The buying experience of cell phones has always been frustratingly full of unknowns: you don't have a good idea of what the service coverage will be like before switching plans, you don't know what reception your specific phone will get, and you are usually stuck with a dummy non-operative phone to look at in the store that gives you little idea how it will actually work.
A new study from Nokia predicts that by 2012, a quarter of all entertainment will be created, edited, and shared within peer groups rather than being generated by traditional media.
Jointly conducted with the trend research firm The Future Laboratory, Nokia's study asked trend-setting consumers from 17 countries about their digital behaviors and lifestyles. The company also used information gathered from its 900 million customers as well as views of leading industry analysts.
"From our research we predict that up to a quarter of the entertainment being consumed in five years will be what we call 'circular.' The … Read more
An article in Sunday's New York Times cites recent surveys challenging the notion that smartphones are ready for prime time:
Similarly, surveys by Yankee Group, a Boston research firm, show that only 13 percent of cellphone users in North America use their phones to surf the Web more than once a month, while 70 percent of computer users view Web sites every day.
"The user experience has been a disaster," says Tony Davis, managing partner of Brightspark, a Toronto venture capital firm that has invested in two mobile Web companies.
While many phones have some form of … Read more
The Internet has enabled the emergence of a collective consciousness that is unprecedented in human history. We are coming together as a hive, and the intelligence of the swarm is being mined and utilized like never before.
Knowledge is power, information is a cash commodity, and who decides how these resources and benefits are distributed? The latest controversy about Facebook's Beacon advertisements is one of many examples that suggests that the issue of user control over his or her own information is reaching a tipping point. We, the online masses, are developing a new sense that our own information is sacred and worth protecting, and not to be indiscriminately broadcast, or blindly exploited for someone else's commercial gain.
Beyond a "right to privacy" that might have meant "secrecy" in the past, we need to think about the right to control our information when it comes to:What I say about myself What others say about me, and How that information is used
I see these issues coming up time and time again in a thread that runs through everything from Internet safety, to social networking, creative artists' rights, consumer/patient rights, all the way up to government wiretapping and surveillance.… Read more
Here's a link to a presentation I gave last week. Forgive me for the "conversation 2.0" moniker but it's a catchy way to pinpoint what's happening right now in the world of marketing. Marketers and brands have always had conversations, but at a much slower pace and mediated by professional parties. That's no longer the case. Conversation 2.0, that is, the Web 2.0-enabled conversation, shifts places and times; it is ubiquitous and doesn't pause--it is, in all senses of the meaning, a "never ending conversation."
Thus, "social … Read more
Can you call a concept a cultural phenomenon if different people conceive of it at the same time? Within the past few months, three publications have come to similar conclusions. The digital media agency Avenue A | Razorfish released a study called "Fast Forward: Designing for Constant Change." It consists of thirteen essays as well as research exploring how consumers' digital media habits are changing, and how this affects the design of user experiences and brands. The key take-away is: Today's online users are forced to adjust to constant change in increasingly volatile rich media environments, and they … Read more
Perhaps huffing at your computer might get you somewhere if research at the Georgia Institute of Technology comes to fruition.
Shwetak Patel and Gregory Abowd from Georgia Tech have published a paper that describes how to use a computer microphone to determine where on a screen a person is blowing. The technique, which they call BLUI for Blowable and Localized User Interaction, can distinguish between the different sounds air makes depending on where the breath is directed.
"BLUI supports blowing at a laptop or computer screen to directly control specific parts of an interactive application, such as blowing at … Read more
Adobe Systems wants to transform its flagship Photoshop software with an interface customized to the task at hand, a potentially radical revamp for software whose power today is hidden behind hundreds of menu options.
A new user interface will help Photoshop become "everything you need, nothing you don't," said Photoshop product manager John Nack, describing aspirations for the Photoshop overhaul on his blog Monday.
"We must make Photoshop dramatically more configurable," Nack said. "Presenting the same user experience to a photographer as we do to a radiologist, as to a Web designer, as to … Read more
What do you get when you cross a Firefox with a chameleon?
An open-source Web browser whose user interface is adapted to the look of the operating system it's running on. One change planned for the upcoming Firefox version 3, code-named Gran Paradiso, is this more native appearance.
"The Web browser is an incredibly central piece of the user's operating system, and we don't want the user's initial reaction to be that they have modified their computer to add some type of strange, foreign application," said Mozilla interface designer Alex Faaborg in a blog posting last week. &… Read more