Browsing articles in "user experience"
Jan
16

An Open Letter to am/pm

My car has been running on empty for almost two days now, I seem to notice that I do this a lot and I chalk it up to my experiences at gas stations as to a reason why I let my life be possibly hindered by running out of gas rather than to take ten minutes and fill up. Below is just one of these experiences that shape this consumer behavior.

I’m pretty busy today dodging from salon appointment to home to do some work in time to get back out on the road to get to a meeting. I have been running on empty in the car for two days, so I decide to stop at the am/pm on the corner of McClintock and Southern in Tempe, AZ to get some gas quickly before I head back home.

I’m not a real big consumer of am/pm because they seemed to be a leader in a movement I noticed a few years ago where gas stations started charging their customers extra to pay by debit or credit to cover their fees from credit card companies to process these cards. Thanks guys. Anyhow, so I stop in to this station because it was close by and recently completely renovated and I thought I’d check out if the experience had gotten any better. I pull in, and I notice flaw #1.

Flaw 1: Poor support column placement.

When I go to get out of my car, there is a support column RIGHT where I would open my door out to. So even though I parked a decent distance from the pump, I still can barely get out of my car. I manage to squeeze out of my car door and go to start filling up. I notice Plus #1.

Plus 1: Pay at pump, yaay convenience for me.

The pumps now take cards at each station instead of at the main pay column in the middle of the pumps. This is helpful to me because I don’t have to go to the pay column, stand in line to pay, etc. I also don’t have to go inside. So I enter my card details, agree to pay the extra fee to use a debit card. I go to the pin pad and there’s a flat label that says Yes and a flat label that says No next to the push button number keys. I assume I push 1 for yes and 4 for no. I push 1 for “yes” and it goes to the next screen, a.k.a. Flaw #2.

Flaw 2: Don’t up-sell me when I just paid you a bunch of money to already do something I think should be standard.

The next question is, “Do you want to buy a car wash?” Ok, I get this, you’re trying to upsell me. You want to offer me a added bonus that I would enjoy. Great, but don’t offer this to me when you just charged me for something I think should be standard when I purchase from you. I can appreciate your gesture out of context as my car is dirty, but I really don’t have the $ or the time.. also you never told me how much extra it would be so no I’m not going to say yes. Here comes flaw #3.

Flaw 3: Inconsistent interface outcomes.

I push four for “no”… the pump beeps at me but the screen to upsell me the car wash is still there… I push four again… this time two beeps from the machine but still nothing happens to get me through the payment process on the screen. Why when I pushed 1 for “yes” it worked but now when I want to use 4 for “no” it won’t? Is this a shitty way to make people have to buy a car wash, do I have to just to pump my gas? So now I think my pump is broken. Shit. Just as I move to get back into my car and go to a different gas station, here comes a guy that has a blue polo on. I’m like oh what’s this guy want? He’s about to be flaw #4.

Flaw 4: Sales guy disguised as customer support.

He’s a decent looking guy, looks trust worthy and decent so I’m not thinking that I’m going to get kidnapped or mugged by talking to him. He smiles, taps on my window (which has some dings in it) and says, “You know, we can fix your windshield for free today if you like.” What? Ok, nothing is for free. I look at him puzzled (and a bit annoyed that he’s selling me while I’m having trouble with the pump) and retort, “What’s the catch, nothings for free?” And he says, “Well you have insurance, probably full coverage or glass coverage, you pay a premium every month that isn’t used.” and he continues, “Since Arizona is a “Driver not a fault state it’s automatically covered in your premium every month.” Ok, what the hell did he just say? Is he trying to sell me a premium monthly service, is he trying to say that it’s already covered in my insurance, don’t I have to pay the deducible before insurance will cover it? I just get more confused and then realize I’m not even HERE for glass service. I say, “Look I’m really not interested, I’m really busy and I’m just trying to get some gas but this pump doesn’t work it just keeps trying to sell me a car wash that I don’t want.”

