pidoco° in T3N magazine

Today we received a copy of the T3N magazine. At first, we were surprised, because nobody ordered it. But then Silvan discovered the section on open source and web 2.0 tools. There is a short article on our Prototype Creator. Although it has only some few sentences it describes our tool quite well. However, we’re no more for free, on Monday we are launching the paid version. (Except for those who already have an account.)

Besides this article the T3N in general is a high quality magazine. In case you are interested in latest open source and web technology, this might be worth reading. The sections include news, a cover section (this time web x.0), business (with a lot on start-ups), magazine, technology, and content management. They have some interviews (e.g. with Lukasz Gadowski), many articles, and a few interesting workshops.

Our BarCamp HH Session

This weekend it was BarCamp time again. We enjoyed two wonderful days in Hamburg. Although I didn’t attend that many sessions, there were some quite interesting ones. For example, Malte showed us the Joose meta object system for JavaScript. I was quite impressed by the work they did. If we hadn’t written that much JavaScript already, this is definitively worth considering to use.

On Sunday, I gave a session as well. I used the slides of Ellen Reitmayr and Tino from their World Usability Day Workshop some days ago, which you can see below. Again we were able to fill the room with lots of interested people. And just in BarCamp style, there was no problem at all to have an interactive session. Judging from the feedback we got, there will be several people coming back to pidoco° on December 1st when we officially launch the Prototype Creator.

However, a BarCamp wouldn’t be such a great event if there were no organizing team and sponsors in the background. Thanks for the great venue, especially the food was excellent! And special thanks to Christian for hosting us.

New Release – Live Collaboration

We just deployed a new release for both our productive and our preview installation. Among several bug fixes and minor improvements we finally opened the live collaboration for all users. Already several months ago we showed this feature at the Mensch und Computer in Lübeck, we used it in our own projects quite a while and now it is up to our beta testers to enjoy this feature. From within the prototype repository you can send invitation mails to your fellows. As long as they already own an account, they will receive access rights to the shared prototype and you can start collaborating.

When we decide on the next steps in development we try our best to figure out what our users really need next. Since this can be quite difficult with some ideas, we opened an account on uservoice. With your help we can now see what the real needs are and develop the most important things first. You can access our feedback forum from this blog post or by using the feedback dialog within the Prototype Creator. Go on and vote!

CfP of German IA Conference 2009

 16 und 17 Mai

Yesterday I saw that the Call for Papers for the German IA Conference 2009 in Hamburg is open. You have time until January 15th next year to submit a presentation (30min), workshop (2-3h), or poster proposal. The conference will be May 16th and 17th. For more information please have a look at www.iakonferenz.org

I’m sure we from pidoco° will be there as well, although we have not yet decided to submit a proposal. However, after the good feedback from our workshop at the World Usability Day, which Tino gave together with Ellen Reitmayr, it could be interesting to give a similar workshop in Hamburg as well.

After the World Usability Day

Thu, 2008-11-13 22:41 — volker.gersabeck

While others might still go on, the World Usability Day 2008 in Berlin is already over right now. It has been a quite intense day, being part of the organizing team and having to run our booth at the same time.

In my role as organizer I have to say, it was a great day. We had more than 250 people attending, a whole bunch of good sessions (workshops and presentations), a great location, and an invaluable team of helpers. The experiment with the evening session, the live expert review of web applications was very entertaining and I’d say to some extent informative, a success. And it was the only session I was able to attend.

Judging from the other role, a sponsor and exhibitor, I was reminded of the Mensch und Computer in Lübeck in September. We had so many people coming to visit the booth and to see the Prototype Creator in action, it was awesome. We enjoyed many excellent, because critical discussions. There might be some projects starting together with other Berlin web companies. Let’s see what future brings…

During the next days there should be some photos coming up on flickr (search for wudberlin2008) and ID-Media has collected lots of footage and will compile some nice videos of today.

World Usability Day and IACamp in Berlin

This week there will be two very exciting events in Berlin. At first, on Thursday is the World Usability Day (German site, world wide site), which will be celebrated with a full day of presentations and workshops. One room will be open for the audience to give a session in Barcamp style. We have invited the guys from the tentable project to present their multi-touch table.

Some highlights from the program:

  • Keynote by Aaron Day, iconmobile
  • “User Experience for Dummies”-workshop by Darryl Feldman, Deutsche Telekom and Henning Fritzenwalder, hfux
  • Frank Hohenschuh, SirValUse presents “Usability goes Web 2.0”
  • our own workshop, together with Ellen Reitmayr, PhaseZero on “Vom Whiteboard zum Klick-Dummy – Konsistente Konzeption ohne Programmierung”
  • the evening session “Live-Expert-Reviews”, ad-hoc expert reviews of web projects by leading usability experts from Berlin

In addition, there will be a bunch of companies presenting their products, including us from pidoco°.

The next day, Friday, there will be the first IA InfoCamp in Germany. I’m sure Sabine Stoessel and Jan Jursa have organised a great venue for the InfoCamper to make it an even better day.

