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October 30, 2011

Today’s Ugliness Won’t Last Forever

Filed under: Design,Layout,Usability — admin @ 5:41 pm

Frédéric Filloux on the state of advertising on news-related websites:

The exponential rise of inventories coupled to fragile economic conditions have pushed ad agencies to ask more (space) for less money. And, for the creativity, the encephalogram remains desperately flat.

The challenge of digital advertising on news sites is something that fascinates me. I can’t help feeling that there’s a better, more effective way of generating revenue for these sites. A multitude of gaudy adverts, bolted on to the outside of the content doesn’t appear — outwardly, at least — to be the most effective solution, yet it’s what most sites seem to do. Is it because it’s the only thing that works? Surely there’s a better way? (I ask those questions in a positive way — I do not pretend for one moment to understand all the pressures & restrictions facing purveyors of digital news.)

The only part of Filloux’s article that I’m not sure about concerns how the increase in mobile device usage will affect this trend:

Thanks to the rise of mobile internet, the pendulum is likely to swing back: smaller screens will result in fewer ads carrying more value.

There’s nothing in today’s digital news landscape that makes me believe this will be true. At the very least, it’s going to take some time to get here — news sites are still going to try & shoehorn adverts into their mobile offerings.

Take the CNN news iPhone app as an example. The main reason I don’t use it is that they interrupt the flow of the content — surely a cardinal sin — with a banner ad. Every story has the same, interruptive advertisement smack bang in the middle of the flow.

The CNN news app showing a banner ad interrupting the main flow of the content

The pendulum for advertising within mobile digital news offerings would appear to be over the ‘interruptive’ end of the spectrum at the moment. Hopefully it’ll swing back — both for mobile and desktop — in time.

October 26, 2011

I wish I didn’t notice this kind of thing

Filed under: Apple,Design — admin @ 4:33 pm

The 'restoring iPhone' dialog box. The gap between the edge of the box and the progress bar isn't consistent.

October 25, 2011

The Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera

Filed under: Photography — admin @ 7:45 pm

Ingenious: a camera that takes a 360º panorama when thrown in the air.

October 24, 2011

Michael Winslow does ‘Whole Lotta Love’

Filed under: Music — admin @ 10:02 pm

The guitar sound is just amazing:

October 20, 2011

What F1 Drivers See

Filed under: Formula One — admin @ 4:40 pm

Lucas di Grassi wearing a camera mounted to his helmet.

October 17, 2011

Elbow with the BBC Concert Orchestra

Filed under: Music — admin @ 5:13 pm

Beautiful.

October 14, 2011

The Shrine of Apple

Filed under: Apple,Geekery,Photography — admin @ 6:27 pm

The Shrine of Apple is a wonderful site with the aim of showcasing every Apple product through fantastic photography.

Have a read through the process they go through when adding new products to the site. It sounds like a real labour of love.

Siri looks really well thought out

Filed under: Apple,Geekery,Interfaces — admin @ 5:00 pm

Through sites like this and this I’m beginning to think that Siri — the new ‘personal assistant’ on the iPhone 4S — is incredibly well done. Those sites — whilst humourous — illustrate the breadth of things that Siri understands.

Whilst Scott Forstall demoed it well during the keynote, he obviously didn’t touch on everything it could do. It looks like there’s much more to explore.

My favourite at the moment is this one.

“We’ve never had it so good” — my 10 minute talk at UX Australia

Filed under: Conferences — admin @ 4:05 pm

I recently attended UX Australia in Sydney and had the privilege of giving one of the ’10 minute talks’ — the short presentations shown in-between the lunch break and the afternoon sessions. Limited to 10 minutes and only available to those who haven’t presented at the conference before, this was my first taste of presenting at a large conference.

My talk focused on the impact technology has on everyday experiences & user expectations. It was a fairly rudimentary topic — and certainly a challenging one to condense into 10 minutes — but it was something I thoroughly enjoyed putting together and delivering.

The idea for the talk came about when I found the clip below of Conan interviewing Louis CK a few years ago.

Whilst delivered with far more humour than I could ever muster, the idea that advances in technology enhance our experiences and — at the same time — heighten our expectations was something that really resonated with me. I felt it would be an ideal topic to present at a UX conference, where the attendees would likely be heavy users of technology as well as being experts in what makes great experiences. It felt like a good fit.

I spent the three weeks preceding the conference preparing & practicing my talk. I presented to colleagues, to my wife and to the bedroom wall many, many times. I made sure I practised enough so that I could present without slides, if required. I read Matt Gemmell’s excellent post on public speaking. I prepared as much as I could.

Despite being very nervous on the day I thoroughly enjoyed giving my talk. The 10 minutes flew by (thankfully I didn’t succumb to ‘on-the-day-rambling’ and delivered it within the time limit) and I felt fairly comfortable once I was in full flow. After the talk a few people came up and said they enjoyed it which — given the fact it was a short presentation, amongst many others, by an unknown Englishman — was very gratifying.

There’s more information on the UX Australia site and the slides are up on Slideshare.

October 13, 2011

iOS 5 lets you change the colour of your calendars

Filed under: Apple,Geekery — admin @ 1:24 am

“Finally.”

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