This one could have been a plus (just like the car wash), but the way it was handled just felt wrong. You’re right those dings in my window bother me, and yea I do want to get them fixed easily and cheaply but they don’t bother me enough to go to an auto-shop. But don’t say things a free when people know the money comes from somewhere. I would have been much more inclined to talk to him about doing it today (if I weren’t so busy) or at a later date if he would have told me more about the service and how little it would cost since they work with my current insurance to take care of the  cost.

Also, tell your sales people to approach people while they’re waiting for gas to be pumped after they’ve finished the transaction with the pump. It was so hard to listen to him while I’m trying to figure out why the pump won’t work. But lets get back to the story…

He says “Oh, I see this problem all the time, let me help.” Incoming Flaw #4.

Flaw 4: If you know something is broken, for the love of God fix it.

This is another situation where it would be a plus if he were just offering help , but he sees this issue all the time, why don’t they just fix it? How many customers does it take to drive away with a bad system before you stop to fix it? I understand if only a few people have this issue, but for the sales guy to notice that he helps people with this issue all the time and then to not fix it.. what the hell.

So, I accept his offer to figure out the “trick” to getting this pump to work. At least it will make him quit trying to sell me a service I don’t even know how it would be paid for. He goes over to the push button interface, and instead of pressing 4 for “no” he actually presses on the flat label “No” and like magic the screen is gone. Flaw #5.

Flaw 5: Inconsistent interface.

Why would all the numerical keys be push button but the “yes” and “no” be completely flat. They weren’t even raised even a little! If you’re going to have buttons to interface with the system, make them look all the same! So, on the next screen comes flaw #6.

Flaw 6: Don’t offer something (pay at pump) that just doesn’t work.

“This card is not accepted.” I look at the sales guy and he says “Eh, that happens all the time too, the card reader doesn’t like some cards, try again.” Flaw #4 strikes again! I slide my card again, and the screen says “Please come inside to pay.”

At this point, I’m over even wanting to buy gas here. I excuse myself from the sales guy and get back into my car, still on empty, to drive to a Shell station several blocks away. Shell an interface I can use (all flat buttons) but charges me for use of my debit card, but at least I can get gas and not be up-sold to every five seconds while I try to figure out an insanely unusable interface.

Apr
16

Keeping on Task and Tracking My Time

By april.holle  //  project management, user experience  //  No Comments

I’m a big fan of the whole Getting Things Done system, however, I’ve always been a list person. However, in Getting Things Done David mentions my lists:

To-do lists make you feel like you have to get everything done on them today, instead of pacing yourself.

When I read what David had to say about to-do lists I realized why I had this love hate afair with my lovely life-leveling lists. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, while looking up GTD type accessories to keep my life together even in the busiest of times, I happened to find David Seah’s Emergent Task Planner. This handy tool has saved my life!

It keeps my love of lists intact while making me remember that if I don’t get everything done it’s OK, because I’m awesome for just even finishing three items today. For each set of three tasks I complete it has a little “go get ‘em tiger” type message, and when you get to a total of nine completed items, it reminds you that you may burn out if you keep going like you are.

David Seah's Emergent Task Planner

David Seah's Emergent Task Planner

So how do I use it?

  1. I start my task list by listing my “permanent tasks”, thinks like meetings or items that are ABSOLUTELY required today.
  2. Then I list all the other tasks by priority that I need to finish that I know of. Many of these are carried over from the previous day’s list.
  3. For each task I make an estimate of how much time I think it’s going to take me to complete.
  4. Then I fill in the time grid based on the estimates, this allows me to know how much “free time” I have during the day for those random tasks or meetings that may popup
  5. I then use the bottom under the task list to jot down any tasks that pop up during the day that aren’t URGENT but need to be carried over through-out the week
  6. When I finish a task, I still get the satisfaction of checking it off, and I also fill in exactly how much time it really did take me to complete.
  7. Get Productive, Wash, Rinse, Repeat!
  8. Then at the end of week I use the completed sheets to fill in my time sheets at the end of the week.
Apr
3

Design Easter Eggs: Moo Stickers

By april.holle  //  design, speaker reviews, user experience  //  No Comments

Sometimes design is all about the details. Recently, the following design Easter egg was pointed out to me. On the inside flap of Moo Stickers is a lil happy guy that says, “You ain’t seen me, right?” and if you break the flap stapled on the other side he says, “Eeek! You broke it. No cookies for you!”.


