Estimote Beacons

Came across these today: estimote.com beacons (Real world context for your apps)
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/123730-apple-s-ibeacons-explained-what-it-is-and-why-it-matters

I think it’s one of these things that sneaks into the market, looking all cute, but has power to change the game in a major way. I am trying to see the practical application of these, but I think the potential is huge. Google analytics in real life. Indoor navigation. Targeted content in retail shops. It could just be the thing that will bridge the online and brick and mortar retail experiences. Rock on.

Wireframes – MockingBird

in the never-ending quest for wireframing tools i have found my perfect match. mocking bird and me, we will go a long way :)
i have been using this nifty online tool for sometime now and must say i’m still to find any shortcomings*. it seems perfect. a beautifully intuitive interface, a library of ready made elements, recently added colour options, resizable canvas size, the cross-linking – it’s all there. it’s easy to share with clients by sending them a link to interactive ‘front-end’ version.
in a recent b2b project it proved to be the life saver between us trying to determine information logic and the client trying to explain to us the way product pricing should work. i don’t have to tell anyone that wireframes make it easier to walk the client through how things will work, but it’s also easy to then add notes and use it as navigation for developement. what more could you want? well – it’s free. i hope it remains so or at least the price is reasonable when it comes out of beta.
go mockingbird!

*it currently doesn’t work in IE so when sending to clients you have to make sure they can view it in FF, Safari, Opera etc..

Wireframes – FlairBuilder

another great product for wireframing – FlairBuilder

i have just been offered a chance to test drive and it looks very promising. it’s a local application, the installer is in AIR – very quick and efficient.
i like how it stars with an already open half-done project, with few pages and templates to get you started. the program itself is quite easy to use and very intuitive. it has an extensive library of easily adjustable components and a number of very handy features – i.e. lets you duplicate existing pages rather than build each from scratch.

all in all a very handy tool!

What do you do?

@leemunroe asked today:

Quick question for web designers: When someone asks you “What do you do?” what is your reply? e.g. web designer, ux designer, webmaster…

I see a lot of buzz online about this recently..

For some time the ‘online world building business’, as I call it, has been getting more complicated  and developing into more disctinct specialisms. But..

On one side there are clients and for most this is all quite too complicated. Most clients, not all of course, still end up with the inevitable ‘so you design websites, right?’

The other side – the industry, seems to be asking the question now too. Personally, i don’t think any of the online jobs can, and do, exist in a vacuum: they are all interlinked and to be an expert in one you need solid knowledge of the others. I usually describe what I do as ‘user experience design’. But that is sometimes down to the project I work on, depending on the size and extensity I act as the designer + information architect + project manager in one. If the project is more advanced you need to fill in all those roles separately, but they are intertwined and all of these experts will interact and influence each other. Moreover, having knowledge in all web production areas definitely helps in becoming better at your specialism. Great article about Homo Universalis here.

Wireframes

in my ongoing quest for the perfect wireframing utility i have come across EightShapes and iPlotz this week.
EightShapes is a set of deliverables and wireframing templates for a variety of softwares, InDesign and OmniGraffle included. Looks very promising and it’s free, which is always a good thing. it wouldn’t need internet acess as you’d run it locally which could be very handy too.
iPlotz – a full application running in your browser window – i’ve just tried the online demo, and it looks great, it’s very easy and intuitive to use. it could become a great tool for online collaboration.
will be trying out and will keep you posted :D

harvest

Recently came accross a very neat online time tracking application – Harvest.
I must say it’s very good and easy to use, the best feature is the
stopwatch – you can start/stop it and forget about it rather than
looking at the clock all the time. I’m impressed.
However there’s a glitch. A tiny one, but very annoying. It calculates the time in
decimals, so if the stopwatch goes up to 0.70, and then you want to add
another ten minutes to it, you get confused. BUT there’s an easy way
around it, you can put :10 in, rather than .10, and it will
automatically convert it to the decimal format.