Samsung may be approaching a point where it wants to take more complete ownership of the mobile experience it offers customers. Today, Galaxy phones offer Samsung’s mobile experience combined with Google’s mobile experience. Tomorrow, the electronics giant might look to eliminate or at least change half of that equation.
One way to accomplish this would be to adopt a new OS over which it has more control. Tizen, for example, may turn out to be a workable option. Reports that Samsung plans to launch Tizen phones in 2013 from earlier this week have now been confirmed by Bloomberg Businessweek, and Samsung has said that it plans to launch multiple Tizen phones this year.
The dilemma of the five-star system is that although we’re inherently familiar with them as the standard of rating everything from hotels to movies, it’s difficult to glean valuable information from them. A restaurant that normally racks up four or five stars but received a couple of unwarranted one-star reviews along the way is different from a restaurant that customers consistently rate as being a mediocre-at-best dining experience. But both average out to roughly the same number of overall stars.
Google is another company that ran into ratings issues after its acquisition of Zagat, which employs its own highly niche 30-point ratings system. Last month, Search Engine Land reported Google was beginning to downplay the prominence of those 30-point scores in restaurant reviews, instead playing up a more universally understood sentiment scale that rated businesses from “Poor-Fair” to “
Fundamental shifts are underway in the relationship between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
Historically, workers have lived in residential suburbs while commuting to work in the city. For Silicon Valley, however, the situation is reversed: many of the largest technology companies are based in suburbs, but look to recruit younger knowledge workers who are more likely to dwell in the city. An alternate transportation network of private buses—fully equipped with wifi—thus threads daily through San Francisco, picking up workers at unmarked bus stops (though many coexist in digital space), carrying them southward via the commuter lanes of the 101 and 280 freeways, and eventually delivers them to their campuses.
What does this flow tell us about Silicon Valley, and the City it feeds?
If you installed iOS 6 on your iPhone this week, you might have noticed that the new Maps app from Apple are somewhat lacking. Not only are the maps spotty (or flat-out wrong) in places, the app is missing public transit directions, which iOS users had gotten used to in the old Google-powered maps. Fortunately, the new app is built to hook into third-party apps for transit directions, and I think I’ve found a good one.
City Maps by Lumatic is a free transit app that covers 27 metropolitan areas in the U.S. so far. It provides step-by-step walking and public transit directions with street-level photos, nearby businesses and landmarks to get you oriented. The transit directions don’t just show schedules; they plan your whole route for you. The app also brings up Foursquare, Yelp and Facebook info for business, so you can quickly judge the quality of a place.
How to avoid (or mitigate) change aversion
1. Warn users about major changes.
2. Clearly communicate the nature and value of the changes.
3. Let users toggle between old and new versions.
4. Provide transition instructions and support.
5. Offer users a dedicated feedback channel.
6. Tell users how you’re addressing key issues they’ve raised.
@Braden (UX, Google Ventures) wants teams to focus on designing Stories, not Screens. He says…
Here are four of the best ways I’ve found to keep my mind focused on stories.
Hack 1: Storyboard before you sketch
Hack 2: Render full stories with Fireworks
Hack 3: Review stories on paper
Hack 4: Don’t send mockups. Record a screencast.