Archive for the ‘Web’ Category

TweetDeck iOS App

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

A couple days ago, TweetDeck dropped a completely revamped version of their iOS app.

Most of the interface elements make perfect sense, but take a little time getting used to. Pinching columns out for an overhead view works great, but it’s not intuitively obvious. It’d be great to see some kind of overlay when first signing in that shows an example of the gesture. It’s the same problem that plagues Twitter for Mac and Twitter for iPad. They have some awesome three-finger gestures that work brilliantly, but they’re tucked away far too deep.

The inverted scrollbar is a little strange at first; most apps use the center of the bar to indicate your position, but TweetDeck uses the bottom of the bar to show where you are. And when you scroll up, the bar shortens instead of moving. Again, once you get used to it, it’s a great experience. I love the way that column headers are represented when viewing, though – the shadow of the notification light when viewing unread tweets looks really slick.

Performance is also vastly improved – even on my iPhone 3G, scrolling is smooth, and the app locks into your swipe between columns much better. No one enjoys highlighting a tweet when you’re intending to switch columns.

Aside from a few quirks, this app is much more polished than the previous iteration. Hit up the download!

Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and Market Research

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

The marketing industry has done a pretty good job at adopting the power of the Internet to better reach their audience. Social media’s become a huge buzzword in the space, and these first two sentences could probably pass as a rearranged garbling of some Mashable or TechCrunch post.

But market research is an entirely different story. Everyone’s pretty set in their ways when it comes to traditional surveys and focus groups. Brands are leveraging their fans online to figure out how to sell better, but not to figure out how to develop better products. Why conduct surveys from a totally random group of people when you could be doing it from the people that are actually going to convert to customers?

The Layer team and myself already have built a forced ranking app off of Rank ‘em to handle the actual surveys, but the next step is automating targeting on Facebook and beyond. I pitched Layer as decision-support software at Startup Riot, but after a good bit of feedback, we think market research is a vertical with a lot more potential.

So that’s what I’ve been working on. And things are just getting good.

Twitter Made a Mistake

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

In a recent announcement and in an update to their terms of service, Twitter is now saying that they should be the sole developer of clients, justifying the decision with a claim that everyone should access Twitter with the same experience.

Say what?

I’ve been a huge fan and compulsive user of third-party access points for years. Different people have vastly different needs, and trying to enforce a “one size fits all” policy just won’t work. Now that these clients have huge loyalties and userbases, choosing this time to bring down the iron fist makes little to no sense. If the strategy from the beginning was to only offer one way to access the platform, fine. That makes sense. Users would adopt Twitter with that mentality, grow with that mentality, no problem. But don’t tease us with the sweet, sweet water of clients and then threaten to take them away. Granted, existing clients will likely remain, but I’m worried Twitter won’t hit its potential without new developers contributing to the ecosystem.

Because some of Twitter’s best features (retweets, hashtags, etc.) have come from crowdsourced adoption and development. It was only after third-party implementations that Twitter built these features into their site. Why stifle innovation by bringing things down to one point of access? Clients should be praised as a way to bring even more eyes onto Twitter, not condemned for “confusing users”.

There’s also a strange bit of irony in the sense that Twitter’s official iOS and OS X app originated from and was acquired from an individual developer.

Give me TweetDeck or give me death! Okay, maybe that was a slight stretch.