UX best practices on Search, design for your algorithmic-self, the future of VR collaboration, YoutubeTV, Facebook’s city guides, Snap’s 360 cam & more.
Welcome to a new week full of fresh ideas and innovation at elproducto.
📚 Good reads
- State of Dev by Yvo Schaap. Fascinating collection of data visualizations on the current state of Developement topics. Explanation and background info here.
- Figuring out Hotel Laundry’s Job To Be Done. How hotel chain Dorchester Collection used data and research to excel on what their customers cared more about.
- UX best practices for Search Results by Nick Babich. Nick walks us through a series of ideas to enhance Search experience by focusing on natural behaviour and smooth interactions.
- Humanizing the algorithm. Pamela Pavliscak reflects on how our algorithmic alter-egos (the power behind your Facebook feed) evolve and how we can game them to humanize our experience with the platform they empower.
- The economics of design by Nathan Kinch. Can you quantify the commercial outcomes of your design decisions? Nathan gives us some tips on how to put a $ on the impact of design.
📰 Seen on the news
- Back to the moon (at least around it). SpaceX to fly two private citizens around the moon late next year; Dragon spacecraft will by launched by the Falcon Heavy rocket, which is slated for its first test flight this summer.
- A peek into the future of VR work collaboration. Collaborative VR company Bigscreen announces $3M seed led by Andreessen Horowitz; app places 2D computer desktops (and detachable windows) in a 3D space, enabling shared work and entertainment in VR; available for Vive and Rift.
- Apple looking at enterprise opportunities for iOS after partnership with SAP. Plans to launch a tool for creating enterprise apps for iOS; will enable simple integration of data from SAP systems; applications include signing into desktop business apps with the iPhone’s fingerprint scanner and replacing inventory scanners with iPhones.
- YouTube announces YouTube TV in US: a $35-per-month subscription service providing live, recordable programming from broadcast and cable networks; family plan supports up to six accounts and offers roughly 40 channels, including NBC Sports, ESPN and USA. Announcement comes after reaching 1 billion hours per day of video consumption milestone.
- Sony announces $1.6k Xperia Touch projector which turns surfaces into a touch display; the device makes use of a camera and infrared sensors to interpret gestures; offers a range of functions, including playing a digital piano, a web browser and more; available in Europe this spring.
- Spotify hit 50 million paid subscribers. Reported it grew 25% in less than six months, extending its lead over its closest rival Apple Music, which had about 20 million subscribers in December. Stockholm-based Spotify remains unprofitable, but its rapid growth provides some hope for the music industry.
- Nintendo launches its hybrid Switch console. The highly anticipated mobile gaming platform — the company’s biggest bet in years — is expected to be in short supply. But it may be better to wait before buying one: Early reviewers have found some bugs, and there are relatively few titles available.
- Snap popped on its first day of trading, with shares up 44%. The company’s 200 million shares changed hands furiously, accounting for 10% of trading by volume on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares closed at about $24, suggesting a $33 billion valuation and a $1.5 billion payday for CEO Evan Spiegel.
- More on Snap, as they may launch a 360-degree camera; the firm met with an unnamed third-party to discuss possible hardware options; follows a report the firm is developing a camera drone.
- Medium introduces Series for iOS and Android; presents stories in a card-based UI, and allows writers to create ongoing stories, with support for individual photo posts.
- Facebook launches an app for Apple TV; Facebook Video auto-plays in fullscreen mode, and includes clips by friends along with top live videos, recommended videos and more.
- Facebook also looks into travel sector opportunities by rolling out city guides to select users; the feature suggests nearby attractions, and displays friends attending events; it also shows friends who have previously visited the area.
- Messenger now allows developers to replace the keyboard with persistent menus, aiming to ease bot interactions. And a dislike button is finally here. The emoji is part of Facebook’s Messenger reactions.
- Google updates Allo for Android with GIF search, random emotion-based GIF selection, animated emojis, and a shortcut to Google Assistant; Assistant can bring weather reports, movie showtimes and more into the chat; update coming soon to iOS.
- Google Home getting international. Google Home is set to launch in the UK before the end of June, according to the BBC; an exact date and price remain unclear.
- Wearable shipments reached 33.9M in Q4, according to IDC; up 16.9 percent year over year; Fitbit led with 6.5M units and 19.2 percent market share (down from 29 percent in Q4 2015); Xiaomi followed, with 5.2M shipments; Apple rounded out the top three with 4.6M units and 13.6 percent market share.
- Amazon says this week’s significant AWS outage was the result of human error; the Simple Storage Service (S3) team was troubleshooting a billing system problem; an incorrect command disabled a larger set of servers than planned; Amazon has modified the relevant tool to limit the amount of capacity that can be removed at one time.
- Amazon plans Alexa-powered products that make phone calls and function as intercoms; Amazon is reportedly beta testing internally and an announcement is expected in coming months; also working on an Alexa device with camera.
- China’s on-demand taxi wars. Ride-hailing service Ucar is raising $1B; the Didi Chuxing rival (who acquired Uber China) has so far raised $670M. While Didi relies on private cars and crowd-sourced drivers, UCAR offers its services via an in-house fleet and licensed drivers.
- Doctors on-demand. Dispatch (iOS, Android) lets users request a healthcare visit to their home or workplace; the service is covered by numerous insurers, and covers a range of common maladies.
- Welcome to the 21st century, Gmail. Gmail doubles the capacity for received attachments to 50MB; outgoing messages are still limited to 25MB, although larger files can be sent via Google Drive.
🎧 Something to listen
Business Podcasts. Neville Medhora (the man behind KopywritingKourse and a newsletter full of business resources and growth hacks) has made a selection of the Best Business Podcasts in 2017 so far. I endorse the list as I personally listen most of the ones he lists, and if only, I’m missing Freakonomics Radio.
👨🏫 Quote of the week
“Every great startup starts as a side project that isn’t anybody’s main priority. AirBed & Breakfast was a way to pay our rent. It was a way to pay rent and buy us time and help us get to the big idea.” — Brian Chesky (Airbnb co-founder), seen at The Upstarts.
👨🔬 Things I’m experimenting with
A couple of quick notes for an upcoming blog post following Make Products Great Again thoughts on “Build the Right Thing, Build the Thing Right, Build it Fast”: