Blog Post: Connected Cars Could Save Lives

Great release about an MIT study on how WiFi-connected cars could not only save lives, but ease traffic in future car models. The better this technology gets, the more excited I get.

Imagine the possibilities because your vehicle could sense something was going to happen around it?

This satisfies drivers that still want control. It reduces the financial burden on insurance companies. It certainly takes driving as one of the leading killers.

Change like this will be hard, but I think car manufacturers will embrace this. Doesn’t impact the oil industry like electric cars, and everyone wants safer cars.

Being connected helps propel innovation forward. The Internet of Things coming to automobiles will do just that.

Blog Post: Connected Cars Could Save Lives

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Blog Post: More RWD Stats Mean More Questions

This is a fantastic read by a company that decided to take a responsive redesign project and throw some tracking numbers with it (more companies should be doing this by the way). The results were an e-commerce site made significant gains in conversions and sales transactions after converting the site to a mobile-friendly design.

Seems like a case to be made for all sites to make this change, right? How can you argue when the return on investment is so high?

The simple answer is: maybe.

Electric Pulp’s customer for sure made a significant return on their decision to become more mobile friendly. According to this blog post, there was a relatively small amount of work done:

“The [mobile updates] were typical mobile patterns. We made the site fluid. We collapsed the primary navigation menu, allowing visitors to expand it by tapping a Menu link. We increased the size of the font, the tap areas and detail photos. We reduced the number of columns.”

That’s not to say the changes were significant. Making the site more fluid is some serious UX work. The rest of the items were not too bad by themselves. Regardless, even if the effort is considered minuscule compared to all the work possible, this probably took a few months by the team.

Which brings me to the results. Testing the site after adding responsive elements brought increases to not only mobile usage, but desktop as well. It could mean people enjoyed the mobile UI so much they wanted to check it out on their desktop machines. It could also mean, however, that the numbers would have gone up regardless. The writer admits it’s hard to tell for sure.

Re-branding efforts by consulting companies are big business, regardless of the media and industry. Sometimes, a fresh coat of paint and new landscaping is all you needed to help your house. One could argue that these numbers were the result of that. 

Improving the user’s experience could also be a contributing factor. I know I tend to buy from companies that make shopping easier. One look at Amazon’s mobile site is support that a well designed site is better than a beautifully designed site. Oh, great prices help too.

Changing how conversion information is collected helps, and better navigation for sure helps. Bigger pictures and faster checkout are part of the picture too.

I think that’s why I have more questions than answers from this post. Being a huge fan of the responsive site movement, I want nothing more than these stats to be the real deal. Unfortunately  I have to make this argument internally and externally every day. These questions are the same I field.

While it is almost impossible to compare apples to apples for every aspect of this redesign, I think we must continue to try in every way or we won’t quantify a new industry standard of web design.

Blog Post: More RWD Stats Mean More Questions

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Blog Post: Why iTunes Radio Might Rule Streaming Music Soon

Today’s link brings some very interesting points in regards to how valuable iTunes Radio might be when iOS7 hits devices this fall. The Guardian’s Charles Arthur argues that the rate Apple is going to pay could potentially make the service very attractive to record labels.

It’s no secret record labels love and hate the team in Cupertino because of how iTunes affected music sales, but the viability of free streaming music gets harder to make money off of every year. That’s where the cash Apple has on hand comes in handy:

What the other streaming services have discovered repeatedly is that it’s hard to make such a service profitable, because the music costs don’t fall as they grow – in web terms, it doesn’t “scale”. Thus Spotify has put a 10-hours-per-month ceiling on free listening, and Pandora blocks people outside the US from listening.

So, while labels have been publicly supporting Spotify for some time, it will be difficult for labels to not throw their good stuff to Apple when they pay 10 times more.

Add to it the easy integration with iTunes to purchase what you are buying, and this looks to be an easy win for iOS. It’s crazy to think that the announcement was merely a footnote in the WWDC keynote presentation.

Blog Post: Why iTunes Radio Might Rule Streaming Music Soon

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Blog Post: @Twitter Looks To Be Second Screen Of #Advertising

The validity of this product concept needs a little time and public endorsement to succeed, but I really admire Twitter for really putting themselves out there.

Concept is simple: advertisers buy ad space on TV. You tweet about a show. Ad people see the tweet and have the chance to see if you liked their commercial on the social network. Simple right?

Twitter hopes so.

The chance for user engagement is huge. The platform proved as much with TV watching in general, why wouldn’t it work for product integration and commercials?

Maybe so. The possibility exists, though, that the audience that uses Twitter might also fast forward through commercials on DVR. They could also watch online, maybe even torrent.

Time will tell. I think this is a great idea, one that can result in additional revenue for my social network of choice.

Blog Post: @Twitter Looks To Be Second Screen Of #Advertising

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Blog Post: The Internet of Things In Action

This is a fantastic read from The Next Web about just how many devices are connected to the Internet and how that can affect our lives in a variety of ways. Maybe we aren’t thinking big enough when we say the words “mobile device”.

Think about it. Can an alarm clock be considered one? What about your thermostat? Or your shoes?

The possibilities are endless. If something is connected, transmits and receives data, and is aware of your surroundings…you get my drift. Before we know it, we will lament the days where we once thought just our phones and tablets were mobile devices.

Blog Post: The Internet of Things In Action

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