Repetitive, Bored or Urgent

The “repetitive now” user is someone checking for the same piece of information over and over again, like checking the same stock quotes or weather. Google uses cookies to help cater to mobile users who check and recheck the same data points.

The “bored now” are users who have time on their hands. People on trains or waiting in airports or sitting in cafes. Mobile users in this behavior group look a lot more like casual Web surfers, but mobile phones don’t offer the robust user input of a desktop, so the applications have to be tailored.

The “urgent now” is a request to find something specific fast, like the location of a bakery or directions to the airport. Since a lot of these questions are location-aware, Google tries to build location into the mobile versions of these queries.

Google Lays Out Its Mobile User Experience Strategy (via)


Betting on the Bad Guys in Investing

When I heard that BP was destroying a big portion of Earth, with no serious discussion of cutting their dividend, I had two thoughts: 1) I hate them, and 2) This would be an excellent time to buy their stock. And so I did. Although I should have waited a week.

People ask me how it feels to take the side of moral bankruptcy. Answer: Pretty good! Thanks for asking. How's it feel to be a disgruntled victim?

Dilbert’s Scott Adams on Betting on the Bad Guys in Investing –

Safari Reader is not just for shitty websites

Safari Reader has caused quite a stir among publishers and writers. On one side of the argument, some people are arguing that Apple is trying to undermine online add revenue and nudge publishers towards the app store. On the other side, some people are pointing out that Safari Reader is entirely user-invoked, that nobody is forced to use it, that people have used ad-blockers for quite some time and, finally, that if your readers are turning to tools like Safari Reader, maybe your reading experience was a bit shit in the first place.

I tend to agree with people in the second camp, that Safari Reader is merely a weak attempt to help users fix the publishers’ screw-ups. Nonetheless, i find myself increasingly turning to Safari Reader even on sites that are rather light on ads, easy on the eyes and overall well designed (like this or this). Maybe there’s something more to the allure of a standardized, familiar reading format than just getting rid of distractions.

Augmented Reality a Bit Rubbish?

So when looking for somewhere using the iPhone I had two choices; use an augmented reality app such as Layer, or using something like Yelp. Now, this may just be me but the overhead of looking like a complete “twat” is just way too much when using “point and shoot” augmented apps. Holding your phone like some kind of sci-fi binoculars and moving around the landscape makes you look like a dick. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice thing to demo, and people always go “ooh that's cool”, but generally, you look like a complete and utter dick.

Augmented Reality: is it a Bit Rubbish? (via)

Sid Meier and the 48 Hour Game

This had been stuck in my Instapaper queue for almost two months because it’s a flash video and thus refused playback on iPad and iPhone, but now that i’ve finally found the time to sit still for 24 minutes in front of the computer and watch this i have to say it’s pretty great: Sid Meier and the 48 Hour Game is a neat documentary where Sid Meier returned to his Alma Mater to encourage and judge a 48 hour game design competition. (via)

Envisioning Interactions in the Home of the Future

During an intensive five week project, five student teams conducted an iterative user-centered design process to explore future applications for the projection of interfaces on any surface suitable for display and interaction in the home of the future.

Design techniques ranged from contextual inquiry, ideation, and storyboarding, to concept visualizations and video protypes. Each design team was comprised of students from the Division of Design’s Interaction Design program and the HCI concentration in Human Centered Design and Engineering, the iSchool, Computer Science and Engineering, and students from other UW HCI-oriented majors.

The resulting five projects envision the embedding of community networks into the home, a search, interaction across walls, lifestyle coaching, and interactive cooking.

Intel: Envisioning Interactions in the Home of the Future (via)

Smart Things: Ubicomp UX Design Chapter 6

Mike Kuniavsky has a book titled “Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design” coming out later this year. He’s serializing select chapters from his book on his weblog (previously: chapter one, chapter three) and he just finished posting chapter 6, Information Shadows (part one, two, three, four, five, six). I haven’t read it yet but look forward to it now that the whole chapter is complete.