Secret moo man

Originally uploaded by hallywoods

When the detail is put into these little corners where often it is overlooked by designers and never given a second thought to consumers, something magical happens, a clever little bit of “secret” is shared between designer and consumer, both are enriched by the process.

If you liked this lil design Easter egg, check out Paul Annett’s recent SXSW panel, “Oooh that’s Clever!: Unnatural Experiments in Web Design” on slideshare for more magical design moments both in print, envirnoment and web.

Mar
30

Everything You Know About Web Design Is Wrong – Print in Disguise

By april.holle  //  design, speaker reviews, user experience  //  1 Comment

Has web design transcended into it’s full potential? If you ask Dan Willis of Sapient, he’ll say it’s just print in disguise. He believes that while web design certainly has just begun to blossom into the medium that interactivity the world wide web has to offer, it’s not quite there yet.

Even as Web 3.0 edges its way, web design is still ruled by “print-style” design, pushing web centric content (such as up-to-minute story updates or geo-targeted results). He argues that there is more growth into “Transcendent Web” on the horizon, and cites five different primary elements that will push web design to new heights.

  1. Ambient Awareness
    Micro-blogging such as Twitter allows users to become aware of a bigger picture of who someone is via small 140 character updates, allowing a fuller personalize perspective into that person’s life, culture and perhaps society in general.
  2. User Created Context
    Users now create their own experience online, selecting the ways to they want receive their information (RSS feeds vs. reading on the blog), the more you try to control how the user moves about the web, the more they rebel and go else where for their information.
  3. Random Voyeurism
    Humans like to experience what it’s like to be someone else, to share an honest moment that provides insight into others, the web offers new ways to experience this through personal blogs, micro-blogging, photo and video sharing.
  4. Self-aware (but ultimately uncontrollable) Content
    Content on the web now knows what kind of content it is through the use of xml, tagging and keywords, but ultimately this content can be used by anyone for anything in or out of context. Once you put content out there, it can be mashedup and reused completely.
  5. Experiential Content
    With video, images, real-time micro-blogging, and other content available, many web interactions could be exploded into entire experiences as if the users were almost “there”.

To learn more check out the SXSW Highlights Video or download the 15-page paper by Dan Willis.

Nov
11

Fear and Mystery of Web Design

I presented at AIGA Arizona Say Anything on November 10th. Here is the write up of the talk based on the slides that were presented that evening. I hope everyone got something out of this presentation and please feel free to post comments regarding questions you may have on this material. :) Thank you to AIGA Arizona for the opportunity to present and I hope to be back real soon.

Step 1: What is Web Design?

Often fear is simply a lack of understanding, so to begin this journey, let’s start by defining what web design, as a craft, is. I feel that Jeffery Zeldman of Happy Cog Studios put it best when he summarized web design as:

Web design is the creation of digital environments that facilitate and encourage human activity; reflect or adapt to individual voices and content; and change gracefully over time while always retaining their identity.

Wow, lots to digest there, let’s break it up a bit.

The creation of digital environments that facilitate and encourage human activity.
So basically all this is saying that web design is design within a digital space (i.e. the web) but more importantly that it’s main purpose is to facilitate and encourage human activity. We want to interact with them, give and get from the user. This allows for a special kind of communication that we haven’t ever seen from media before. Instead of dictating to the consumer, we can now receive and act on information provided to us, very powerful.

