Is it possible that Facebook Home has fallen flat on Android because it was designed by iPhone users? That’s certainly possible. But more likely, it seems to me, is that Facebook Home is just a bad idea. As I said last week, it’s a well-designed implementation of an idea no one wants. — Facebook Home and Dogfooding
Designing products for people to interact with is much different than designing products for people to interact with each other.— Soleio (@soleio) May 17, 2013
When the QQ mobile apps got a radical update and make-over recently to make them look more like WeChat, Tencent probably thought it was a great idea. But the vast majority of QQ users disagree – to the point of anger, hatred, and vitriol. […]
there’s no longer an indicator light besides contacts’ names on your QQ contacts list, so you can’t see who’s online until you click their name. Also, the chat window now looks more like a new-style messaging app – ie: more like WeChat or Whatsapp – which means that there’s a lot of wasted space in between users’ words.
It seems that Tencent has not taken into account that their two very popular apps […] are used quite differently.
China’s Top Chat App Gets a WeChat-Like Makeover, But Everyone Hates It
The evolution of various messaging applications have clouded our thinking. It’s better just to describe how people are communicating.
Communication can be text, pictures, voice or videos. It can be instant or asynchronous. It can be private, semi-private or public. It can be on-on-one, one-to-many or many-to-many.
The coming wearable computing revolution is squeezing all these options into single messaging applications, whether you wear computing or not. — How Wearable Computing Will Change Everything, Including Apple (via sprmario)
“When people drop their phone, they view it as, ‘I dropped my phone!’ They blame themselves,” Bogard explains. “What you see for something worn on the body is, people don’t even think about it.” […]
Their own internal product testing was coupled with what Jawbone calls “one of the largest ethnographic studies you could imagine.” While they say most consumer gadgets might see eight weeks of limited field testing, theirs lasted 46 weeks, or just short of 3 million hours of beta testers living with the Up. […]
it was ultimately “hundreds and hundreds of different designs, each being tested one by one” that evolved the Up into what’s returning to store shelves today.
How 3 Million Hours Of User-Testing Fixed The Jawbone Up
While Airbnb is data driven, they don’t let data push them around. Instead of developing reactively to metrics, the team often starts with a creative hypothesis, implements a change, reviews how it impacts the business and then repeats that process. — How design thinking transformed Airbnb from a failing startup to a billion dollar business (via sprmario)
Social interaction has been studied by academics since records began. It’s complex, and easy to get lost in the details. But we care mostly about shipping great products and services rather than academic thoroughness. So we need to:
- Simplify the complexity into three areas.
- Look at key research in those areas.
- Generate design principles to inform development.
- Build and ship something to test if it works.
THREE AREAS OF SOCIAL DESIGN
Design for either personal or social identity.
Inﬂuence social norms by building on existing community behavior.
Design new experiences to ﬁt with pre-existing beliefs.
Give people privacy controls in context with other actions.
Explain why personal data is needed, how it will be used.
Give suggestions for who to communicate with.
Show people things they have in common with others.
Help people create and strengthen groups.
Support lightweight ways for people to interact.
Design for speciﬁc relationship types.
Design experiences that help build relationships.
Optimize for communication between people who know each other.
Make it easy for people to talk about others.
Build experiences that allow people to reminisce
Create content that arouses emotion rather than reason.
Social science is just harder because the data is more unruly. As Albert Einstein once put it “understanding physics is child’s play compared to understanding child’s play”. — Why does social science have such a hard job explaining itself?
One of the themes that came up a lot was the idea of the growth team finding a leading indicator of a user who would turn into an engaged user later on. The growth team would then focus on optimizing for that metric. […]
Characteristics of leading indicator metrics
The various leading indicators fit into three categories:
• Network density: friend or following connections made in a time frame
• Content added: files added to a Dropbox folder
• Visit frequency: D1 retention
Chamath Palihapitiya, who used to run Facebook’s growth team, spoke about how his growth team discovered the “7 friends in 10 days” leading indicator. He said that they looked at cohorts of users that became engaged, and cohorts of users that did not become engaged, and the pattern that emerged was that the engaged cohorts had hit at least 7 friends within 10 days of signing up. — Growth hacking: leading indicators of engaged users
For a developer, doing beta releases on iOS can be a real pain sometimes. […]
iOS 4.0 brings Web-based, wireless distribution of ad-hoc apps … Your beta users can now install the software without ever using iTunes at all!
The only problem is that it’s not really documented, at least not in an end-to-end manner. […]
Enter ‘iOS BetaBuilder’ – a simple MacOS X app takes your archived IPA file and creates the required manifest and HTML files for wireless distribution. — Introducing iOS Beta Builder (August, 2010)
Never critique single screens
It’s a big red flag if someone sends just one or two mockups for review. Make sure your team is always reviewing full stories. …
Why good storytelling helps you design great products
Facebook’s iPhone and Android apps were hybrids: They packaged the nascent mobile-web language inside Apple- and Android-specific programming. The problem was that apps built explicitly for iOS and Android were much handsomer and cooler than Facebook’s hybrids. […]
Ondrejka and some colleagues also added discipline to the production cycle for mobile products. On the web making updates and rolling back mistakes is easy and fast, and as a result engineers were encouraged to take chances and move quickly. Mobile platforms work very differently. For one, Apple and Google, as operating system owners, vet changes to apps, which can take time. Consumers also need to remember to update their apps, and that can be an infrequent occurrence. If a developer makes a mistake, it takes a lot longer to fix. Rather than a few minutes, a Facebook user may live with that error for a few weeks. — The second coming of Facebook
Today, we falsely assume that our conversations and our images are not by default recorded by other people in proximity. Not having a persistent record allows us to present a nuanced identity to different people, or groups of people; it provides the space to experiment with what we could be. The risk that what we say will be broadcast, or narrowcasted, to people we don’t know, or may bubble up at some point in the future in the hands of someone serving up ads, fundamentally changes what we want to talk about. The challenge for Glass is that the costs of ownership fall on people in proximity of the wearer, and that its benefits have yet to be proven. — You Lookin’ at Me? Reflections on Google Glass.
You don’t design something like Facebook Home using Photoshop. […]
It’s no secret that many of us on the Facebook Design team are avid users of QuartzComposer, a visual prototyping tool that lets you create hi-fidelity demos that look and feel like exactly what you want the end product to be. […] Not only does QC make working with engineers much easier, it’s also incredibly effective at telling the story of a design. — Go Big by Going Home
Facebook Home … was a project with a strong vision put forth by Mark to “make the content that people want to see—new messages and notifications and updates about the people around you—as accessible as possible.” Eventually, this came to mean “a news feed-like experience on the lock screen” and “the lock screen and the home screen are one and the same.”
There were periods when the vision seemed to demand too much, seemed to place too many constraints on the design.
But then again, that’s also the sign of a powerful vision.