user experience

This iphone Concept brings the best of Windows 8 to iOs

I love seeing how mobile ux designers rethink and look at existing OS and how it could be improved.  Recently this concept video of live tiles appeared on the web that showed a widget / live tile version of iOs for iPhone / iPad.

When windows developed live tiles, it was a shock, but it made sense.  People wanted access to their content faster. The buttons to access those feeds were really just a formality.  However, hitting those buttons were a legacy interaction that was baked into the system, but also expectations of how a UI was “supposed” to work.

It has been universally agreed upon that as many user experiences are based on feeds, that it starts to make more sense for UI elements to simply be viewing windows of data rather then buttons that view that data – skip a step, right?   There are many ways to express this. I personally believe that the windows phone UI was a very elegant solution to this, however it is worth noting that Android introduced some widgets that addressed this early on as well.  Not everyone agreed this was a good solution, but many people have embraced it.

Apple is currently using push notifications to bring feeds to your screen while asleep.  In essence, it performs the same utility, but with a less sexy interface.  The design question at hand is at what point in the mobile experience do you want to access what type of data? Both have advantages.

Where I am fascinated by this suggested UX idea, I am even more interested in the areas where IP law overlap with Mobile UX.   Even if this solution maybe be better for a significant amount of users, there starts to be areas where a manufacturer cannot go due to threat of infractions on another companies idea or IP.  Even if people love this, apple may not be able to innovate here in fear of legal action from Samsung or Microsoft.

I question as creator, are there areas where the law should not limit the evolution of design progress.  I understand the need to protect an artists work, but I also fear that legal can in some instances prevent UI from growing, thus decreasing overall utility of an entire system / generation?   I am not a lawyer, but its a very interesting debate, in many verticals and progressions.  At some point, lessons learned should be shared with the greater group if they benefit all users.

Even though I have a few critiques for this specific design solution, I applaud any designer who puts their work out there for the public to judge. We need creators more then ever in this time of automation and optimization.  We always need both, but new ideas are rare, even if they are heavily influenced or recycled. The first step is to attempt to create something of value and improve the human condition.

 

 

 

Why Apple’s Carplay Matters to the Auto Industry

Carplay is going to be BIG.   While apple could have simply make Cars be more compatible with iPhones, they took it a step further, and integrated with cars.  This is one of the first places we are starting to see an S curve in cars shifting from hardware & mechanics to software. 

My personal hypothesis is that most cars are similar enough – antilock breaks, power steering, top speeds, safety, etc.  So the other place they can go for points of differentiation is style or software.  This represents a new era of digital luxury in something that has always been very analog with digital touches.

I will continue to write about this in a few different posts – but this will really change things.

We are starting to see that networks are overlapping with other networks – which is an entirely new level of contextual awareness for machines.  Its the start of something really new.

It brings up some really interesting smaller and big questions including:

1. Will you choose a car based off of what carrier it has?
2. Will you service your car at an apple store or your local garage ?
3. How do you manage multiple drivers?
4.Are you allowed to download while driving?
5. What does this mean for privacy?
6. Could apps move into things that are essential car functions such as AC or performance?
7. Who would have thought Google & Apple would be large players in the auto market?
8.The idea of Cars as a platform, not a thing. 

-pd

 

Why doesn’t my phone know it’s in my car ?

I love hands free, but apparently my iphone doesn’t know its in my car.  It seamlessly can answer calls, or play music through my cars speakers, but thats about it.  Everything else is just about it being mounted on my dash.

Why doesn’t the UI of my phone change when its connected to my car via bluetooth?

Let me first say that I love apple products.  However, as a driver, this most recent iOs update made is very hard to perform basic functions while driving. I am not talking about using Siri or playing a game, I am specifically talking about how the button to hang up the phone went from 2 inches rectangular to 1/4 inch circular.  Thats a big difference while you are driving.  I expect for the UI of my phone to become simpler and bigger while I am driving.   I do agree that is looks better, and is more cohesive, but that is not the point I am making here. I am talking about usability of a smart device during certain types of activities.

Ui elements – smaller buttons

 

Phones need to become more contextual to meet our needs.  Context doesn’t have to be magical, however connected devices should give clues to a phone about how it could work and behave.

My phone is beautiful, but I am waiting for the utility of it to catch up to my expectations.

Nike #Fuelband app adds pictures. Still waiting for #Vine option

fuelband points electronics app nike

 

The Nike Fuelband app just added the functionality to share your goal progress with a picture. This simple change in user experience was a brillant marketing decision.  Although I am not sure I always want to hear about my friends working out every day, this helps hearing about nike plus in two ways.

1. With a picture, I get to tell my workout story or active day in a more visual way that I choose and am accustomed to on Facebook. We all know that images get more shares and likes then text alone, so this makes sense in how the app would evolve.  I would imagine that this gives my friends a better picture of what I am doing, but also is more entertaining to see and watch then just a sentence about a workout routine I may not care about.  The ability to add a picture makes this experience about the story and the person rather then just the number.  And in a way, it might add more Nike+ stamps onto other lifestyle activities.  What if every picture you took during the day had a fuelband stamp rather then just when you hit your goal?  Its a great opportunity for nike to move more into the storytelling space.

2. This will also help serve as an earned media database for images for Nike+.  Now all the nike plus stories are sharable. They can find a home on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.  Images are more likely to tell the nike plus story and be told and received in a new way.  Ultimately breathing new life into the nike plus ecosystem, and raise awareness of the digital brand.

2 other features I would love to see:

1. Video. Video clips would be natural extensions of this UX.  And sometimes a video can really show a better story then a snapshot alone.  Vine integration would be awesome. hint hint. 

2. Networked apps: Lets say I was skateboarding with my buddies. What I would really want to do is to take a photo of someone else doing a trick and tagging their fuel moment to that picture. As much as we love taking photos of ourselves in this narcissistic era, sometimes you just cant while you are active. But your buddy can.  Not sure how this could work, but it could be really great for content production.   Perhaps the best way to implement this would be to have an API that would allow for the nike fuel points and timecodes to be exported to other medias.

Everyone is an athlete. Now we just have more ways to tell the story. Share on. 

-pd

Wearable Analytics – My nike fuelband experience

digital sport nike

 

 

I’ve been using nike fuelband for about 5 months now, and I love it. However, I am starting to loose momentum.  The goals start to be more of a stretch, and I start wondering what the purpose is to begin with?  And then I remember why I got it and what the real purpose of the fuel band is.

Self Awareness to Intention.  

I find the key to maintaining your momentum for any digital sport program is finding the right balance between rewarding mediocracy and relying too much on goals.  The beauty of the fuelband ( besides being an awesome watch ) is that is constantly makes you aware of the intention to be physical.  Not based on the numbers alone, but the fact that you have put on a badge that you are going to try and stay in shape. It becomes part of your identity.

From an analytics perspective, having your personal data is very valuable. You cant track and trend your habbits, optimize your schedule, and engage with yourself to become 2.0. Although we are all athletes in a way, the bigger question is what kind of athlete do you want to be – and do the goals and constant pings help propel you to the next level, or do they serve as a reminder for something you want to avoid. Goals can either motivate or demotivate depending on the scope. Gamification can help, but it can also serve as a distractor to the idea that people need to individually set their goals, or have the power to select what auto setting goals are appropriate for them.

Thus, as I look down at my nike fuelband, and note that I am 1/3 of my daily quota, I remember that every day I am more active then I was a year ago. I am self aware and I strive to do better.  2000 fuel points is not too far away.  Thus awareness moves to intention. 

-pd