Reflect or adapt to the individual voices and content.
While the web is still a relatively new media format in the grand scheme of media and advertising, it’s still very customizable. We should harness this adaptability and use it to the best of our abilities to reflect and present the content in a very specialized manner. The web was created for the purpose of collecting and sharing information; web design cannot forget these roots as we move forward. Content is king, it’s the most important part, and should be treated that way.

Change gracefully over time while always retaining its identity.
Web design is unlike many other forms of media because of the way it can be changed over time. Unlike print, we can continue to add, take away and mold this space over and over again. The tricky part is doing it gracefully and staying true to the original brand and statement. If we change too often or off course of our brand in can alienate our users instead of creating those core connections and communications levels we would like to have.

Overall, web design is very similar to other types of design; there are still guidelines, best practices, and techniques that separate good design from the bad.  Also, just like all other types of media, it’s centered on communication, however there is a new addition that makes this a new frontier, the interactivity of the users who use it.

Now that we know our adversary, let’s delve into those guidelines, best practices and techniques that will allow you to be empowered to go head first into the fight.

Step 2: Knowledge is Power.

The more you know about why and what you’re designing for the web will help you in your quest.

Start with a purpose.
What’s the real reason behind why the design needs to be created? Perhaps it’s to share product information or to be able to process online orders. What ever it is, nail it down and keep it simple. Even if there are a few reasons, keep them concise and in front of you at all times. This will help you stave off the needs for the “wouldn’t it be nice if?” scope creep that can really get you in trouble later.

Define your users and what they need.
Who are your users? What do they want from you? More often than not they won’t need a sales pitch, they’re qualified leads or else they wouldn’t be there. So veer away from the extended sales pitch and instead focus on giving your users the information they need & want about your services or products. Need help figuring out what your users want the most? Check out your current google analytics statics to see what your users are looking for the most, or check out a heat mapping service such as Crazy Egg that will help you visualize what your users are looking for and clicking on.

Communicate to develop correct functionality scope.
Talk with your client, project manager, and development team to come up with a correct scope of functionality. When the client signs off on designs, often they’re not only signing off on look and feel but functional items such as searches, drop downs, user functionality, etc. Make sure that everything that’s depicted within the comps is with in functionality scope and doable.

Collect all content.
This is a tough one to accomplish, but stick in there and this one will pay off! More often than not timelines slip because the client doesn’t realize the scope of content needed to complete a web project. When you focus on getting these items right off the bat it allows the client to become more of an active participant in the planning and will help them understand how much work is involved in the design and development process. It will also keep them busy so they’re not prodding for more features or badgering you about deliverables sooner than the timeline suggests. Collecting all the content also helps you plan out an accurate site information architecture and will help you design with the voice and content already in place.

Step 3: Organize for the user.

Once you’ve got all your parts and pieces remember to organize them keeping the users and their needs in the forefront at all times. Knowing more about usability will help you out here, so check out this definition from Jakob Nielsen.

Usability: the users perception of how consistent, intuitive, and organized it is to accomplish tasks within a system.

Offer the user clear choices.
Don’t overload the user with options, stick to the purposes and users needs that you had outlined earlier. Keep it clear, easy to understand, and if you can make it so easy that the user feels like a GENIUS because it was so easy to use.

Use conventional terms, icons and positioning.
Sure we all want to create something new and fun, but try to stick with the normal terms, icons, and placement on standard web stuff. Such as don’t replace the e-mail envelope with the @ symbol, it will require your users to think, and to break that stream of consciousness enables poor usability.  However, just because you should stick with the standards doesn’t mean you can’t bend the rules, you just have to do it in such a easy way that it can be picked up with minimal effort. Most users scan the page in a F-Shaped eye tracking, so you most likely want to place your most important pieces within this pathing.

Easily digestible content blocks.
Avoid large / lengthy blocks of content if possible. Most web users tend to scan content vs. read it fully so keep it short and concise. If you want to overview content, stick to three to five bullet points with links that go to the full content for those who are interested.

