Case Studies

Some years ago me and my friends were very pleased to conclude that the more we learn, the more stupid we realise we are. In fact, A. Einstein has ever said: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.” . Well how right it is when I finished this morning midterm test. I made some silly mistakes as usual. That must be my fav way of doing test..!!
J/k I’ll get the grade back soon.

So, we discussed about two case studies last meeting, mainly about UI design and team work.

I had an oppotunity to learn/revise some principles in UI designs like: keep it simple, keep it clean, keep it focus.. In my user experience, I see two common mistakes: 1. the designer try to publish so much info on a single page, making it very untidy and also making the page take time to load 2. there something distracting the user. So just keep it simple and clean. It sounds simple, but quite complicated. It’s about the personal taste and there’re just guidlines.

Btw, I found some problems with the smiley faces on the right in the current GetHelp! If it were me I would put the user’s balloon status at the profile photo and abandon those smiley faces or making them smaller at somewhere else. Another thing is that I’m wondering why most of the text in the apps are formatted bold.

The second case study has interesting questions. I learnt quite a lot from Vincent.

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GetHelp!

General overview

Usability
The application is quite well-designed and is quite comfortable to use. All the buttons, settings are pulled out, so users don’t have to waste another click to open the settings. This is shown in the Creating help and Overview part.

Aesthetics
The application is carefully designed. The application designers must have tried to make the UI attractive and energetic. This is reflected in the bright color they have chosen and the way they arrange control elements.

However, the color and some rotated buttons somehow distract the users. Though this first looks new and exciting, it’s not suitable to make the user comfortable using for long time. This seems to exist in every page. Like in Overview, the Help him/her! and Refer a friend buttons is way to large. It stands out from the helps’ content and again somehow prevent the user to focus on the proper things.

Some control elements are not properly placed, like some red buttons and Button in the project page.

Problems
The main problem the application may encounter is that the work flow is not comfortable, users are kind of lazy to go because they don’t feel solid when using the app.

Facebook Seminar

First I want to say thanks to my group: Kian Boon, Dhiviya, and Boa for a good presentation. It was funny for 2 things: first, Boon was right to feel that we would present first and second, the presentation time limitation was almost ignored. Anyway, it’s not that important because I have seen a lot of things, maybe more than what I expected.

The first thing, as introduced, was the professional style of those come from outside Soc. They have brought a new awareness and a useful experience on the marketing work, which significantly affects the application’s live but usually underestimated by Soc citizens.

Second, I could see the diversity of applications developed on a social platform introduced in many aspects, some of which are in quite details. Let’s again take a look at the selected apps in my own view:

1. Elven Blood  – 24k+ active users

Content: It is a old style game, what interesting it has is only the story which is wholely new written by the designer and good enough to once reach millione eyeballs. But because it’s the only point, people stop playing as the story was not extended.

Program aspect: I am just wondering how it handles a very large data transaction rate in such a very fast way. Is it the brilliant database implementation or powerful servers or any other technologies like advanced HTML as they (the Indian company) say??

Commercial: it earns money via advertisements. I was informed, but not impressed.

2. Whopper Sacrifice – 88K+

Idea: yeah, as our proffessor said, it’s really only a clever marketing campaign.

Implementation: The only thing new I am still figuring out how the app removed friends from the friends list. It sounds like a light thing, but really requires a certain smart level.

3. Graffity – 2.1M+

Idea: this must be simple is good. From the idea to user interface, it’s quite clean and has got just enough controls. But I believe the success comes because of its right strategy in people nature: people love drawing.

Implematation: again the data scalability issue. How they can store such huge data  or retreive thoudsands, even millione records in some seconds, along with much many other transitions is still a mystery (to me). I believe it must be something high-tech.

4. Friends for sale 2.3M+

This kind of ideas is so evil, but really fun. It’s kind of doing what sounds fun but cannot be done in real life to friends. Just because of that, many people are using it now.

5. GEO challenge 3.7M+

Simple idea + good game design = good application

6. Pet Society 6M+

I am wondering the performace of MTV Cribs when many users log in at the place at once.

7. Causes 19M+

Its success seems to be no wonder. A community idea must be widely supported.

After all, as I am glad to see some sample success ideas for social apps. No matter how complicated, how evil, but the more suitable and practical it is, the more it becomes successful (sounds not very new)

The seminar also raises my awareness in many common issues when engineering an apps used by many people; and also many other things, such as Singaporean friends are the ones who can speak faster..

Seminar: MS Technologies

Yesterday I attended the second lecture.

Well, this module doesn’t offer many lectures as others, but the amount of stuff it transfers in each lecture is tremendous. I am opened, and feel like I have to rush, not like the safety feeling after a maths lecture. However, how reasonable it is not requiring the students to master the technologies. But, wait, maybe it’s not only about technology.

It looks like Scheme did change me a little bit. Now in everything I look at, there’re always patterns. And so is everything in cs3216. I’ve realised my proffessor is teaching something, and introducing technologies is one of the means he uses to teach. Is it about how to think, how to apply, how to dare to do?? Hey, perhaps he said that in the beginning. Yeah.. I don’t know. Again, I spend time to have some troubles thinking back and forth, and then conclude something very classic, very not-new. But I believe it’s not useless, it’s built again from the beginning. It is proved and I am confident to apply it.

Anyway, the technologies engrossed me. Although I’ve seen or heard about most of the things introduced, but it’s still attracted. Xbox Live, what an idea! The menu animation is good haha. And WPF, amazing of what it can do. Hey, about SmoothHD, looks like it streams depending on the available bandwidth. In my block’s network, it’s contanstly changing quality between handphone video and hd. Well, well..

This life is tough. Funny if a student says that, isn’t it? Maybe the scenario is that he’s like nearly drowning in middle of the ocean of mixed stuff, where choosing to use the remaining stamina of call for help or to swim around finding islands is a decisive choice. But either choice, the surviving possibility is almost.. Sounds terribly. Well, I like the quotation: “it’s not fun when you know certainly that you’ll be successful” (James)

Okay, it was a  new positive impression on Microsoft and funny thoughts..

The first meeting

Well, I won’t tell it was cool or not.

I just want to say that it was one of the best  class meeting I ever have.