RSS

Category Archives: Digital Content

Book review: Mobilized

I recently read “Mobilized” by SC Moatti, “an insider’s guide to the business and future of connected technology.” SC Moatti is a mobile veteran from Silicon Valley, having developed successful mobile products and services at the likes of Nokia, Facebook and Trulia. Moatti makes the book’s intentions clear in the first chapter: with businesses increasingly shifting their strategic focus to mobile, there’s a need to create a truly mobile culture and mindset within the business. To help companies become mobile first, Moatti introduces the “Mobile Formula” which contains the three rules for successful mobile products:

SC Moatti

SC Moatti’s “Mobile Formula”, the three rules of successful mobile products – Taken from: https://www.leanplum.com/blog/mobilized-on-mobile/

The Body Rule – The best mobile products operate by beauty: Contrary to what one might expect, the beauty in mobile products isn’t about aesthetics, it’s about eliminating waste. ‘Efficiency’ is the keyword here and Moatti refers to the Birkhoff formula in this respect: M=O/C. In this formula, M is a measure of beauty, O of simplicity and C of complexity. Beauty will increase with simplicity and will decrease through complexity.

Measure simplicity through the “thumb test”: Ultimately, the best measure of simplicity is to create a product that’s easy to use by everyone. The so-called “thumb test” is a great way to test whether your product is easy to use. To pass the thumb test, a task should be easily completed by a user with a thumb of average size and without incidentally hitting an unrelated link, button or design element by mistake. Take a look at AnkiDroid for instance. The flash cards on AnkiDroid’s Android app make it easy to learn words in a different language, with clear buttons and calls to actions (see Fig. 1 below).

AnkiDroid-1

Fig. 1 – Screenshot of AnkiDroid – Taken from: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/6-flash-card-apps-for-android-compared-which-is-the-best/

Even the “thumb test” will become redundant (eventually): With voice command software like Apple’s Siri ,GreenOwl’s service TrafficAlert and virtual reality all being hands free, the thumb test will eventually become a thing of the past (see Fig. 2 below). Moatti argues that the principle underpinning the thumb test will still apply: beauty on mobile means that all user interactions need to work effortlessly and efficiently.

TrafficAlert

Fig. 2 – Screenshot of TrafficAlert – Taken from: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.greenowl.ta.android

The Spirit Rule – The best mobile products give us meaning: When describing ‘meaning’ in the context of mobile products, Moatti identifies ‘personalisation’ and ‘community’ as the two key factors that add meaning. One might argue that these two factors contradict each other, but Moatti makes compelling arguments for both. Firstly, ‘personalisation’ is all about the user feeling cared for, by giving the user total control of the mobile experience. Contrary to what one might think, recent research shows that mobile products create deeper bonds between users and their communities. For example, a study by Kyung-Gook Park at the University of Florida illustrates how mobile products make people feel more connected to those around them.

Building for meaning – Mobile products as extensions of our spirit: Moatti makes some great points about the use of internal and external filters to create mobile products with meaning. Internal filters, Moatti explains, can be as simple as our location or address book. These internal filters help in connecting users to their environment; using location or user based data to create a personalised experience for the user (see example in Fig. 3 below).

Personalisation

Fig. 3 – Personalisation through onboarding on Beats’ mobile streaming service – Taken from: http://www.appvirality.com/blog/personalization-in-retail-apps/

External filters come into play once it’s understood what users care about through internal filters. External filters allow the experience to be shared and enjoyed with other people. For example, a privacy policy is an external filter, in place to outline what a product can and cannot reveal about its users.

The Mind Rule – The best mobile products learn as we use them: The mind rule is the final component of Moatti’s Mobile Formula. Mobile products constantly adapting is of the essence here. This adaptation can happen either fast or slow. Messaging app WhatsApp is a good example of adapting fast. The team at WhatsApp have adopted a culture of ‘continuous learning’ where they learn from users and their behaviours on an ongoing basis, adding new features constantly. This is driven by a realisation that in order to keep up with the competition, they’ll need to adapt relentlessly.