Consider user flow.
Remember for every link you create in your design there must be somewhere that goes to. Remember standard user flows like what are the steps/process when a user registers, signs in, or tries to buy a product? Remembering these steps as you design will help you comprehend the whole flow and layout of the website as a whole.  If you would like help with some of these steps, check out a handy service called Product Planner.

Wireframes are your friends, you can’t have to many.
Wireframes can help considerably when you’re still planning out the placement of major items and user flows, they’re less time consuming and can be really amazing tools when trying to understand what should be the most important elements within a page.

Step 4: Roll up your sleeves.

Alright, with all that collecting and planning I guess you should be ready to actually design something right? Check out some of these tips to make your design to implementation time shorter.

Be smart about imagery/graphics

  • Too many images means it will take too long to load, while it loads it will look like crap. So, be smart and use the less is more approach. Also, all those images won’t have the search engine weight as text would have, so remember that when choosing typefaces as images, etc.
  • If you REALLY want to use a non-standard font face, check out sIFR for your implementation, but a few notes on this, sIFR uses flash to render the font so it will still impede load time. It will be SEO compliant, but it will also require flash.
  • Images can be an accessibility nightmare, if seriously informational text is included in graphics it needs to be in full text as the alt attribute for the image. Instead of having to remember all this, using a regular font and HTML text would be a better decision.

File organization

  • Organize your PSD to have all elements grouped together by area such as header, footers, callouts, etc this will make selecting and merging for cutting easier later.
  • Include on and over states for navigation, since this is an interactive space these styles will need to included so that they can be implemented later.
  • Keep all your layers editable, you never know when you’ll need to change a piece of text or a background color later, instead of redoing the entire PSD, just be smart and don’t merge layers.
  • Create a style guide that outlines all fonts, colors, and styles used so that creation on the CSS style sheet can be easily created without having to re-examine your PSD later

Stay true to the end user
Even though you’ve focused on the users during the gathering and planning processes, you can’t forget about them now. Through out design iterations it’s easy to forget about the end user in hopes to quell the client, keep in mind that this website isn’t for your client to use, its for their customers, so they’re most important.

Jun
16

Links of the Week Vol. 6

Alright, so I’ve been out of the circuit for a while on these, but they’re coming back! Check out these sweet links I gathered up from the interwebs last week.

Ever wonder if your boss, and his boss, and their boss has it out for the company? Do some of their managerial tactics don’t make sense and end up wasting time and money? Perhaps their team management manuals have been switched with this 1944 sabotage manual that reads like a 2008 Management Guidebook. Download the whole pdf and share with your team mates, I’m sure they’ll agree! Thanks to Tomas from The Closet Entrepreneur for this great link.

O’Reilly Ignite is the basis of the new Ignite movement that’s been happening around the United States. Basically it’s a 5 minute talk on what ever you think is interesting enough to talk about, 20 slides with 20 seconds a slide to help demo your opinions and ideas for crowd. Ignite Phoenix has just started getting the fire started here, and wanting to know more I started looking into past talks. I found one in particular that really spoke to me, it’s a comic for kids that teaches them to be creative, inventive, and to always be thinking.

Perhaps you enjoy being in touch with nature, with all of your five senses and twenty digits. If you hate shoes and would rather go barefoot, there is another way. BrainFuel spotlighted a site last week that answers this very issue. Vibram Five Fingers is a type of foot covering that allows you to experience the joys of being barefoot without the pain of that sharp rock or twig.

I have the pleasure of working over at GangPlank at least two days a week, and every so often Derek will break out the camera and snap some footage of us. Dana then goes to town editing and splicing digital bits to make us all more amusing than we are.. wait no.. we really are that funny, Dana just makes it MORE so. ;) Anyhow, check out the new video A Day in the Integrum Lives. :)

Wireframes and complex UI design can be overwhelming for designers, but Adobe hopes to solve some of the burden with Thermo. Adobe will release Thermo during the Adobe MAX 2008/2009 conference, check out some sweet screen shots.

