A Morning with Surprises

Surprise, South Lambeth, SW8
Credit: Ewan-M
This morning I had breakfast, against the normal pattern, at my desk in the home office. At the computer I opened a browser and for no particular reason went directly to twitter.com. After an initial surprise that the #newtwitter really exists and is not a hoax after all I started to play around a bit. I liked what I saw and felt in love. However at the same time I felt some sadness for my previously beloved web based twitter client brizzly.com. It served me very well and I'm pretty sure it was also a good inspiration for Twitter. I had a last look at Brizzly and was welcomed with a set of new features. I checked them out, made up my mind and changed my pinned tabs in the browser. Twitter you won, based on the snappy performance of the client.

I continued to scan some news and run into a lengthy blog post: End of the Road for Xmarks. This is really sad, because Xmarks is by far my most valuable service I'm using. It's an essential component to keep all the bookmarks of all the different browsers on various machines and operating systems synchronized. I never really thought about it and took it for granted that bookmarks automatically showed up everywhere. I respect and understand the reasons to stop the service, nobody should pursue a business that isn't viable. At least I've 90 days to figure out an alternative, because the synchronization features of browsers are still a long way from synchronizing between the various browsers.

How was your morning?

User Experience - First Achievements

So, you have been busy for a while now on your implementation of User Experience design. You went thru ups and downs, had to fight some wars but your team finally got to their first big user research event.

It took many days of preparation with discussions on content, research questions, methods and goals to achieve. The team broke down barriers, made people think out side the box and convinced the biggest skeptics to let go. The big day had come.... it felt great!

Other parts of the User Experience series:
1. It all started with letting go and realization that I'm NOT the typical user
2. Followed by the activities to get started
3. ... and the battles you have to fight to get support on your efforts
4. Manage the expectations, because it's not the silver bullet

Share your User Experience achievements in the comments below.

Social Business Software - A Must!

Today's Social Interaction
Image: Susan Smith
Recently we are reading a lot about Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 to show social aspects when interacting with customers and prospects. However it's much simpler, all software needs to be social!

Most software today is used to increase efficiency, improve our productivity, enhance collaboration and streamline business processes. Since most businesses are run by people and not by robots it's important to create people centric software. Since people are social characters the software needs to be social too.

Social software is more than the ability to share and like information, it's about the network and expressing the emotions in the network. When in real life a friend helps me out I might send a card or flower to express my thanks, in a virtual world this shouldn't be any different. Now there are of course many places where I can send an e-card or some virtual goods, but the real power of emotion lays into the fact that it needs to be traceable to the original action. In real life someone would ask, wow where did you get the nice flowers? Nobody ever asks that about a virtual gift, because it's locked in your email. Social can only be social if it shows emotion.

When people work together, both within a company and externally this is always based on our social interaction, otherwise a long time ago we would have been replaced by robots. Since doing business is a social interaction, we just need to support more social interaction in business software to really make the next step in increased efficiency, improved productivity, enhanced collaboration and streamlined business processes.

Let me know your social examples.