their favorite brands to be available on their devices. However, they don’t want the website crammed into an app, they want high value, targeted moments that can be expedited by their device.
Great research by the Deloitte team and no doubt more will come as the app space matures. What research do you find interesting?
Today at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference iOS 7 was presented among other updates. There is so much that could be discussed but rather than a deep review I’ll give my first impression.
I’ve heard all sorts of reactions to the announcements today, but I’m encouraged. Primarily because iOS was getting long in the tooth and really needed to get an overhaul. However, I will also agree with many that point out how much of the new OS resembles Android. The interesting thing will be how apps will adjust their look/feel to reflect the new updates. It’s a good time to build applications that are focused on user centric interactions.
In the end people are going to be grumpy because it’s different and eventually will move on.
There is quite a bit of talk about Google Glass now that they have opened the demo for big idea people to apply for their own test units. There is more unknown than known at this stage, but I think the idea holds plenty of potential for the right scenarios. I’m not convinced that we’re going to see millions of people walking around with these things though. Perhaps one day we’ll be completely comfortable with the prospect of a camera and microphone capturing our every move without our knowledge, but we still cling to a notion of privacy that should allow us to disengage when we feel compelled. I wonder if we’ll see ‘privacy’ devices that scramble nearby signals. Hmm.
The news from Starbucks is that they are going to invest $25M in Square and join the board. Square users will be able to use their consumer payment application at Starbucks to process a payment using their mobile application. Previously you needed to use the Starbucks application to manage your payments.
The interesting news is that Starbucks processed $60M in last year and a half. That’s a lot of money when you consider most transactions are around $6.
Playing with Patterns
Marco Paglia – Android Interaction Designer
The Android style guide is an important resource to help users perform similar tasks across applications. It’s also important to have something special and unique.
Unique and Beautiful but is consistent and usable.
- 1st app was released same day as iOS
- skewmorphic design (leather wallet) but the interaction was a problem
- update was streamlined, light colors and uses Android design guides
- significant reduction in taps
- auto-tab opens tabs while you walk around
- cards is a new feature to share in the UI
- images are in all sizes and shapes with compositing. the server does this on the fly
- launcher shortcuts to favorite merchants to add icon to homescreen
- notifications, can leave a tip later
- sharing is important for the service
- consistent look on any Android ActionBarSherlock
Application lets you follow an artist to notify you when artists are in town.
- limiting color implications so they aren’t fighting over each other.
-Typography: early was all over and not consistent; now using Roboto completely
- Dashboard: phones was button/icon and the tablet also has some additional content
- ViewPager to help with displaying content
- Location took quite awhile to figure out; ended up using the GPS to pull content nearby and added favorites
- Empty screens: handled issues with better display so it isn’t just empty, actions on screen when relevant
- Notifications: when the app is updated the notifications populates to show new stuff
- Be polite: use vibrate notice when listening to music
- Event details: was boring and text heavy, now bigger pictures
- Artist details: needed to get more excitement around upcoming events