In contrast, slow learning is all about breaking new ground, focusing on new users or launching new offerings. It basically comes down to taking one’s fast or iterative learnings to the next level; creating new mobile divisions to conquer a new target market or value proposition. Whereas an existing mobile product or business might not be the best place to explore new territory, due to a fear of alienating an existing customer base, a completely separate app might be a better place to do so.

Main learning point: “Mobilized” really made me think about how to approach the creation and improvement of mobile products. Most books on mobile products concentrate on design. The great thing about SC Moatti’s book is that it focuses on the mobile user instead, and provides great insights on how to best create a great user experience.

 

Related links for further learning:

  1. https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/using-mobile-apps-the-one-thumb-one-eyeball-test-for-good-mobile-design
  2. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/measure-beauty
  3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sophiecharlotte-moatti/the-7-design-elements-of-great-mobile-products_b_8175942.html
  4. http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/6-flash-card-apps-for-android-compared-which-is-the-best/
  5. https://uxmag.com/articles/personalization-the-pillar-of-the-mobile-user-experience
  6. http://www.appvirality.com/blog/personalization-in-retail-apps/
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sophiecharlotte-moatti/3-best-practices-to-get-c_b_5910572.html
  8. http://ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu/UF/E0/04/35/17/00001/Park_K.pdf
 

Tags: , , , ,

App review: Azimo

Money remittance is big. Think Transferwise, WeSwap and World Remit; services that simplify the way in which to transfer money, offering attractive rates and a great user experience. Another good example is Azimo which I used to transfer some money to the motherland, The Netherlands:

  1. How did Azimo come to my attention? – A few months ago I listened to an episode of the “Breaking Banks” podcast in which Marta Krupinska – co-founder of Azimo – explained what led her to start Azimo. I loved her story how she’d fly and back forth between Poland and the UK ‘strapped for cash’ because the exchange rates and commission fees weren’t great.
  2. My quick summary of Azimo (before using it) –  I expect a service similar to the aforementioned TransferWise and World Remit. I would imagine that Azimo will cover a multitude of currencies.
  3. How does Azimo explain itself in the first minute? – “Send Worldwide” is what it says on the welcome screen when I open the Azimo app in iOS. The strap line below it reads: “Transfer money to over 200 countries, in over 70 countries, in minutes” (see Fig. 1 below).
  4. Getting started, what’s the process like (1)? – Creating an Azimo account feels very straightforward. The only thing I’m curious is about is the 5-digit pin I need to create – in addition to my password. I imagine that this for security reasons, but it doesn’t become apparent to me straight away.
  5. Getting started, what’s the process like (2)? – I feel encouraged when I land on a screen that promises that I can send money in 3 easy steps (see Fig. 2 below). I like that as soon as I start typing the name of the country that I want to send money to, the list of applicable countries starts appearing automatically (see Fig. 3 below). I know that this isn’t a groundbreaking feature, but simple things do help to make the overall user experience feel very intuitive. However, once I’ve chosen The Netherlands as the country that I want to send money, I’m slightly thrown by the screen that I then land on (see Fig. 4 below): I’m not clear why under “currencies” it gives me Euros and Dollars as options, nor I’m clear about what “SWIFT” entails as a ‘Delivery’ option. I know that mobile interfaces come with certain restrictions, but it would be helpful to provide users with some explanatory text, even if it’s just to reassure the user.
  6. Getting started, what’s the process like (3)? – I feel I’m getting close, but then I learn that I have to provide an IBAN code for the account that I want to transfer money to. By the time I come back to the app with my IBAN code – 5 minutes later – I seem to have lost the data that I’d entered previously and I’m back at square one. I wonder whether this is down to simple user error or some security issue that has thrown me out of the standard user journey. I believe it would be good to include upfront the information a user needs to have to have in order to transfer money. Also, a progress bar or some indicator of time or steps left remaining would really help in guiding the user through the process.
  7. Did the app deliver on my expectations? – It did, but I by the time I eventually completed the transaction I felt that the journey could have been even more intuitive; e.g. understanding upfront the bank/account details I need to provide and a better indication of user progress. Even though the overall experience could be improved in certain areas, I was happy with the outcome; payout into my Dutch account happened speedily and I was happy with the exchange rate and the fees that I had to pay.

