Posts Tagged ‘thought’

When # is useful info

February 27, 2009

Between the US Air splash landing in NYC’s Hudson River, the Turkish Air crash in Amsterdam and a host of other news (Bali, Dar Fur etc), Twitter (and other social sites-Mahalo, Beebo etc) have gotten a lot of cred as a source for news.

For someone such as myself who is the “gate keeper” for traditional news the question is how can we harness this great flow of information–and make it a plausible and usable experience to someone who is seeking out news and information from a “traditional” news source?

There is a pretty strong argument not to worry about it. Make it clear the source (a search of the # tags) and let the users work it out–its what they do on Twitter, Tweetdeck, Twirhl and wherever else they consume. Or we can right extensive algorithms that filter the API’s and try to manage the experience. But that of course opens up a whole other set of discussion–big, bad media is tainting the story, and muting voices.

The reality is, no matter what any of the big media outlets do with Twitter-big media is a bit targe. See what happend to my professional colleagues at ABC News last week.  The good news is they tried.  As has my network. Here is a sampling.

Watch as this unfolds–and be proactive.  Let us (or me right here) know what works and what doesn’t work. Yeah its a brave new world out there–and we can change it all one post at a time.

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Sweating over the details

January 12, 2009

Over the last week to week and a half (before, during and after the holidays) I have been going through an incredibly intense design process for six mobile websites and two mobile applications–and while the experience has me looking at all things with a different POV, I am wondering if we spend too much time sweating the small stuff.

Does an end user really care if the “more” button is crammed into a space? Do they even notice? Until last week, I did not even know what the gutter on the comps was–now I am answering questions about graphics haning into it.

My thought is that content drives consumption-and navigation needs to be easy to invisible.

More than two years ago, a consultant told me if the end user needs navigation, there is a design problem.  I asked him at the time to explain that statement, and he told me a user should be able to easily move within a site (WWW or mobile) easily.  If they need to back out to main navigation points-the content is too burried.

That stuck with me-and now I understand it.

As the new sites roll, we’ll find out if we over thought them.


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