Sep 16

Photo Exhibition

Thanks to F1 Fanatic, I got a couple of tickets to the preview showing of a photo exhibit of Rainer Schlegelmilch’s FQ photos. Called the Golden Age of Formula 1, it has 44 prints from the early 60s through to 2003. Some gorgeous images there, showing how the sport has changed. Well worth a visit if you like good photos, even if you don’t like the sport. Jo came along with me and decided to purchase a couple of the prints. (pointing to her orange sticker that declares ‘sold’)

The Golden Age of Formula 1: Photos by Rainer Schlegelmilch

Sep 15

The Games Maker Application Process

I applied to be a Games Maker for the 2012 Olympics this morning and had to struggle through the application form. Not too bad, but some annoying design and validation issues that just make it hard…

  • They do their best to put you off by asking all sorts of personal questions first. What’s your Passport details, have you passed an Child Protection assessment, telling you there’s going to be background checks and just a very formal first form. All the lead up to the application is friendly and informative and them you’re just hit between the eyes with this stuff with no warning. I know why they are asking, but from a experience point of view, I think it would be better if they asked later, let me tell you lots of good stuff first!
  • For your experience, they have a maximum of 80 characters – far less than a tweet. Then it’s set in a big text box with no character count. So you type something and then have to keep editing and validating, editing and validating to get it right (or take it elsewhere to write and count characters)
    • Games Maker Form

      Games Maker Form

  • Validation sucks. Some fields validate on the page. Others are only checked once the whole form is submitted and it takes you back through multiple forms to complete fields that looked like they could just be left alone. So some testing has been overlooked.

Overall, it’s a good form, jsst with a annoying elements that don’t feel finished!

Sep 11

Impressions from Over the Air

It’s autumn and Over The Air has come around again. A mobile hacking camp with some really decent talks, it’s a regular fixture, a place i come to and listen to stuff I only just about understand whilst pretending to build things.

This year, I made it to far more talks than usual, some not so interesting, but I managed to come away with some food for thought.

  • started off a a hack, turned into more of a project. made sure that the data was open so that others can build on it, building things that the originators never thought about. End philosophy is all about giving people ways to connect the data
  • Visual search. Mobile is the bridge between you and the world of things. Can be used for things like price comparison, adding data via augmented reality, marketing and ecommerce,
  • Visual search – 1d bar codes were made for laser scanning, not user friendly and mobiel cameras don’t read easily. 2d designed to work with imaging. Product imaging allows it to happen when you don’t have bar code, eg with pictures of products.
  • in 2008, 80% of location revenue came from navigation apps. now, that has gone, and nav apps are in the minority compared to vertical apps that just use location as part of the offering. There’s more than 6k iPhone apps available. costs are tending towards zero, so targeted ads are the preferred revenue stream, or sponsorship.
  • Crowd sourced data on maps is more and more important. Realtime reporting, things that have a timebound element, eg roadworks. Users will have multiple apps using locations and maps in different ways.
  • Key elements are to make highly customisable apps, making it more relevant; allow rich user-specific content to be added; navigation to be added; monetisation via ads and sponsors and let end users map their own world
  • Most interesting to me, is have personal sharable maps, eg add a place to meet to your map and share it with your friends. they’ll get it on their maps, plus how to get there from where they are.
Sep 09

Google Instant Search Results A-Z

From the UK, here’s the top results for each single letter. It’s interesting what it says about the UK (or is it just my results?). Top online retailers, internet services and TV programmes.

  • Argos
  • BBC
  • Currys
  • Debenhams
  • eBay
  • Facebook
  • Google Maps
  • Hotmail
  • ITV
  • John Lewis
  • KLM
  • Lotto
  • MSN
  • Next
  • O2
  • PayPal
  • QVC
  • Rightmove
  • Sky
  • Tesco
  • YouTube (yes, it is the top result for u)
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • BBC Weather
  • Xbox
  • YouTube
  • Zara