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Trying our RockMelt

I was happy to try the new RockMelt browser. Building sharing features into the browser sounded like an interesting idea.

So, I gave my Facebook ID, waited for the invitation, downloaded the browser…

… and then I saw the Facebook Connect permission screen.

RockMelt Facebook permission screen

RockMelt Facebook permission screen

As much as I wanted to try this. There is no way I would consciously face such a screen and click “allow” for something I never got to try first and that I had time building trust with.

So. Here it is… My quick test of RockMelt… sorry if it appears shallow… :o )

PS: Woh… I posted something on my blog! YEEHAA! Let’s see if I can keep doing it.

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Your brand spans multiple touchpoints

During one of my Fora.tv lunch breaks, I came across this talk that discusses how the creators of the “Heroes” series managed to develop such a strong community around the show, and most importantly how this community spans over a large number of touchpoints. There are many lessons that brands can learn from such a case study. I will try to summarize a few here that I find key.

The Talk: Digital, Life, Design 2010: Audience Sourcing
Speakers: Tim Kring (”Heroes”) and Peter Hirshberg (The Conversation Group)
Duration: 27 minutes

Build around a strong message

Remember that one liner summarizing your vision that some consultant or trainer asked you to come up with. Well, that’s really useful to have. Heroes was created around the message: “Save the world”. This message was not only used in the series, but also in communications and activities organized around the series, with ultimately a game developed to get people to do good. Whether it is internally with your employees or externally with your customers, this message will help unite everyone and give a personality to the experience people have with your company.
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Bulk Order of Smashing Book

Smashing Book by Smashing Magazine

Smashing Book by Smashing Magazine

You live in Hong Kong and you are into Web Design, you may be interested in buying Smashing Book. The book is a compilation of articles from Smashing Magazine that covers graphic design, programming, but also user experience and web strategy. It looks like a very nice reference book to have by your side.

We are organizing to bulk buy a number of copies in order to enjoy some discount on the price. The more people we can gather, the better the price can be. :D So, if you are interested, please drop me a message below and I will add you to our list of people interested. If we can reach at least 20 people, we will order the book.

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Testing out UserTesting.com

I’ve heard about UserTesting.com a few month back during an IxDA meeting and was intrigued. Then I ended up reading about it on UX Booth in a review they made of the service. At that time I was really getting interested in the service and decided to try it out as soon as the opportunity would present itself.

I finally got this opportunity back in December. Below is my a short summary of my experience with it.

Visit UserTesting.com

Visit UserTesting.com

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Do people like clutter and content overload?

I remember a few meetings trying to sell usability and UCD to clients in Hong Kong. The same discussion would come back again and again. The client would ask:

“Aren’t people in Hong Kong and China different from the rest of the world? Don’t they like clutter and pages full of content and links? All the sites are currently designed in this way, it must mean that people like it.”

Below is a prime example of a very popular site that just overwhelms users with content and flashy stuff:

bla bla

Notice how much space the navigation area takes and how many links it includes. Also note this is the gaming area of the site, but the main content inthe middle at the very top is a news digest. See it live at http://games.sina.com.cn.

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Two videos about the future of reading

A quick post with two videos, one not so serious (Thanks to Steve Portigal for Twitting that one – very funny) and one more inline with what things may soon be for us readers.

The “Kindle 3″

Time Inc. Tablet Demo for Sports illustrated

These videos can make us wonder whether reading, watching, listening will soon be all merged into one seamless experience around content consumption. Great sources of inspiration.

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Kindle Lover? – The eReading Experience

Reading the Kindle

Reading on the Kindle

In a world of ever greater device integration, ebook readers seem to be anachronisms. iPhones enable phone calls, taking pictures, web browsing, gaming, reading and much more… all in one device!

What do ebook Readers do? Well, they allow their users to … read books. So, what is so special about ebook readers that makes them an item of choice for many? And how can the ebook experience be pushed further to lure more people into purchasing them? These are the two questions I’ll focus on in this first post.

In a second post, I will focus more specifically on the Kindle interface design with its goods and bads.

Why ebook readers?

I remember two specific conversations I had after purchasing my Kindle. In one over MSN, a friend of mine showed his total incomprehension when I said I had bought a device entirely dedicated to reading books. His iPhone could be used to read documents and books. Why would anyone buy an ebook reader? And in another instance, another friend as we were discussing the Kindle with other IxDA members took out the book she was carrying and said that she could never switch from physical books to electronic ones. She mentioned the much wider array of sensory stimuli she felt as she was reading her book – its smell, the coffee stains on it, etc. (More on this in my previous post about Steve Portigal’s research)
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