Designing for Thumbs
In his analysis of 1,333 observations of smartphones in use, Steven Hoober found about 75% of people rely on their thumb and 49% rely on a one-handed grip to get things done on their phones. On large screens (over four inches) those kinds of behaviors can stretch people’s thumbs well past their comfort zone as they try to reach controls positioned at the top of their device.
Looks familiar? – Miscommunication in Project Management
Preceden: Timeline Generator Tool
I might have found the timeline generator tool that I have been looking for – it’s clean, simple and user-friendly. You can easily generate timelines for your small projects and export them in PDF, CSV or embed them in your websites (as seen below).
Free version allows you to add up to 5 tasks per project (which is quite less), pro version costs $29 that allows you to add unlimited number of tasks per project. The fee is a one-time fee which gives you lifetime pro membership.
Usability: Visual Captcha
Captchas are problematic. Traditional captcha solutions have been a failure so far. Below is one of the more user friendly solutions I have come so far
Free Website Analytics Tool
Nibbler is a free tool for testing websites. Enter the address of any website and Nibbler will give you a report scoring the website out of 10 for key areas, including accessibility, SEO, social media and technology etc.
Usability: Delete Confirmations Done Right
Here is a great way of implementing delete confirmations in web app interfaces. It’s intuitive and usable. It’s done within the same “delete” button but with an extra click. This is how it works, you click once on the button and it will change its state to confirmation button, you click again to confirm deletion.
It’s way better than the overlay popups in the middle of the screen or other too creative ways that go counter-intuitive to the usability of the web app.
It’s from Zapier.com, kudos to them for making their UI user-friendly.
Competition is for Losers
Peter Thiel is no stranger to Startup World. He is the co-founder of PayPal and investor in Facebook, Quora, Artsy, PandoDaily, AdRoll, Reddit and many more.
He has an interesting viewpoint when it comes to Startups and how they should be managed, in order to be successful. For the past decade, methodologies like Customer Development and Lean Startup have been popular. The central idea in these methodologies are around customers, and that your idea (hypothesis) must be tested against potential customers in order to be successful, and based on customers’ feedback you should tweak your initial idea (pivot) to achieve a sustainable and repeatable business model that generates revenue.
Peter Thiel is sceptical about these methodologies. He says that customers might not always be right and listening to them to guide your business’ destiny might not be the right approach. He encourages entrepreneurs to start startups that do in order of magnitude better than the existing competitors, rather than doing incremental improvements as the Lean Startup methodology suggests. He also advises entrepreneurs to go for monopoly when starting a startup, doing something that dominates the market i.e avoiding competition and aiming for monopoly. He says “Competition is for losers”.
He also questions the education system in leading Universities that teach Entrepreneurship, he says that currently our education system instills and inculcates in future entrepreneurs to compete and to be a better competitor rather than doing something unique that makes competition irrelevant or difficult for others to compete with your startup.
Personally, what he puts forward is definitely something interesting and somewhat refreshing. It kind of reminds me of Steve Jobs’ beliefs. He was the type of person where he would say “customers do not know what they want.. etc”. But I think Customer Development and Lean Startup Methodologies are not mutually exclusive to what Peter Thiel is suggesting, in fact they can still be used to help reach product-market-fit.
Below is a video of him giving a lecture in Stanford in “Business Strategy and Monopoly Theory” where he expounds on the above mentioned ideas of his:
Note: If you are based in Malaysia, you can order his book from Bookurve with free shipping. I ordered mine already together with Eric Schmidt’s “How Google Works“, should be arriving next week.
It’s a shame that OhLife is shutting down. If you didn’t know what it was, it was a service where it periodically (eg; daily, weekly, monthly, depending on what you choose) sent you an email asking “How was your day today?”. You would just reply back to the same email describing your day, week, month, and it would save it in your account in OhLife.com.
And one of my favorite bits of the service was, it would include a random post from your life, saying; “Oh snap, remember this? 175 days ago you wrote…” (see above screenshot).
What I liked about the service was, it was not a burden, it was very easy to use, it didn’t force you to write. If you didn’t want, you would just ignore the reminder email and just enjoy the random post from your life.
Well, now that the service is shutting down, how can you record your life in a similar fashion?
OhLife Alternative via IFTTT
If you are not familiar with IFTTT (if this then that) service, then please check this post first. I have created a recipe in IFTTT that will do the following: Everytime you send an email with the subject #OhLife to email@example.com it will save that email in your GoogleDocs. New entries will be added as a new row in the spreadsheet. Date and email content will be saved in the document. Continue reading
How to Find Pro UI Designers for Your Startup
Say, you have an idea for a startup which you would like to build MVP (minimum viable product i.e most basic version) of it but don’t know any decent UI designer who can visualize your idea and turn it into this amazing User Interface; the likes of Instagram and other similar cool apps.
If you have done web or mobile app projects of your own before, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about – it’s a challenge to find pro User Interface designers.
Most of the time, prior to deciding if you should hire full-time developers and designers for your startup, optimal and cost-effective thing to do would be to outsource MVP version to freelancers. Hiring of full time staff can come later, once the app achieves product/market-fit.
For this reason, you would normally want someone who is pro and available for freelance work. Many sites like oDesk, Freelancer, Elance, DesignCrowd etc have these kind of resources. But it’s really a pain to find the right person.
Melting pot for Great, Pro Designers
But there is a great platform where all the professional designers hang around, and that is on Dribbble. It’s a place where designers showcase their work and peers feedback and “like” each others’ work. It’s also a great place to find the right designer for your startup idea.
Bookurve – Amazon books, cheaper with free shipping to Malaysia
If you are an avid book reader in Malaysia and often purchase books from Amazon, you must already know how much the shipping fees are pain in the neck. Bookurve, a local startup that was founded by my friends Hossein and Lian Shen is addressing this issue.
Value proposition of their startup is simple;
- Give access to wide selection of books (almost any books sold at Amazon is available on Bookurve)
- At a cheaper price (usually 20-40% cheaper than Amazon)
- With free shipping if you order above RM25 (for West Malaysia)
They have taken few pivots to reach to their current business model. And I’m optimistic about it, as it’s working pretty good for them.
Last week I tried out their service (mainly to see the end-to-end customer journey and provide feedback) and ordered my first book, received it few days back and couldn’t be happier 🙂
Give it a try..