Mobile Banner Ad by Tiffany on NY Times iPhone App

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Valentines day was only a few days away and when I saw this ad by Tiffany. It was timely and relevant, which made me wonder how much of it was coincidence vs. intelligent targeting. See screenshots below for the user flow.

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A few things to note:

  • On tap event, it brought up an in-app browser which showed a mobile optimized shopping site keeping the user in the context.
  • They really thought it through and had a free shipping option that looked like a special promotion made available for the valentines day.
  • It was not that hard to complete the check out flow.

No. I did not buy any jewelry that day.

What’s a Business Strategy?

I’ve been studying and researching on the topic of brand and brand marketing, and while looking up more info on the author of the book I recently picked up, I came across this interesting blog article that showed a simple depiction of how ‘purpose’, ‘mission’, ‘vision’, and ‘goals’ align to form a pyramid.

The original article is here:

http://www.liquidagency.com/blog/the-strategic-pyramid/

In the comments section, you will find people asking where the strategy sits and the author’s response is that the pyramid shows the ‘what’ and the strategy is the ‘how’.

I think this is a good thought starter.

  • How do you define ‘Strategy’? What’s your one sentence definition of ‘Strategy’?
  • What do we mean when we say a business organization is ‘weak on strategy’?
  • How can one become stronger in strategic thinking?

Mobile UI Design Trend – Use of Drag Gesture

These are the screenshots of the latest Pandora iPhone app. In the latest release, it introduced a draggable area on the bottom bar. When you drag it up, it exposes the sound volume control.

I think iOS has first introduced this draggable bar concept in a couple of places.

Shown in the above is the lock screen; when you drag the camera icon up, you get straight into the camera app without having to enter your passcode, which is really handy when you are trying to snap a photo of a precious moment.

Another place I’ve seen this drag gesture is on the notification center.

I think the draggable bar UI metaphor is intuitive, and it is easier to use than the tap gesture. Whenever you are designing a mobile user interface where something slides in and out, you should consider using this metaphor.

Thoughts Just Before Death – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs passed away today. What could have been in his mind just moments before passing away? Family? Wife? Daughter? Apple? His lieutenants? Wondering how they would continue the Apple’s legacy? Wish for a bit more life time? Imagining what’s still ahead and possible in the evolution of human computing? His creative mind could have been running wild while his brain was shutting down.

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It just seems too short of a life.

What a story. I don’t know if his legacy will endure the time as much as Einstein’s did, but it certainly will stand up among the very few that are remembered and respected through several decades.

Einstein has left GE? I suppose I will see how Apple will continue its story. Does it have the right management development program, people, and culture to continue its success? I don’t know if Steve Jobs cared so much about Apple’s continued success after his time. Maybe he wanted Apple to be Steve and show the world that it was him that made Apple work. The key question I have is, why he didn’t appoint a designer (such as Ive) as the successor when his approach was so centered around design and strategy. Why did he have an operations guy to take on the top position? Would designers at Apple get frustrated of the boss who sees the world in operational terms?

Whatever his last flashes of thoughts were just before his death, Steve ended it all at the highest point – reminiscent of Jordan’s retirement after his sixth ring. Maybe that’s not too bad. In his soul, that would be the world that he knows. That would be the world he remembers. Maybe, forever.

iOS 5 UI Design Blooper – Notification Center Gesture

I have been running my iPhone 4 on iOS 5 beta for a few weeks and have found this UI Design blooper which is related to the Notification Center Gesture.

In general, in iOS 5, wherever you are, you can swipe across from the top to the bottom to un-hide the notification center that gives you a list of alerts and notifications. You can swipe from the bottom back up to the top to close the notification center and get back to where you were.

I use my iPhone camera a lot to capture precious moments of my daughter doing something interesting and I constantly switch back and forth between still shot and video modes.

When I happen to be on the landscape video mode and try to switch to still shot mode, the swipe gesture on the switch is mistaken for notification gesture and it pulls down the notification center.

It happened to me often enough that it became an annoyance. Similar problem occurred when I was enjoying a virtual round of golf on Tiger Woods iPhone game.

I could no longer casually swipe from the top to the bottom to make a golf swing. I had to carefully land the tip of my finger to the target area to avoid triggering the notification center.

One possible design iteration Apple could take is to make the top gesture area narrower. Maybe they can change it so that only center top region activates the notification center swipe interaction. In the mean time, iOS 5 app and game developers need to be aware of this new design issue.

If you haven’t watched, please have a look at the video post below where I did a hands-on review of iOS 5 features. If you skip forward to around 1:45 mark, you will see the notification center in action.

http://xdhacker.com/iphone_app_design/quick-review-ios-5-icloud-video

Enjoy!