Now on to mobile! With the news of iPhone 3G in hitting markets in July, lots of buzz around that of course, but check out these other mobile gems you may have missed under the roar of Apple. Modzilla Labs gave a sneak peek look into a concept for Firefox Mobile Browsing for all you die-hard Firefox lovers out there, you will soon get your alternative ;) . Flixwagon also gave video casters another way to get their fix by using your iPhone to stream live video.

Sometimes I find myself looking at the smaller details in life and wondering how random or perhaps meticulously designed the are. We interact with products all the time, and when the user experience is perfect, we seldom take design in consideration, take for example the car door handle. Luz, one of my brand new designer friends sent along this link last week, thanks hun for the designer touch on this week’s link list.

Onsite Insite, a local billboard leasing company, will be using their unoccupied billboard space to showcase local artists, creating community awareness and large-scale artistic expression at the same time. :) Tyson Crosbie, a local abstract photographer and a good friend of mine, was selected to be showcased on one of their billboards along the Santan Freeway. Congratulations Tyson. :) Tyson also had his Phoenix 20 book signing this weekend, where I scored three of my very own Tyson Crosbie prints!

So, what’s a link list without a good humorous video mocking a social network… which brings me to Facebook Gangsta, ’nuff said. Thanks to Beau from HLFIndustries for this fine link. :)

Dec
10

Happy Webbies

By april.holle  //  new idea!, user experience, XHTML/CSS  //  No Comments

Love website design and development? Love the people who make it great? Check out Happy Webbies! It’s like Happy Bunny for web geeks. You can get desktops of your favorite web gurus bashing bad design or better yet, Eric Meyer can span your chest on your very OWN eric meyer happy webbies TEESHIRT! Watch out! **closes her p tag**

Dec
3

I too bought an iPhone

As an early Christmas gift to myself I went ahead and bought an iPhone. I’ve been debating for quite a while about plunking down the change for one, but eh, there just really isn’t a better phone out there right now, and there isn’t going to be for a while. So, why not.

I LOVED the fact that I didn’t have to spend a ton of time in the AT&T store to set it up, I just bought the phone, and left. That’s right… no questions, no paperwork, no signatures, no plan upsale, no blah blah blah. It was nice, since I’m a geek and social interactions are difficult for me to manage sometimes. ;)

I come home, unwrap it, plug it in, and AWAY WE GO! My pro version of Vista didn’t seem to have a hard time shaking hands with the Apple device, and iTunes recognized what I was trying to do RIGHT away. I went through the really simple steps of selecting a plan, transferring my existing Verizon number (waaay easier than I thought it was going to be), and synced up with all my music. DONE!

The only smug thoughts I had were the fact that it doesn’t sync with my Firefox or Thunderbird. :(

After using it during the weekend I noticed the headphone jack flaw that everyone was griping about, but after a quick trip to Best Buy to pick up a headphone adapter for $7 I was back in business with my audio connection in my car and my Sony earbuds I love so much.

I have since handed over my 30GB iPod to Kaleb to use in his new car and I use my iPhone for all my music needs now.

I LOVE the map feature, I can quickly search for businesses, get directions, and all that with a couple of clicks. So I don’t have to call Kaleb asking where the nearest PetSmart is from Rural and Broadway. ;)

The only issue I’m having with the iPhone right now at all really has little to do with the phone itself. AT&T coverage seems to be spotty in the valley, especially in front of my computer in my home office. :| What gives?

I think it’s interesting that AT&T and Cingular’s whole advertising campaign is “More bars in more places” and I can’t even get a good signal in my house in a super urban area. :( BOO!

But besides the coverage, everything is going great, I’ll keep you posted as I use it more and get used to some of the features it offers. :)

Dec
1

Lots to Do This Week

I just wanted to make sure you were invited to all the awesome web and design happenings this week in Phoenix!