 

Fig. 1 – Screenshot of Azimo’s welcome screen on iOS

IMG_3354

Fig. 2 – Screenshot of Azimo’s “send money” landing screen on iOS

IMG_3361 (1)

Fig. 3 – Screenshot of Azimo’s “Choose a country” screen on iOS

 

IMG_3363

Fig. 4 – Screenshot of Azimo’s “Send Now” screen on iOS

IMG_3364

Fig. 5 – Screenshot of Azimo’s “Send Now” screen on iOS

IMG_3365

Fig. 6 – Screenshot of Azimo’s “Send Now” screen on iOS

IMG_3366

Related links for further learning:

  1. http://www.breakingbanks.com/tag/azimo/
  2. https://azimo.com/en/
  3. https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/azimo.com
  4. http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/15/money-transfer-startup-azimo-raises-20m-at-a-100m-valuation/
  5. https://www.ted.com/talks/dilip_ratha_the_hidden_force_in_global_economics_sending_money_home
  6. http://blogs.worldbank.org/peoplemove/remittance-reality-getting-3-and-beyond
 

Tags: , ,

Site review: Carspring

I like cars. I like marketplaces. I worked at carwow. It’s fair to say that cars and marketplaces is a good combination for me. I was therefore very excited when I came across Carspring, a UK based marketplace for used cars. My initial thought was “why do we need another platform for selling and buying new cars, we’ve already got loads of those!.” However, I then looked into Carspring and this is what I learned:

My quick summary of the site (before using it): Another site where I can buy or sell used cars. Given that lots of people in the UK own a car, there are currently about 40 million cars on the UK roads, I’m not surprised to see another player enter the market for used cars.

How does the site explain itself in the first minute? – “A car for every journey” is what it says at the top of Carspring’s homepage. The strapline below that intrigues me though: “Hand-inspected, personally delivered.” This suggest to me that Carspring does more than just being an intermediary which connects buyers and sellers. It gets really interesting when I scroll down the homepage and see a section titled “How it works”:

  1. Choose a Carspring certified and inspected car – Carspring guarantees that all the cars on their site will have gone through a 128 point inspection by the AA and an additional inspection by Carspring’s in-house team before they arrive at the customer.
  2. Select a payment method (finance or buy) – Interesting to see that customers can apply for financing through Carspring, given that this service is heavily regulated.
  3. We deliver the car straight to your doorstep – This reminds me of Shift, a US based online platform for used cars which also does delivers cars to your doorstep. I listened to a talk by Minnie Ingersoll, coo-founder and COO at Shift talking about door to door delivery of cars to their customers.
  4. Relax with our 14-day money back guarantee –  Especially when it comes to buying a used car, I can imagine that customers will feel reassured by Carspring’s 14-day money back guarantee.

 

Carspring 1

 

Carspring 2

Getting started, what’s the process like (1)? – After I’ve clicked the “Show all cars” button on the homepage, I land on a page which features a list of cars, with the top of the page saying “162 results.” I can see a “Sell a car” call to action in the top right hand of the page, which in my view could be more prominent in order to encourage more people to sell their cars through Carspring. There seem to be a number of cars that are “Coming soon” but I’m unsure as to when these cars will actually become available for sale. I believe Carspring could do a better job explaining what ‘soon’ means for each individual car and alerting the interested buyer as soon as the car has become available.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 15.22.43

 

Getting started, what’s the process like (2)? – I look at the product page for a 2012 Fiat 500, I’m presented with a rather large image of this car and a sticky footer encouraging the user to click on ‘buy’ or ‘finance’. There’s something to say for keeping the product page simple for the user to navigate, but the large picture and the footer feel quite overwhelming. As a result of the large image and the sticky footer, it’s not immediately apparent to me that this is a carousel which lets me see one more picture, that of the car’s dashboard. Having thumbnail images of the car e.g. its interior and exterior below the hero image would be more intuitive.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 15.32.14

I like how Roadster does its product pages, providing all relevant information at a fingertip. To be fair, the product page contains the same info that Roadster offers, but purely because of the way this detail has been laid out I feel I have to work harder to get to this information before deciding to buy the car.

