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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Better Facebook posting and acknowledgements

( 9/20/2015 ) 

I wanted to do a blog entry in-which I document the thinking behind the suggestion. Elaborate more on my initial approach of what is the user, environment, emotions, goals and the interaction. Document what runs through my head when I approach a problem. 

I do my blog mostly for fun because I like to improve existing world experiences I find ... For this one : Better Facebook posting and acknowledgements.

Facebook built their empire on the simplicity of the 'Like' my post, Google is attempt to relegate them with the '+1' that. The battle continues...

Recently I have found life events being announced on FaceBook, including death announcements of people that I knew. I also have been finding announcements of local weather events or people on the loose that might be dangerous. In-fact, I was just informed that two people from a former team passed-away today!

'Facebook has informed me that someone passed away, do I like that post???'

These leave me confused on whether to 'Like' the posting or not? It seems inappropriate and I decline to respond to these posting. Obviously, the poster's stimulus to keep posting is knowing people saw and thought about your post. I'm not supporting that loop, I'm breaking it.

'Like' doesn't work for all posting. Wouldn't it be cooler if the poster was able to tailor the acknowledgement they want to receive? For the viewer, wouldn't it also be cooler to appropriately respond?

To improve this experience, first I identify the users. This one is very broad, it includes nearly everyone. The experience needs to stay neutral to gender, age, sophistication and culture. If this were gamers, I would consider that they are probably very tech-savvy and need less hand-holding and instruction.

Next, let's look at the environment, again this is just about anywhere and across many different devices. Most common the toilet, more extreme would be driving a car. The experience needs to stay as easy and ubiquitous as the one I'm changing.

Emotionally the user viewing the post is generally calm and inquisitive. Facebook browsing is a somewhat habitual task that can be done infrequently or multiple times per day. While they peruse the postings their emotions are obviously affected by the postings.

The experience is pretty passive with scrolling and occasionally liking a post. When deciding whether to like a post or comment, the user considers what this action will say about about them. They have different classes of people contained in their network, they will almost automatically like the upper caste and rarely do more than glance at the low-end of the spectrum. Emotionally, this is all pretty much common sense and Facebook is a popularity contest ... But your parents always got your back ;)

The interaction has two sides. The poster posting posts and the viewer viewing posts and reacting. The reaction is glancing, liking or commenting. ( and some other stuff like sharing and flagging )

Let's look at some mock-ups : 

Posting that doesn't feel like a 'like' is the right response.

My suggested solution is to give the poster another option that offers suggested actions the viewer can select. I'm thinking of two new ones : 'My Regards' & 'Heard' The poster selects that from the additional UI pictured above.

For the viewer when they see a posting, they still just have one quick action. The displayed action is the one the poster selected. Simple, right?

Thanks for taking a look at a simple experience improvement coupled with my thoughts behind the idea!

I also like to throw in one more idea at the end, from time-to-time. Facebook, can you please add the number of times one of your posting was viewed? If you look at your own posting, you see the number of views. ( Above : 245 Views )

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Apple Watch : How the battery makes it a Gadget

I have been using my Apple Watch for over one month. Overall, I'm happy with the software and the experience. However, the short battery makes this product less of a tool and more of a gadget. 

The design of this watch always being there for you, a constant companion on your wrist. Much like what people think of their smartphone, but how long can you go without your smartphone? I don't know about you, but I still use my iPhone when it is plugged in and charging. The Apple Watch is unusable while charging, it isn't on your wrist. I don't find it a constant companion, when the battery is charging ... in-fact, mine is charging right now and off my wrist, and will be for another 1 hour. I default back to my iPhone as my constant companion, I can just reach for it and us it as I usually do.

It is a small device with a small battery, you can't change that. It has a beautiful display and a fast processor, these make the battery life much less than other smart watches on the market. 

Maybe future technology will allow for a similar design with a much longer battery life. But for now this is what we have, an expensive watch with one solid day of battery life. 

[ Doesn't stay on the charger ]

Currently, I find myself charging it on the go. The Apple idea of charging while you sleep and putting it on the charger every night before bed doesn't work with my lifestyle. Maybe I'm not the norm and people find this routine easy. 

When I do charge it, the inductive charging is kind of cool. But frequently the watch falls off the charger and isn't charging. I would just prefer a cord to plug-in and make a solid connection. I feel the inductive charging is more of a sales gimmick. Also, when charging Apple should always show the battery percentage on the screen and the time.

Wouldn't it be cooler if you didn't have to be without a watch while it is charging? Take a look at my idea for that : 

[ Click for Larger View ]

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Apple Release : Ideas and predictions

Apple is going to release the iPhone 6s and maybe a larger iPad tomorrow. Here are some thoughts that I put down Saturday about what I would like to see.

Usually, I hope for a lot from Apple's releases. I'm always left wanting Steve to come on stage and say 'and ... one more thing'.

What I really hope to not see :

- Just another phone update that makes them thinner and feeling even more delicate and bendable.'
- A full sapphire screen - boring ... right?
- Integration of Beats into the phone, Beats branded internal speakers or some nonsense like that.
- Software updates without any cool hardware updates.

What I really hope to see :

- A new phone design that breaks the Apple shape language that hasn't changed much since 2001 with the release of the iPod.

* - Take a chance and try a new shape, I like a wedge. Gives me a grip, less slippery and sits nicely on a table.

- Battery, Battery .. Battery -- I want a larger battery on my phone more than most other features. My sketches have ideas for a new shape that allow more room for a larger battery.

* - My phone is skinny enough and light enough, I wouldn't mind more mass and size for 150% more battery.

- A more natural camera placement that allows for a better grip for taking photos.

I usually have more time to annotate and details my ideas, I apologize for just attaching pencil sketches .. but I wanted to post before the event tomorrow ;/