Happy Friday, Here Are Your Links

Not that it’s a tradition or anything, but here are some links to brighten your Friday. Or whatever day it happens to be when you see them.

Google Glass SXSW video

Google released the video of their Glass session at SXSW. Noel (@noelportugal) was in the room, and Anthony (@anthonyslai) has an Explorer set on preorder. So yeah, we’re definitely interested.

It’s all speculation at this point, but it seems like Glass will essentially be a smartphone accessory, levaraging an app on the phone and piggybacking on the phone’s connectivity.

Facebook Home and your friends

The Verge humorously asks “Facebook Home is beautiful, but what if your friends aren’t?” A nice hook, and a good point about the value derived from Home and its dependency on the quality of your friends’ content.

I’ve seen this before with services that show beautiful pictures pulled from external content sources. The result looks great if the source content is high resolution and beautiful. Android’s contacts are an example; Android pulls the contact’s picture from the Google+ profile. If that photo is a nice, high resolution shot (e.g. Noel’s), it will look sharp on the phone. If not, it’s an annoying, grainy photo. The resolution of your phone obviously matters, e.g. some photos that looked OK on my Nexus S are now grainy on my Nexus 4.

If you’re building a service that showcases photos, you really should do some pre-processing on the images to ensure bad photos from the source don’t make your UI look janky.

Google’s Knowledge Graph on tablet videos

Yes, it’s only for the Play Movies & TV app and only on tablets, but this is kind of a big deal. In short, Google is now adding metadata from its Knowledge Graph to supported video playing on tablets running the Play Movies & TV app.

When paused, tapping an actor’s face will pull up related cards, e.g. the actor’s filmography and biography, and offer to take actions for you, like search.

This fits a flow that everyone has had at one point or another, i.e. what’s that actor’s name, what was that other movie he was in, how tall is he, etc. Usually, you’d pause an hit IMDB.

I love this combination of internet information with video. It’s useful and a smart way for Google to get even more information about you. Think about the possibilities for analytics on this feature. Twitter should take note, given its rise as a medium for celebrities.

Lots of user experience goodies

Introduce Design Thinking Into Your Enterprise Implementations: From Misha’s (@mishavaughan) VoX blog, I give you Oracle UX Direct. Here’s the skinny:

The Oracle Applications User Experience team has created a program called Oracle UX Direct to provide customers, partners, and consultants in the enterprise industry with design best-practices and tools that they can leverage to make their enterprise implementations more successful. By introducing design thinking during the implementation stage, our customers have the opportunity to create a solution that best fits the needs of their users from the beginning.

Hit the source for details.

The Next Big UI Idea: Gadgets That Adapt To Your Skill: I’ve been noodling since I watched Indie Game: The Movie, i.e. level design applied to software. It raises concerns for me though, given that I would hate to buy a TV that hand-held me through all its features.

Still, there is value in learning by doing, especially for training on new enterprise software. Upgrades often require retraining of users, which means those users aren’t doing their jobs, a double whammy.

No to NoUI: This is an interesting read and a cautionary tale about hiding too much from the user.

4 Surprising App-Design Principles, From The Instagram Of Quick Quizzes: Almost a companion piece for the previous post, these four principles target the mobile, distracted user. The distracted part was an a-ha for me, since thanks to Apple, we’re conditioned to think in terms of an immersive experience. That’s just not true. The smartphone itself is immersive, but its various features and apps, with the exception of games, really aren’t.




  1. OMG that No to NoUI has ripped my thoughts from my brain. “Reality Clippy” is priceless.

    “One thumb, one eyeball” is only a third of the way to the Three Stooges.

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