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 15.40.25

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 15.42.22

Getting started, what’s the process like (3)? – The filtering function on Carspring works well; the filtering options are clear and I can see at a glance the number of available cars per filter. However, because the supply of certain makes and models is still relatively small, filtering and sorting doesn’t feel as helpful as it could have been if there had been a larger number of cars on offer. For example, when looking at BMWs I started with 7 models and finished with 2 cars after I’d done all my filtering.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 15.47.50

 

Getting started, what’s the process like (4)? – Given that Carspring is a two sided marketplace it’s just as important that the seller of a car has a good experience. For me, Carspring’s biggest differentiator is that it inspects and grades your car. As a buyer, this gives me confidence about the quality of the car that I’m buying. As a seller, the process needs to be transparent and this will come from Carspring inspecting and grading your car upfront, providing sellers with a guaranteed sale price.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 08.55.56

How does Carspring compare to similar services? – Carspring does feel very similar to its US counterparts in the aforementioned Shift, Carvana, Beepi and Vroom. The points of differentiation between the various used car marketplaces seem minimal. For example, Vroom offers a 7-day money back guarantee and Beepi does the same within 10 days. What I liked about Beepi is the ability for the consumer to get in touch with person who’s certified the car in question.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 14.10.43

Did the site deliver on my expectations? – Yes. I can see Carspring’s model scaling rapidly, and I expect to see their car offering expand very quickly. The site lets users down in some places with usability issues that could be fixed fairly easily. I believe that the ultimate success of using Carspring won’t necessarily lie in the site’s experience, but will depend on the quality of the car delivered to a user’s doorstep. This ‘offline’ experience will determine whether people will come back to Carspring to buy their next used car and spread the word to their friends.

Related links for further learning:

  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/edmundingham/2015/09/10/can-tech-start-up-carspring-disrupt-the-42bn-used-car-market-in-the-uk/#7f2e331712f0
  2. http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/12/carspring/
  3. http://blog.carspring.co.uk/what-were-about/
  4. http://www.engadget.com/2015/12/02/what-are-the-chances-you-ll-buy-your-next-car-online/
  5. https://www.carspring.co.uk/content-disruption
  6. https://www.carspring.co.uk/england
  7. https://www.vroom.com/how

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

App review: YunoJuno

Having looked at a range of marketplaces, most recently in the events space, I widened my search and came across YunoJuno. YunoJuno is an online marketplace which describes itself as “an all-in-one platform to find, book and manage the best freelancers in town.” I’m keen to understand how YunoJuno is different from a standard job site.

My quick summary before using the app – I expect something similar to “Odesk” (now Upwork) which is a well-known site for finding freelance developers. Whether I’m an employer or a freelancer, it ought be straightforward to find either people or jobs.

How does YunoJuno explain itself in the first minute? – At first glance it becomes clear that YunoJuno’s main mission is to connect the best freelancers with employers looking for high quality people. It made me wonder whether the platform focuses on specific skills and experience levels or whether it’s a one-stop shop for a wide variety of roles, disciplines and experience levels.

Getting started, what’s the process like (1) – I’m on YunoJuno’s iOS app and decide to join YunoJuno as a freelancer. I click on “join as a freelancer” (see Fig. 1 below) and am presented with short sign up form (see Fig. 2 below). I’m disappointed to see that “product management” – my discipline – isn’t in the dropdown list. Although I appreciate that product management probably isn’t as established a contractor discipline as project management or photography, I’m still worried about employers finding my profile now that I’ve had to selected “Other” as my discipline. I feel that these concerns are justified when I then then log in to YunoJuno on my desktop to edit my profile to see that “Designer” is listed as my discipline … (see Fig. 3 below).