Have a nice week and see you on either of the events!

Rabbit Prototyping

Today, I discovered in our web stats that there has been a visitor coming to our page with the keyword “rabbit prototyping”. A quick search on google resulted in the following description of the term: “Rabbit Prototyping is a description for diverse processes of rapid prototyping, which are used in the production of hollow molds for chocolate.” [cite]

This is based on an article of the German science magazine Spektrum der Wissenschaft called Ostern kommt immer so plötzlich (Easter always is so suddenly).

Although our name might suggest, we have not been designed for those hollow molds. Nevertheless, we like the resulting products of rabbit prototyping.

Happy Easter!

Impressions of the BarCamp Berlin

The BarCamp Berlin3 is over now. It was a quite intense weekend with lots of interesting people to meet and some good sessions to attend. At first, I’d like to thank the orga team: well done! I don’t want to blame you for the fact that the sessions were somehow noisy. I liked that you could come and go without interrupting the presentation. Another thing I like pretty much were the 30min breaks between the sessions. They gave enough time to meet and network and I never had the feeling to be late for a session.

What I really liked was the Lounge area (see photos below). It was definitively enough space to host all the people. I pretty much enjoyed this event. However, one thing stuck out: until now we usually went to people telling them of pidoco°. At the BarCamp it was the other way around. People were coming to us, saying they heard of us somewhere and liked to get a demo, an account, or just had a question. That felt great.

So far about my first impressions right after the BarCamp. And now the pl0gbar at St. Oberholz…

How everything began…

It was the evening of the 16th of October 2006 when a group of students gathered in lecture hall 3 of the HPI building. Professor Wagner was teaching the first lesson of “entrepreneurship”. We were faced with the fact that throughout the course the students had to write a business plan in groups of two or three students. This should be a document describing how a fictive or real startup should be set up.

During this lecture I was not yet sure whether I really wanted to stay and write this business plan or maybe choose a different lecture. I had no clue with whom to do this, because several friends did this lecture the year before. However, right after the lecture I received an email of Tino Truppel. I barely knew him from his job as a student representative. He asked whether I wanted to attend the lecture and whether I would be interested in forming a group with him.

The next day I answered that I was not yet 100 percent sure, but we should definitively meet. By these two mails, the project was started. Well, not exactly as we had not yet any business idea for the startup. Though we had some vague project ideas that could be interesting, all of them proved to be not the big thing for a startup. After some weeks of inspiration and brainstorming we agreed on the fourth idea: some kind of prototyping tool where you could do some usability testing. Sounds familiar? Yes, in fact, it didn’t change that much since then.

After the semester we had a business plan, and we pitched in front of Eran Davidson, the VC of Hasso Plattner Ventures and co-lecturer. Having spent a lot of time into the project and being quite confident that it was worth a try, we convinced Silvan to join in and the lecture task of writing a business plan became a project that should lead to our very own company.

Today is the 16th of October 2008. It has been two years since that first lecture at HPI. I even found the initial mail of Tino somewhere deep inside my mail client. And at first, I couldn’t believe that it is already two years that we are working on the Prototype Creator. Time has passed so fast and we learned so much in these past two years, incredible.

And today, I would like to thank Tino for this initial mail, since it was the beginning of the best project I’ve been with and it lead to a team that is so much fun to work with. Thank you, Tino!

BarCamp Munich 08

Last Weekend I went to BarCamp Munich 08. BarCamps are social events where web-related people, bloggers, developers and others meet for a so-called “unconference”. You’ll find a lot of presentations, discussions and workshops there and every participant is invited to give a session himself, no matter whether it is about technical, social or other aspects of the web.

BarCamps are free to all participants. The organization of such an event is a big logistical and financial task. At pidoco° we support those events that strengthen the community and enjoy taking part ourselves, so we decided to contribute back as an official sponsor and as an active helper. So I spent a few hours at the coffee booth to support Sonntagmorgen, who could not come themselves but served the Barcamp with their delicious coffee.

At the booth – and all around the camp – I got to talk to a lot of people, new contacts as well as friends from past events. It was a nice surprise to meet a few people who already knew pidoco°. Later I managed to take part in some sessions, too. There was a quite interesting discussion about user experience in general (you’ll find a good summary in Hendrik’s blog in German language) and good technical presentations e.g. about scaling and monitoring web applications.

Two young Germans, Rizqi and Robert, impressed me with their talk about chain.js, an extension to the Javascript library JQuery. Using chain.js you can link Html-Dom objects with plain JavaScript objects dynamically: when an object changes a property, the linked counterpart will be updated as well. This automatism simplifies a lot of work for developers of interactive web sites.

To my perception the BarCamp Munich 08 was a big success with a top location and great organizers. Steffen and his whole team were always around and did an extraordinary job. Next week end there’ll be BarCamp Berlin 09. This time I’ll be there “just” as participant. So I hope to take part in more sessions this time and maybe give one or two myself.

Silvan