Disrupt SF 2014 Winner Announced
Interested in the constantly changing landscape of technology? Be sure to follow the TechCrunch Disrupt conferences. Immerse yourself in a three-day, single-track tech conference to find out the latest developments in technology and the emerging start-ups who will help navigate us into the future. With these conferences, we learn why it is important to note the causes of these tech changes and what we need to do to survive and prosper. TechCrunch Disrupt offers deep insight from leaders and innovators within the technology and media industries. Both of which provide a wealth of knowledge from deep within their respective industries. You can learn about the many changes happening right now, both significant and subtle. Researching the information is one thing, but to hear this information from a collection of experts is easily one of the most valuable takeaways.
For 3 days, TechCrunch SF hosted competitors from the Battlefield companies. A total of 26 companies made up this collection of start-ups. This years Disrupt SF finalists included Alfred, Partpic, PatternEQ, Shipstr, Stack and Vinli. Such a great collection of amazing start-ups made this a difficult decision, but alas only one will come out victorious – and walk away with $50,000 in prize money. The Crunch San Francisco judges, comprised of well-known industry figures, heard these finalists for one final pitch of their product. After 3 days of presentations, and hours upon hours of incredible pitches from this years challengers, a decision was finally made. With several strong products at hand, judges reported it ultimately came down to a decision between the top 2.
The winner of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 was finally announced as Boston-based tech company Alfred, founded by Jessica Beck and Marcela Sapone. According to their website, Alfred Club is “the first service layer on the shared economy that manages your routine across multiple on-demand and local services (e.g. Handybook, Instacart, and the local dry cleaner). Members build a subscription to make their routine automatic, letting Alfred seamlessly coordinate services in their home, so they come home happy.” Managing your household chores and other related tasks just became a lot easier and a lot more efficient. Start-ups continue to evolve and adapt to make our lives more efficient. Never a dull moment in the world of tech start-ups.
from Chris Beaman – Tech Startup News http://ift.tt/XOIMbr
UX Topics Managers Need to Understand
It is quite easy to underestimate the degree of difficulty that comes with UX design. Managers or executives will have an expectation and plan to hold you to certain standards. This is why it so important to have an open discussion and to set these guidelines early in the process. Often times there are misconceptions that will require acknowledgement and adjustment from you. You are the expert and must act as so. Educate the decision makers on how the process works and how they can expect the best possible product.
An important factor to keep in mind is that designers and managers may be working by their own timelines. Expecting designs as soon as possible is often the case. Establish your timeline from the beginning. Explain that the process is iterative, and will require adjustments to the designs. Again, the ultimate goal is to produce the highest level of quality possible. Everyone wins in this scenario. Let the results do the talking. The process of iteration will consistently produce positive results.
At the heart of UX design is the user. No matter how much work you put into a design, the user dictates what works. Proper UX design requires insight and understanding of what people think and feel about domains. Access to customer research is invaluable, and we should expect to take that information to the next level. Conversations with target clients allows us to keep our designs on target and realign our trajectory if needed. Knowing the user simply yields a better product.
In addition to customer research, one cannot underestimate the value of usability testing. Designers can have 100% confidence in their creation, but they are not the users. Following best practices and strict guidelines can only take you so far. Testing is the only way to know how users will react to designs. Allowing them to engage with the product, without instruction or demonstration, is the best indication of whether you got the design right.
Each project may stray from the standard path, as each project is unique. Managers will often operate on a strict schedule, but the UX process is flexible and does not follow a set guideline. While some design teams have formalized their processes, this is often not a “one size fits all” operation. Flexibility can help identify and solve specific business or user problems.
Overall, there are several points to be made when communicating with managers. Establishing these expectations and guidelines will benefit everyone. The less surprises, the better. Keep the focus on the best possible product and ideally everything else falls into place.
from Chris Beaman – User Experience Designer http://ift.tt/X7v3Mw
Car Care Check Design
OurStage Mobile Recommendations
This service, which offers music-recommendations, uses an algorithm based on a variety of ratings. The application itself helps you to discover emerging artists within specific genres. Chris worked exclusively on their web and mobile user interface for the recommendations tool.
from Chris Beaman – User Experience Designer http://ift.tt/YXjWHH
MMotive Landing Page
MMotive Landing Page
MMotive was an experiment that Chris Beaman did when working with Moving Metrics. He wanted to feature the header ribbon approach, a look that was popular at the time. Catering to those young, web-saavy users that would actually use the product, Chris included slick shadows and rounded corners.
from Chris Beaman – User Experience Designer http://ift.tt/YXjWHF
Growth Spark Landing Page
Chris Beaman’s visual design for Growth Spark is aimed to appeal to small business owners. Chris designed this landing page as well as creating a Facebook ad campaign. It’s designed to poke fun at the fact that its isolating only astronauts as an intended audience. He’s also created similar ads using ninjas, rabbits and snowmen.
from Chris Beaman – User Experience Designer http://ift.tt/YXjZmJ
How to beat the shift. Dustin Pedroia steals second and third in one play.