 

IMG_3203

Fig. 1 – Screenshot of the landing screen of the YunoJuno iOS app

IMG_3204

 

Fig. 2 – Screenshot of the freelancer signup form on the YunoJuno iOS app

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 13.06.42

 

Fig. 3 – Screenshot of my profile page on desktop

The remainder of the process feels very straightforward; from uploading my image to highlighting my key strengths. For some reason I seem to have missed completing my recent employment history so despite thinking I’m ready submit my application, I’m gently reminded that I still need to put in my work history (see Fig. 3 below).

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 13.21.09

Fig. 4 – Reminder to complete my work history in order to submit my application

Getting started, what’s the process like (2)  As part of outlining my work history, I need to put in my 3 most recent jobs and put in referees for those jobs. This doesn’t feel an unreasonable request, but I do wonder whether my referees need to say how brilliant I am before I get accepted by YunoJuno!

What are the criteria for getting accepted by YunoJuno? When will I be able to see jobs or be contacted by employers? At this stage of the on boarding process I’m not clear about the process, and I would benefit from a better understanding about next steps. I can also imagine that some applicants might be hesitant to submit the names of a referee for a job that they’re still in (if they’re looking for their next gig). Not knowing how to best go about this, I decide to pause my application for now.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 13.24.59

 

Fig. 5 – Screenshot of referee info on YunoJuno

How does YunoJuno compare to similar services?  YunoJuno feels very similar to the aforementioned Upwork, since both have a clear focus on making it easy as possible to find jobs as a freelancer. I could be wrong, but my perception is that the threshold for freelancers getting on the Upwork platform is lower than YunoJuno.

I was very delighted to see “product management” as a filter within Upwork. Disappointingly though, “Product Management Professionals & Consultants”(see Fig. 6 below) seemed to be exclusively populated by freelance developers.

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 14.54.30

Fig. 6 – Screenshot of freelancers in the “product management” category

From looking at other YunoJuno competitors, it was Toptal that felt the most similar to YunoJuno, as Toptal only offers experienced freelancers. The Toptal homepage states that it has the “top 3% of freelance talent” on its platform. The main difference with YunoJuno, however, is that it only focuses on developers and designers (see Fig. 7 below).

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 14.57.25

Fig. 7 – Screenshot of Toptal signup form

Did the app deliver on my expectations? – As I didn’t complete the application process its hard to say whether YunoJuno delivered on all my expectations, as I didn’t see any freelance jobs to explore. However, YunoJuno is a well designed responsive app and an experience that felt simple, but one that could benefit from more clarity about some of the steps involved.

 

App review: Touchnote

When I was looking at Deloitte’s annual “Fast 50” 2015 winners, I saw that Touchnote, was ranked 9th, based on a 2312% growth rate (!). Touchnote was described as a “postcard sending service” on Deloitte’s listing, which made me curious to learn more about how a postcard sending service can enjoy such phenomenal growth. Let’s have a look at the app in more detail:

My quick summary of the app (before using it) – I expect an app which makes it easy for me to create and send postcards.

How does the app explain itself in the first minute – As soon as I open the app, a modal appears with a picture of a smiley couple wearing Santa hats. The description on the modal screen reads “Christmas cards – Turn photos into beautiful Christmas cards.” It’s clear that the app lets me take my pictures and convert them into postcards.

T1

 

Getting started, what’s the process like – By clicking “next” on the modal screens, I get a good flavour of the different cards and frames I can create through Touchnote. However, once I’ve seen the last modal screen and land on the main screen of the app, I’m not entirely clear about how Touchnote works. For example, I’m not quite clear about how Touchnote’s credit packs work and what the benefit is of buying credits instead of buying per card or set of cards. Also, I’m wondering whether I need to sign in or create a Touchnote account to use the service. However, it’s clear where I need to click to create a (Christmas) card or a framed picture.

T2

 

After indicating that I’m happy for the app to access the pictures on my phone, the process feels very intuitive and straightforward. For example, changing layouts felt very simple. As a user, the last thing I want to do with an app like this is fiddling endlessly with layouts and customisation.

IMG_3101 (1)

Again, selecting, rotating images, adding a caption and selecting an address – it all feels very easy and I end up with a postcard that I’m happy with.