Tues, Dec 4th – Refresh Phoenix

Refresh Phoenix meets every first Tuesday of the month to discuss current internet issues and trends. The topics range from becoming your own boss to css frameworks to make your work more efficient. This month the topic is results from the 2007 Web Design Survey that was put out by A List Apart. This should be a very interesting conversation since there really has never been a survey of the internet industry.

When: Tuesday, December 4th 6:30 – 9:30 pm (come early to get some networking in)

Where:
Inza Coffee
8658 East Shea Blvd, Scottsdale

Fri, Dec 7th – 16th Annual AIGA Art Auction

AIGA Arizona is holding it’s annual Art Auction event in Downtown Phoenix at MonOrchid Studios during December First Friday! AIGA Arizona is pleased to present over 100 original works of art (paintings, mixed media, photography, digital art, sculpture, jewelry, and more) displayed on sale in live and silent auction formats. Plus bid on a selection of special packages that include dining, entertainment and recreation. This year’s art auction will also feature the Mohawk Show.

When: Friday, December 7th 6-10 pm

Where:
MonOrchid Studios
214 E. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix

Sat, Dec 8th – BarCamp Phoenix

BarCamp is an ad-hoc un-conference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees. All attendees must give a demo, a session, or help with one. This is great because you can both speak and be an audience member.

When: Friday, December 8th 9 am – 5 pm

Where:
University of Advancing Technology (UAT)
2625 W. Baseline Road, Tempe

Nov
18

Quarterlife and Internet Television

By april.holle  //  art forms, new idea!, user experience  //  No Comments

So I got a recommendation from Erin Enriquez at Terralever to take up watching the new internet series Quarterlife. The premise is basically this intern writer decides to take up video blogging about her two roomates and the two guys that live across the courtyard whom are all friends. It’s a pretty decent concept, but some of the writing smacks of your usual sitcom plot drama, he loves her but she’s dating his best friend type stuff. What I think is interesting is the whole site really isn’t dedicated to the show at all, its dedicated to the young creatives that the show is suppose to emulate. Granted, I personally connect with Dylan (the shows main character), but I dunno if I need another social network out there. It’s awesome to give young creatives a place to muse and mingle, and some of the talent on there is pretty crazy. Take for instance the Etchasketchist, yes… he creates all his art on the old school etch-a-sketches. Funky eh?

Anyhow, I’m going to take this a step further. I was reading some of the forum posts on the Quarterlife site and came across a post regarding how internet series were going to be the end of conventional television. I don’t see this as being quite so true. We always thought that the internet would be the end of printed materials, and yet here we are years later with just as many (if not more) newspapers, magazines and books. The simple beauty of media is that it all works together, and every time a new media is created, it just adds to our ability to share information in more ways than were previously available. However, the internet is truly unique at this time given the ability to share video, text and audio at speeds and over social networks and gaps that were previously impassable. The fact is, people are simply used to getting their media in a particular way, there is a reason a particular distribution method has worked for decades, and that method will continue to work. Take for instance newspapers, the first real news sheet was created around 59 B.C. in Rome, but we still use it today. Why? Because of the delivery device, ease of use, cost, user comfortability, etc.

Rather than count the days until you no longer own a cable box, appreciate the connection between the two media sources. Enjoy the fact you can catch the episode you missed last night on the web or submit your votes for your favorite episodes online. I love being able to go onto a show’s website after a show and get more information on the story they just covered. After all, you can only cram so much into an half hour or even an hour.  Unfortunately, since it’s still very new the coverage is still spotty, sometimes you can’t find the show you wanted more information on, sometimes they even TELL you it’s going to be on the website, and you go.. and it’s not. Once more and more users expect that connection to be there and the networks realize that they need to feed the addition to their shows online, the coverage will pick up and it will become just another arena for them to be competitive in.

So until next time tune in, tune out and log on.

What is this?

This little blog happens to be the personal ramblings of one April Holle - I'm female, outspoken, webbie, a community evangelist, and Principal of Made Better Studio. Check out the about section for more info.

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