During my recent trip to Germany I’ve also been following the invitation from the guys over at chilli mind to give a talk at the local World Usability Day 2010 event. The main topic being (multi)touch, I was talking about the possibilities and challenges of touch input based applications in marketing and publishing.
With the target audience mainly being the likes of what I usually find to be our clients I was less interested in talking too much about our work but more in talking about possibly helpful considerations prior approaching a marketing or creative agency. 2010 was the year when pretty much everyone got excited about calling an app their own, if they haven’t been already. Advertising and marketing agencies welcomed and encouraged this too, resulting in sometimes at least questionable results.
So I started my talk with some customer reviews I found on the App Store.
Now in the latest of buggy apps they have released the refuses to download the latest edition (that I’ve now paid for!)
It’s basically a bunch of image files. Poor navigation, very little effort to live up to the new medium - a real disappointment. Great magazine, though. In print, that is.
New Yorker Review
I just find the navigation confusing and unintuitive
The app runs sooooo slow when compared to accessing the NYT website from my iPad.
New York Times Review
Looking at these reviews of magazine apps it’s a at the very least worrying that no one is talking about the magazine’s content. Hence I was raising three questions:
- What are you trying to achieve?
- Who would you like to address?
- What’s your long-term strategy?
Clearly games do have a different goal and different answers to above questions than a corporate website or business application. So I ended up talking about possibilities in web development as well as about development budgets and maintenance costs of native applications by giving different examples. Eventually it all came down to a simple form factor vs. device approach.
It’s great to have people excited about applications but let’s get them excited for other stuff, too! Because choice is good and it puts us into a position where we really have to explain why one thing is more suitable than the other.