IMG_3107

 

I’m now told that I need to buy 1 credit to buy (and send?) the card, but it looks like I need to sign up with Touchnote to be able to do that. Why can’t I use Touchnote as a guest? It would be great if I could sign up at a later stage when I’m clearer about the quality of the service and about how Touchnote works.

IMG_3108

Payment through Touchnote feels very easy, even though I would have liked to have know about the price of 1 credit prior to arriving at the payment screen. All in all, a very easy and seamless purchase process, followed by a nice confirmation email in my inbox.

IMG_3109 (1)

How does the app compare to similar apps? – Out of the similar apps that I looked at, Postdroid felt the least elegant. Apart from struggling to manipulate images, the thing that struck me most is that the first screen on the Postdroid app is a login one, which doesn’t make me feel particularly welcome to say the least. In contrast, creating a postcard through Postino felt just as easy as doing it through Touchnote, the main difference being that Postino lets you choose from a number of borders to add to the picture, so that you don’t have to have to worry about empty spaces or padding.

IMG_3116

Did the app deliver on my expectations? – The whole process of creating a postcard through Touchnote felt incredibly easy, and I wondered whether Touchnote are looking to apply this seamless experience to personalising and sending other items such as mugs or plant pots (yes, plant pots). Given how easy the Touchnote app was to use, I was wondering why the app doesn’t work harder on explaining early on how pricing works or why it doesn’t let customers purchase cards as a guest. But yes, all in all, the app definitely did deliver on my expectations.

 

Tags: , , ,

Learning more about EdTech (1)

I’m currently doing an online course, learning more about UX design, and I’ve already provided my course provider some feedback on how they can improve their online course experience … I guess I can’t help myself. This experience prompted me to look into the education tech or the “EdTech” space a bit more, starting by checking out both popular educational apps and technology trends within this space. In this post, I’ll have a closer look at three popular educational apps in Udemy, Lynda.com and Khan Academy.

Udemy

Udemy’s motto is “Online Course Anytime, Anywhere.” It’s a purely online service, offering over 32,000 courses on any device to over 8 million students. For example, I’m currently learning about creating prototypes using Axure, and Udemy offers an online course on how to best use this tool (see Fig. 1 and 2 below). Compared to some of the online courses which I’ve done previously – on design thinking and gamification for example – the Udemy approach feels quite interactive, offering more opportunities for students to interact with their instructor (see example in Fig. 3 below).

Fig. 1 – Screenshot of “Mastering Axure RP 7: UX Design Prototyping” by Udemy on iOS

 

IMG_2966

 

Fig. 2 – Screenshot of “Mastering Axure RP 7: UX Design Prototyping” by Udemy on desktop

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 08.00.22

 

Fig. 3 – Screenshot of Discussion about “Mastering Axure RP 7: UX Design Prototyping” by Udemy on iOS

 

IMG_2967

Lynda.com

Earlier this year Lynda.com got acquired by LinkedIn and it felt like a significant acquisition. Similar to Udemy, Lynda.com enables “On-the-go learning”, making it easy for students to switch between devices and operating systems. The two features I like on Lynda.com is that one can preview a specific course (see Fig. 4 below) and the way in which related or suggested courses are displayed, both on desktop and on mobile (see Fig. 5 below).

Fig. 4 – Screenshot of  “Google Analytics Essential Training” by Lynda.com on desktop

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 12.46.52

 

Fig. 5 – Screenshot of suggested courses to look as part of the “Web” Category on Lynda.com on iOS

 

IMG_2969

Khan Academy

Whereas Udemy and Lynda.com are aimed at slightly older audiences, the mission of Khan Academy is to offer “A personalised learning resources for all ages.” The story of Salman Khan who started out by posted his math video tutorials on YouTube in 2004 is well published. This eventually turned into a well established platform which teaches maths and other topics to kids from a kindergarten age and beyond. For example, when I watched a video about the basics of adding and subtracting, it felt very intuitive and I could see how I could use this video to teach my two young boys (see Fig. 6 below).

