I’ve heard a lot of comparisons between learning to code and learning a second language.
The problem with this comparison is that speakers don’t expect to learn Russian from a CD and then go write War and Peace1.
In fact, while I appreciate the sentiment it makes me cringe to think that just about anyone is expected to be able to learn to code.
- I understand the counter argument is that they’re not going to try to write War and Peace right away [↩]
I can’t help but read this article and think it represents the future.
AT&T is using it’s own services and influence as a platform to enable others to solve a problem. I’ve observed this sort of thing before, and I think we’ll continue to see it happen more frequently.
When I first wrote about this happening at the MTA in NYC, it was simply an observation on the power of APIs combined with a little PR or messaging.
Now, I believe there’s more momentum to it. There is a convergence of trends that is creating a really interesting opportunity for business to work together with their customers (or their communities) to solve customer problems.
When I read the article about AT&T, I could imagine them thinking “we have a problem, and all these people think they can solve it, why don’t we see what they can do?”. It’s certainly a step in the right direction, as I never would have used the words ‘AT&T’ and ‘thinking’ in the same sentence before.
I believe it’s really important for companies to start thinking this way, and start delivering an IT mind-set that thinks this way.
Curious about the trends that are enabling this “platform” behavior? Want to know how your IT organization can adapt? Stay tuned. I’ll be doing a webinar later this year (schedule TBD) and speaking about this to customers at ProcessWorld next month. If you’re coming to ProcessWorld, make sure to grab me for a 1-1 session.
And, if my bank is reading this, call me when you have a hackathon to redesign your freaking statements so they can be understood by people.
This post is about mobile technology. And, warning, I’m going to promote my own company’s solution.
So much news flies by each day it’s numbing. I wasn’t expecting to be touched so deeply by an article I read yesterday about Facebook’s original decision to use HTML5 instead of develop a native iOS app. In fact, I read the article on two sources and only bookmarked it after the second read-through.
The biggest mistake we’ve made as a company is betting on HTML5 over native.
Peeked my head into Think Coffee yesterday and took the photo to the right.
By my count, there were about 30-35 “laptops” in the room. 3 of them were PC’s1. There were a few iPads with people seemingly working as hard as those on laptops.
Think Coffee is next door to NYU, so these are mostly students.
What are their companies going to do when these students enter the workforce? Buy them Macs? Force them to use Windows?
I made the switch a five years ago, when the two operating systems were much more similar. OSX and Windows are diverging, and will diverge further as Apple starts yearly OS updates.
This should get interesting.
- Two people were working with pen and paper. [↩]
I’m going for the whole set. Apparently, I’m bewildering. Now, I’m bewildered too.
I”m disappointed by enterprise technology. Even “modern” SaaS applications, like Salesforce.com or OpenAir are ugly and difficult to use.
Sidebar. Lately, as I watch baseball in the bar, I am glad I’m not a baseball fanatic. Every view of the stadium contains so much advertising as to totally ruin the experience for me. I feel like I’d be willing to pay for the “beauty” of an advertising free stadium (were I a fanatic). I’m glad there aren’t more people that like to take walks in the park or there would be advertising tacked to the trees. Feel what I mean?
So, at a recent Gartner show they pointed out that enterprises are missing critical talent around UI/UX and “user psychology” (my words). In fact, there’s a shortness of that sort of talent in the market. I’m not sure I needed Gartner to tell me that.
I do sure hope it changes though. In fact, I encourage people with responsibilities in this area to start taking notice of what’s going on in the consumer space.
Let me give you my favorite example of the year so far… corporate travel (I have tried to take all company references off so as not to embarrass anyone).
So, I’m going online to make a reservation and what I need is down in the lower left corner, not exactly where the eyes track first. The fonts are tiny, and it’s a million different fields which I can’t move between using the cursor. The rest of the information on the page… stuff that once I’ve made a few corporate trips, are meaningless. I’m impressed by the number of font sizes and colors though. I hope the “designer” was bonused per-font-combination.
Someone would argue – top center is the place for relevant notifications that are important. I call bullish*t. Look closely. One is telling me about fares between Detroit and Florida. The other is telling me something from March about the United/Continental merger. If I search on flights between Detroit and Florida, you can tell me what I need to know then. And, if I’m flying United and the message is relevant, insert the warning at that time only to those people who need it. Not really rocket science, right?
It’s always my favorite when I get advertising, even related to the service provider, on an internal website. Either I’ve downloaded their mobile app or not. It certainly doesn’t deserve the “best” seat in the house in the upper right corner (based on eye-tracking studies of how users view web pages).
I’m also not a fan of the tabs/subtabs. There are 3 separate hierarchies on this page.
Finally, considering that I’m not a travel agent (though after years of corporate travel cutbacks, I could easily qualify), there’s no where to get live help as I’m making a reservation. There’s also no way to collaborate with the other employees I’m traveling with on any given trip so we can all arrive at the same time and save on rental car or taxi costs, or stay at the same hotel.
Let’s look at “free” site Hipmunk. I love these guys. The UI is just so easy to use, and the site’s functionality makes it dramatically easier to find flights that I need.
The page speaks for itself, right? Very easy to use, to read, and to get help.
Even better though, and the flight search results:
It gives me a nice visual representation so that I can see timing, layovers, and cost all relative to all of my choices, so that I can quickly make a decision. Much easier than a bewildering list of flight options, mysterious “click here to price” options, and so on.
I wish people that developed corporate applications felt they could be a little different. There’s a world of software outside of the enterprise, and people have way more exposure to good UI/UX than ever before. It’s about time corporate apps caught up.