Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Hurray for Google News Timeline user experience; hurray for Andy Herzfeld
Today Google announces the horisontal timeline for News. Like one could expect it works very well in the browser and is surprisingly fast. I am exceptionally happy to see a renaissance in horisontal timelines, as I have felt awfully lonely for many years not seeing any clones of horisontal timelines, which we developed for Nokia Lifeblog in 2004. The idea of a horisontal timeline seemed obvious once we came up with the idea, perfect as we expected screens on computers to grow from 4:3 to 16:9 and beyond, now a reality. What makes me exceptionally happy and proud is that Google's timeline was done by Andy Hertzfeld. Andy is in my book one of the greatest geniuses in the SW world as he understands all elements of a great user experience, making it work (Utilitias), making it beautiful (venustas) and making is tight (firmitas). Andy for example is said to have hired hired Susan Kare to Apple, who was responsible for the icons of the first Mac a longtime inspiration of mine. Andy did many key components what made computers what they are for example control panels
The timeline is simply one of the best ways to depict large amounts of data, I have more than 30000 of data items in my Lifeblog and it is still my preferred way to watch my own digital history. As Nokia killed Lifeblog last year, my history is fading fast as there are no new compatible handset made. Few days ago I got my N95 8GB back from service, the one Google Lattitude killed, I transferred all my sms back to the phone, 200 transferred eventhough I got a note that 2000 had transferred,what made the transfer amusing is that all landed on 21st of April, I guess it was an active day of texting. What can I say: metadata matters, content is nothing without its metadata.
To celebrate Andy's achivement I will start a club called Timeline fans, you can sign up on this blog and we take it from there. I certainly want to see more timelines otherwise I think we will become masked in bits hidden on disks in the cloud and we might actually never see the sun.
Monday, April 06, 2009
All you can eat in the digital space - Amazon Prime
I have been an Amazon Prime user for some time now, and it struck me what a magnificent loyalty tool this is. For me there is some weird greed-maximize-my-saving-mechanism kicking off, much like going to one of those asian or italian all you can eat for €9.90 buffet places. Amazon Prime is the same thing in the digital space, except it does not come with tummy ache.
You pay to save on your shipping. I do love the concept, it has for me worked exactly like Amazon inteneded it, to drive loyalty. Amazon Prime drives me back to Amazon, much more than I went there in the past. Much more than any offer for discounts.
It is innovations like this that gradually turns Amazon into the digital global Wallmart. I would be curious to hear how it works for others Prime subscribers, what are your experiences?
The next step would be to collect it to a mobile app, where one walks around in the physical world "shopmarking" things that one later can shop at Amazon with Prime delivery.
A terrible thought for all those retailers putting their products on display, but some clever retailer would quickly evolve into some kind of museum type retail experiences where people just browse and "shopmark" and then have the shippers compete for the business. Retail people would argue, people like getting things right away, but with Amazon Prime someone carries it home the next day, pretty darn nice for alot of stuff. I have not seen this kind of 'physical shopping catalogue' anywhere, it could be pretty darn space efficient way to do retailing.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Mobile Trends presentation at Fjord Helsinki today
If you are in Helsinki today and tired of the grey weather, why not stop by the Fjord Helsinki office where we are hosting 3rd Helsinki Barcamp. I will do a speech at 14:00 on Mobile trends of 2009. The speech is about 45min followed by a Q&A session. See you at Fjord, Keskuskatu 6G.