Fig.6 – Screenshot of “Addition and subtraction” video on Khan Academy iOS app 

IMG_2970

 

Main learning point: Even by just looking at these three apps, Udemy, Lynda.com and Khan Academy, I feel that there’s so much opportunity for educational providers to create new digital products and services, offering students personalised learning experiences.

Related links for further learning:

  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/schoolboard/2015/05/11/the-only-metric-that-measures-the-success-of-education-technology/
  2. http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/trends/2053-trends-in-educational-technology
  3. http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2015/06/iste-2015-6-tech-trends-educations-horizon-2015-2020
  4. http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/03/teachers-will-embrace-students-smartphone-addiction-in-2015/
  5. http://blog.capterra.com/best-elearning-apps-businesses/
  6. http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/
  7. https://press.linkedin.com/site-resources/news-releases/2015/linkedin-to-acquire-lyndacom
  8. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2015/04/28/what-linkedins-acquisition-of-lynda-means-for-talent-management/
 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 1, 2015 in Digital Content, EdTech

 

Tags: , ,

App review: WeSwap

It’s all about the “sharing economy” these days. Think Uber, Airbnb and JustPark. Sharing is starting to become a ‘thing’ in the finance sector too; TransferWise is a good example in this respect. I recently came across WeSwap, which is a peer-to-peer travel money exchange service founded two years ago. I decided to review the WeSwap app and these are some of my findings:

  1. How did the app come to my attention? – I recently read an article in the Financial Times, titled “Travel money venture cashes in peer-to-peer cash.” WeSwap got quite a lot of coverage in the article and that’s how I found out about it.
  2. My quick summary of the app (before using it)? – Similar to the model behind TransferWise, I believe WeSwap helps people to exchange currencies without having to pay hefty bank fees.
  3. How does the app explain itself in the firs minute? – Before entering the actual WeSwap app, I see a screen which states “WeSwap helps you save on your travel money.” This is followed by the explanation “by swapping your money with other travelers, travelling in the opposite direction (see Fig. 1 below).”
  4. Getting started, what’s the process like (1)? – Despite the app being a bit slow to load, the account creation process felt very intuitive, clean and nicely laid out (see Fig. 2 below). I did feel a little bit of confused as I thought account creation was going to be a 1-step process (see Fig. 3 below). However, after I’d submitted my email and and password, I got a screen which showed a 3-step account creation progress bar at the top (see Fig. 4 below). I then had to give up on the the account creation process, as I was doing this on the go and didn’t have personal ID files that I could upload, nor was I fully clear on why this was necessary to create an account (see Fig. 5 below).
  5. Getting started, what’s the process like (2)? – From the screenshots that I’ve looked at (see Fig. 5), the WeSwap interfaces and interactions feel very clear and intuitive. What I couldn’t test, however, was how self-explanatory the “swaps” and “loads” are. I believe that the ability to explain the currency ‘swaps’ to casual users will be critical to the success and adoption of WeSwap.
  6. How does the app compare to similar apps?Currencyfair and Kantox offer a service similar to WeSwap. However, they don’t seem to have a mobile app. Transferwise, another WeSwap competitor, do offer a mobile app. The TransferwWise app feels very accessible, and is focused on being easy to use.
  7. Did the app deliver on my expectations? – I feel I can’t really answer this question, having given up during the account creation process. The way the app presents itself in the first few screens feels very intuitive and simple, but I hadn’t expected the sign-up process to feel as onerous as it did. That could just be me and not the app, but it did stop me from using the app on the go.

Fig. 1 – Screenshot of WeSwap opening screen (when using the app for the first time)

IMG_2797

Fig. 2 – Screenshot of account creation process in WeSwap 

IMG_2807

Fig. 3 – Screenshot of account creation process in WeSwap – Step 1 

IMG_2808

 

Fig. 4 – Screenshot of account creation process in WeSwap – Step 2

IMG_2811

Fig. 4 – Screenshot of account creation process in WeSwap – Step 3

IMG_2812

 

Fig. 5 – WeSwap screenshots – Taken from: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.weswap.app

WeSwap 1

 

WeSwap 2

 

Tags: , , , ,