When it comes to downloading a new app, very few people ignore the reviews. According to Apptentive’s user survey, 90% of users take app ratings into account and 79% also pay attention to the reviews; 4 out of every 10 people consider reviews to be more important than recommendations from friends. Just as reviews are important for the ranking of products on Amazon.com, visibility of apps in both Apple and Google stores are also strongly affected by reviews. Apps have to be good in general, but it is crucial to think about when and how to gain more positive reviews for ASO (App Store optimization).
Since email became the major communication channel in the 1990s, the centralized inbox where users can access all of their conversation history literally also became the work communication hub. Decades later, emails are much more populous and filled with spam and marketing newsletters; the centralized inbox has become a symbol of unproductivity. Slack, the workplace group chat application, has been said to be email’s replacement.
Just as Google search has made it easy for users to find the right content on the internet, Pocket and Pinterest are letting users organize this content based on their interests. Both of these companies’ missions are to boost the potential of the internet. While their products were enticing, almost romantic, as they came from the early internet period where users and developers shared abundant optimism, I didn’t have a strong understanding of their business models; I only had a vague expectation that advertisement would play an important role, just as it did withGoogle. In this entry, I wanted to explore how the development of their business models has influenced their products.
Last week Nike opened its Innovation store in New York City about a month after its first ever Shanghai store was opened. The store is full of attempts, some to respond uniquely to the function of brick-and-mortar retail space in today’s landscape by dissolving online convenience and offline experience. A lot of attempts at experience stores have been made after Amazon started to sell more than books and DVDs about a decade ago. As I follow this topic, I wanted to visit the store and see if I can witness the Nike version of the answer.
Material Design, introduced by Google in 2014, had been my go-to place to reevaluate the design languages in my projects because of its use of metaphors from the physical world. The appearances and properties in the physical world, including how depths or layers are expressed through light and shadow to feedback that makes sense when interacting to physical objects, inspire rules of Material Design. In Material Design, graphics have to be intentional; motions have to guide users to focus on elements and reinforce how these elements will transform or reorganize as they are intended.
I recently attended a meetup event, “Special NYC Blend Event: Inclusive Design”, held at the Google Office in New York. There I heard a talk by Heather Cassano, Head of Product Design at Google about the premise of Inclusive Design and her approach to it. “Inclusive Design is a methodology… that enables and draws on the full range of human diversity. Most importantly, this means including and learning from people with a range of perspectives. (Inclusive Design by Microsoft)”. I have used Universal Design, which essentially is rooted in “building an environment that can be used to the greatest extent possible”(National Disability Authority), to describe a similar practice, but I was not familiar with the term Inclusive Design. It is interesting how Universal Design emphasizes the outcome that adopts to universal conditions, while Inclusive Design speaks about the process of creating the design. To understand better, I want to learn and address where Inclusive Design stands in the accessibility.
Casper is becoming known for pop-up shops, each of which is filled with playful and colorful treehouse structures where shoppers can try out mattresses. Just like Ikea where dads falling asleep on mattress away from their active shopper families, Casper has also provided a drowsing oasis to urban shoppers. The Dreamery by Casper, where shoppers can take a 45 min nap for $25, has extended the joy at their stores even further.
I was fortunate to participate in a panel discussion concerning data science hosted by Toptal. As a designer, my contribution was to share examples on how data presentations can mislead one when presented as real facts, and how data visualization products require high sets of personalization. When data is used for presentations, designers and/or data scientists have to be selective with its range and subject to make their points to the audience, however, the act of extracting also risks adding bias. With that considered, when we provide tools for users to analyze data by themselves, the key is to make the tools easy to personalize, so individual stories from data can be more accessible. Since the time was limited during the discussion, I wanted to share some follow up here.
Google announced the revamp of its News App at its I/O developer conference in May, 2018. Although the Google News product suffered with backslash on its redesign project in 2017, the overall referral traffic to publishers has grown 50% since January of 2017 and it is an essential platform for both users and publishers. Since Google is a search dominant site and as a lot of users still search for news, Google is still advantageous for providing news that is most relevant to users. The redesign project focuses on 3 aspects; Keep up with news you care about, understand the full story, and enjoy and support the news sources you love. The project aims to refine the product package by strengthening its serendipitous opportunities and challenging other dominating new source platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Flipboard, and Apple News.