Browsing: Ideas

Here’s a scenario you might be familiar with: You wake up groggy from an all-too-early alarm, hustle to get showered and out the door on time, only to wait forever eventually realizing who you’re meeting with isn’t showing up. It never occurred to you to check your inbox which had some permutation of: “Hey, I’m running behind…” “Sorry but something came up…” “Which Sightglass location did you mean?” The email was there all along, you just didn’t see it because you didn’t check, you don’t get notifications, or the relevant email was buried deep. You might have been able to take a little extra time, or possibly avoid the wrong location snafu. The one good use for email notifications If you’re anything like me, you turned off email notifications a long time ago. The fact is that email is a constant and so the value of individual email notifications is…

The bots are coming. And they will be everywhere, like Facebook Messenger where they’ll be deployed to 900mm+ users. Some will deliver you tacos. Some will go on racist tirades. But here’s the thing: not all bots are created equal. While “bot” is a great over-arching term for a collection of happenings all boiling down to a trend, I think there needs to be a bit more clarity on what these things are and what they’re expected to do. To start, here’s how Wikipedia defines it broadly: In computer science, a software agent is a computer program that acts for a user or other program in a relationship of agency, which derives from the Latin agere (to do): an agreement to act on one’s behalf. Such “action on behalf of” implies the authority to decide which, if any, action is appropriate.[1][2] Agents are colloquially known as bots, from robot. So…

Thinking through remedies for the always-on, always-communicating world. About the author:Hi. I’m Matt Galligan, aproduct design & strategy consultant that previously co-founded three startups: Circa, SimpleGeo, and Socialthing. Author’s Note: This post is now out of date. About five months after I wrote this Slack introduced a Do Not Disturb feature that is in many ways identical to what I’d proposed in this post (save for a some design differences). But you may still find it a valuable read about thinking through product problems and solutions. Enjoy! Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year you’ve probably heard of the rocket ship of a company called Slack. They’ve been hailed as the savior of communication within companies and often the destroyer of email. Slack replaces asynchronous communication like email with the synchronous variety, known to most as “chat.” This is a rather pared down way of describing…

This is not an official Apple graphic. I made it up. Update: In the years since I made this post, Apple has since launched Business Chat. While it’s not all that I had outlined in this post, it gets at some of the core thoughts: we don’t need an app for everything. I’m excited to see where Apple takes Business Chat from here. There’s already been a fair amount written on the subject on the future of texting and of messaging-as-an-interface. Jonathan Libov had a pretty comprehensive set of ideas that established how a lightweight texting option could replace many of the apps that we deal with today. In the post title “Futures of Text” he says: In contrast to a GUI that defines rules for each interaction — rules which, frustratingly, change from app to app — text-based, conversational interactions are liberating in their familiarity. There’s only really only one way to skin this…

The top app marketplaces lack any ability for a developer to know exactly where their downloads are coming from — an incredibly important metric. First, I should provide a bit of context: I’m the CEO and co-founder of Circa, a company whose primary product is a mobile news application which can be downloaded from both the App Store and Google Play. My opinions here are based on the last 18 months of being a part of the app ecosystem. When people visit a website, the detailed information about that visit is easily accessible to that website owner. Referral traffic (meaning how the user arrived at the website) is a core analytic that can be extremely helpful in understanding how people discover your website. For instance, I can tell by using Google Analytics that 40.34% of the traffic to http://cir.ca is from social referrer sources. Even further, I can tell that…