21 June, 2008

Sketching in Code: Magic of Prototyping -A List Apart

One of the obvious developments in the web application world that has made prototyping approaches more attractive has been the rise of Ajax and rich internet applications (RIAs).With the rise of Ajax however, wireframes started to come up short. When we leave the world of page-based interactions, how do you document all but the simplest interaction? Even with a single interactive element on a web page, we often have to generate multiple wireframes or use extensive annotation to convey the different possible states. When there are multiple, possibly mutually interacting elements on the same page, the problem is exacerbated. Even when we do manage to convey all the possible states, we lose a sense of timing.

the situation gets worse when we start to consider not just design, but development as well. Development involving Ajax and RIAs requires closer communication between developers and designers, and this communication often has to be iterative. The only way to convey this facet of interactive applications is through an interactive prototype.

Another clear win is in presentations to decision makers. Prototypes can help you sell a decision that is fundamentally or radically different from the client’s current solution or application. The traditional approach is to create a compelling story and a riveting PowerPoint presentation, and spend a day arguing for the wisdom of your approach.

Finally, let’s not forget the users. Just as we, in our role as designers and developers, can’t always foresee the implications of our decisions until we see them played out in front of us, users are governed by the same constraints. Users can request features they “need” only to discover when using the new application that the feature in question was not actually helpful. Putting interactive prototypes in front of users is a great way to get effective and accurate input.

19 June, 2008

GTA 4 is the most expensive game: 429 crores!

Rockstar's GTA 4 is the most expensive game made at a whooping cost of 429 crores and by a team of 1000 people. "It's like making a theatre production, a few movies and an album all to fit into one package," said Benzies, Rockstar president.

06 June, 2008

Ads in Mobile Games get an eye-popping 10.1% CTR -OmMalik

There’s a lot of VC money going into web-based, advertising-driven casual games, so here’s a wake-up call to investors: They may get better ROI with mobile phone-based gaming.

In 2006, mobile game platform Greystripe launched GameJump.com, a distribution site for free, ad-supported cellphone games; since then, consumers have downloaded over 65 million copies of Greystripe’s hundreds of titles. I’m looking at a lot of surprising numbers, but the most striking one to me is how gamers interact with the ads that appear before and after gameplay.

According to Greystripe, 10.1 percent of them click on the ads, a CTR that far outstrips web ads, which average some 1 percent to 2 percent. I strongly suspect at least some of these are accidental, fumble-thumb click-throughs, but even then, from the advertisers’ perspective, that’s not a bug, but a feature. And while mobile games are almost by definition casual, the demographic breakdown is markedly different from the web-based casual space, which is dominated by older women.

Can Microsoft win the Search Wars with Charity? - ReadWriteWeb

The Microsoft Live Search team announced today that it had expanded the company's Search and Give charitable searching program to more than 1 million eligible organizations. The program donates 1 cent for each search conducted by users to the school or charity of their choice up to 500 searches per month (or $60/year per person).

Can Microsoft possibly make a dent in Google's strangehold on the search market by offering up charitable donations as an incentive to search?


02 June, 2008

Importance of Short URLs in Newspapers -Labnol

It is interesting to see how newspaper sare trying to connect stories published in their print edition with online content. See this clip from Business Standard newspaper.

business standard newspaper

They add a short URL after the story that print subscriber can type in their browser and read related content on the web. And this approach may actually be helping companies drive traffic to their web properties. They work at least in the case of print advertisements that have URLs.