Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Shifts toward touch and gestural interfaces

4/4/2012 We are likely witnessing the most dramatic shift in user interaction since the mouse. Some standard practice in traditional site design needs to be unlearned to best address the unique model of physical interaction. Where a user's hand and fingers fall as interaction occurs, the angle of contact, the arc of the elbow or wrist. All of these and more external and physical factors are considered in the layout and overall design of the system. I have found that prototyping particular interaction flows and physically interacting with them can yield some very elegant solutions. A tablet set up as second monitor* can run prototypes (on laptop) for testing. One of many notable shifts, in user interaction, is that the display state of a button or other actionable item moves from 'hover' state to a 'touch and hold' state. The action 'on mouse click' becomes action 'on touch release'. Where hover states usually display labels centered beneath, touch and hold states display labels above to account for finger and hand obscuring the screen beneath the physical point of interaction. For all of what is known, there is much left to discover. How will drivers adjust to the lack of physical knobs and buttons while piloting their vehicles? Will bendable displays deliver on their promise of more ergonomic touch displays? I'm excited to see what models of interaction will rise through the evolution of trial and error.*Screen sharing apps, like Air Display, allow your tablet to function as a second monitor.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Location sharing moves towards the mainstream

Geolocation services are today more commonly referred to as location sharing. Facebook's announcement of the enhanced functionality of Places and Deals on their social networking site will accelerate these services' movement into the mainstream.

Facebook Places opens up the APIs that had been exclusive to foursquare since their inception. This means anyone can write a foursquare-like application with users becoming "mayors" and earning "badges" Foursquare created a custom site for the recent elections: With Facebook Places, anyone will be able to create such custom location sharing sites and apps. Facebook Deals is fascinating and should provide a huge amount of momentum. Coupons on mobile devices and cell phones have long been talked about. These services will effectively make the conjecture reality and will do so overnight. Out of the gate, dozens of high profile retailers will be offering location sharing based deals and offers.

While not mainstream today, location sharing definitely is the next big thing and will be mainstream within the next year. The internet is fast transitioning from the desktop into the physical world. Location sharing will play a significant role in this shift in user behavior.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oscar Mayer Carving Board Meats

9/21/2010 Oscar Mayer asked us to produce a microsite heralding the release of their new Carving Board Meats. Our challenges included making the entire site using html so its entire contents could be indexed and accessible, making it a rich media like experience that was compelling and engaging, including recipe content that could be shared via social networking sites, using site side "Like" functionality from facebook and including direct to print coupons and a zip code based product locator. Check it out at

Thursday, March 4, 2010

ALPO media campaign : take AL for a walk

Update: ALPO "The Walk" Media campaign wins a Beanie Award.

Working with Yahoo! & PointRoll, we were able to create a unique experience for ALPO's consumers. Rich video media units (and a Yahoo! Home page takeover) lead to custom designed pages within Yahoo housing exclusive content for our consumer. These custom created ad units contain rich video of a real dog acting as companion and navigation. He takes users through the experience with the additional incentive of coupons that increase in value as they traverse the walk. So far these ads are performing exceptionally well with 300% higher than industry average click through rate, 40% of users interact with the units and average viewing time of nearly one minute vs. industry avg. of 13 seconds.

Friday, February 12, 2010

1/25/2010 GMM spokesperson Kristin Chenoweth led a flash-mob style event in LA complete with a marching band, dancers and the smiley face logo being rendered with spinning umbrellas and wienermobiles. Media coverage is heavy with features and appearances on properties like Entertainment Tonight, the Today Show, and many other major entertainment magazines, news outlets and websites.

The website brings together the social networking site Facebook with user's submissions of what puts them in a good mood. Each submission results in a charitable food donation by Oscar Mayer. All of the submissions and content populate an immersive cloud-like environment rendered with the flash-based engine, papervision 3d.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Editorial Response from 2002

Received: 11/8/02 12:45 p.m

I read your article regarding pay-for-play video gaming and the lack of game play in today's video game landscape. I wanted to share some insights on one direction the market is heading that I know you will find very interesting.Some of the most interesting developments will be in the area of promotions (zero-level and low-level premiums as traffic-driving incentives). You’ll see this combined with Flash-based cell phones and PDA video games that award said premiums based on standing using the XML interfaces in the recently released FlashMX.A game produced for the “Four Feathers” movie showcased the use of XML interfaces to allow turn-based multiplayer gaming. The same types of interfaces are being developed to allow for secure game server statistic reporting.Zero-level and low-level premiums (branded keychain giveaway, buy one and get one free, free drink with sandwich, etc.) will be awarded to cell phone accounts based on game server standing and redeemed at Marathon, McDonald's, 7-Eleven, etc. (thinkSpeedPass).While pay for play will exist and grow to be a more relevant portion of the gaming community, it will continue to be a very niche market for the foreseeable future. The business model has nearly fully evolved and many award structures, sweepstakes and prize-pooling options have been floated and tested with little to moderate success.It is my opinion that the most relevant advents will come as a result of gaming (particularly cell phones and PDAs) as an extension of traditional promotional and advertising campaigns.The efforts under way look to be extremely promising. Imagine a commuter playing a sports/racing/adventure game on his cell phone while riding into the city on the Metra, seeing in-game advertising that builds brand awareness, the game ending with "game over" followed with "you've earned one credit good for one free cup of 7-Eleven coffee."The first trials will be followed with more ambitious prizes (or sweeps entry) for the very top-level gamers in the game server hierarchy. Premium suppliers get advertising, brand awareness and increased in-store traffic with every redeemed zero-level/low-level premium.Cellular service providers get more games/content with which to sell more phones and upsell service packages. Gamers get coupons, free coffee or newspapers for doing something they would have done anyway.