Making digital products is a process that demands a customer centric approach. It would be stupid to assume that you don't need to ask the people what they think about your ideas.
We've been looking at using barcodes for a small research project. I've haven't been too interested in the whole qr codes that open a web page on your phone thing, as it seems a lot of effort for low value result. But this service proposition from Tesco (in it's South Korean guise) is quite awe inspiring. Say hello to advertising as a service platform.
A quick search for 'Apple should buy Instagram' on Google shows that the general thinking of the inter-brain is Apple should / will / can kill Instagram with it's own social photo sharing service. Over and above the fact that Apple are famously useless at anything social ('Dad, what's Ping?'), the reason for Apple being rubbish at social sharing is that their entire culture is built on secrecy. Not sharing is their business model. It also extends into their service model. You must live your life inside the iTerms and Conditions, sorry I mean - iTunes. Your apps must pass the App store quality control and even your iAds are vetted. In this context, I am not sure Apple are capable of allowing grubby little people to share stuff in the context of their brand.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
I am liking the idea of 'Meta-products'. What is a meta-product? The best examples are Nike+, the fabulously daft Nabaztag and, more recently, Alertme. Generally speaking they're physical objects, rooted in networked technology that are driven by mobile and web services. There is nothing new about this idea, it's roots are well established in many sci-fi and computer science paradigms like ubiquitous computing, pervasive computing or more broadly the Internet of Things.
Reading with interest an unfolding flameup at Design for Service caused by Jeff Howard’s post entitled UX Rockstars need not apply. The gist of the conversation is a few folk getting all hot under the collar about disciplines and domains. Especially the emerging challenges in the US by this new fangled idea of ‘Service Design‘ and it seems to be freaking people out. Which is a good thing in my book. The argument was instigated by sweeping statement from an interview with Jesse James Garret of Adaptive Path, that went like this..
JJG: I think any distinction that you could draw between service design and user experience is purely academic. In practical terms, the overlap in the problems being solved, the methods applied to solving them, and the philosophy of practice is so huge that anything you could say was purely a service design issue or purely a user experience design issue would be an extreme edge-case. They may persist as separate areas of intellectual inquiry, but as fields of practice I think they’ll inevitably converge. So in that sense, SD vs. UX is the new IA vs. IxD.
I’ve worked in SD for a while now and some things have always interested me: