Links: 3-25-2010

  • DESIGNER NOTES » Blog Archive » “Fear and Loathing in Farmville”
    Why game designers are flocking to facebook: 1) True friends list: … Multiplayer games no longer suffer from the Catch-22 of requiring friends to be fun while new players always start the game without friends. 2) Free-to-play business model: New players need not shell out $60 to join the crowd. Consumers don’t like buying multiplayer games unless they know that their friends are all going to buy the game as well. 3) Persistent, asynchronous play: Finding time to play with one’s real friends is difficult, especially for working, adult gamers. Asynchronous mechanics, however, let gamers play at their own pace and with their own friends, not strangers who happen to be online at the same time. 4) Metrics-based iteration: Retail games are developed in a vacuum, with designers working by gut instinct. Further, games get only one launch, a single chance to succeed. Most developers would love, instead, to iterate quickly on genuine, live feedback.
    (categories: games facebook design socialsoftware motivation metrics )

  • Coding Horror: The Opposite of Fitts’ Law
    Love the visual.
    (categories: usability ux gui fitts-law interaction ui interface design )

  • Launch: Highrise for iPhone – (37signals)
    Nice touches on a loading screen.
    (categories: iphone apps )

Links: 3-7-2010

  • The Power of the Audience – Anil Dash
    Great essay. Quote: "…And the best use for realtime communications on the web is not to simply bring in the most recent information on a topic, but rather to make clear that others are experiencing or interacting with the same content at the same time."
    (categories: realtime communication writing ux design )

  • user research friday (tecznotes)
    Awesome article on product design, innovation, community management, crisis management and user research…. and a quote: "…There’s an alternative to the Buzz model of foisting novelty on people, and I think that Flickr is a classic example of a better way to operate on the web. Flickr is famous inside of Yahoo and out for having a basically cavalier attitude to commonly-accepted wisdom about testing, assurance, predicability, and all-around maturity. What that means is that sometimes, Flickr screws up. This is the Flickr coloring contest, hastily assembled during a multiple hour, unexpected engineering emergency from 2006. Flickr had and has a world-class community management approach that can respond to crisis with humor. The coloring contest kept anxious community members busy while terrifying technological feats were performed to unclog the tubes."
    (categories: stamen innovation userfocus research flickr product-design prototyping crisis community-management design ux )

  • HTML5 video markup, compatibility and playback
    Nice rundown on HTML5 and video and a quote: "…Playback is only one component of the total video experience. You will need to develop analytics and advertising capabilities to match or exceed your current Flash experience. Advertisers don’t publish interactive advertisements in <canvas>. The high-CPM pre-roll and post-roll video advertisements we see today are based on a Flash ecosystem built up over the years. HTML5 video and your money maker of choice will need to find a way to co-exist (banner and text advertisements still work well) and drive your development budget. I expect to see better JavaScript libraries from the open-source community as well as advertising networks solve some of the problem in the near future, just like a suite of XHR handlers popped up once Ajax started to take off."
    (categories: video html5 flash browser )

  • Paul Buchheit: If your product is Great, it doesn’t need to be Good.
    Quote: Pick three key attributes or features, get those things very, very right, and then forget about everything else. Those three attributes define the fundamental essence and value of the product — the rest is noise. For example, the original iPod was: 1) small enough to fit in your pocket, 2) had enough storage to hold many hours of music and 3) easy to sync with your Mac (most hardware companies can’t make software, so I bet the others got this wrong). That’s it — no wireless, no ability to edit playlists on the device, no support for Ogg — nothing but the essentials, well executed.
    (categories: product-design productmanagement innovation design usability startup )

  • PubSubHubBub — Matt Mullenweg
    Quote: …’s goal of all its useful code being available to everyone
    (categories: plugins innovation iteration wordpress pubsubhubbub )

  • Thunderbird in 2010 @ david ascher
    Quote: If we have an idea for a change to an existing Thunderbird feature, we’d like to roll it out first as an add-on, so that we can get feedback on early versions of the idea without having to incur all of the up-front costs of landing that change into the “trunk” builds. This should allow us to validate (or reject) ideas much faster. A great example of how this can work is the Personas feature, which matured as an add-on, and is now a standard (and awesome) feature of Firefox 3.6.
    (categories: innovation mozilla software plugins iteration )

Links: 3-2-2010

Links: 3-1-2010