Experiencing spotme at UPA Europe

The first European UPA conference is over right now. I enjoyed three inspiring days in Turin and met several people I already knew and saw some new faces. It gave me the chance to collect lots of feedback and new ideas for pidoco° that we will have to discuss once I’m back in Berlin.

One major learning regarding pidoco° was that without a demo, it is hard to sell. You really have to focus on the main advantages and be able to present them in a short way. Especially, if a competing product is presented right next to you, it is crucial that within the few minutes that you have, your audience knows how to distinguish both products. For the next time, I will spend some more time to be better prepared.

When having a look at the conference program you will see that there have been several people coming from different continents. This made the conference even more international and provided the European community with good insights into best practices of world leading companies. Thorsten from eResult mentions two sessions in the usability blog (in German) with which I just agree.

However, besides the sessions there were these litte devices that every attendee got upon registration: spotme. These are handheld devices with a non-touch screen some few navigation buttons and a keyboard for writing text. They were stuffed with all the information you need for the conference: a list of attendees with photos, the up-to-date program, the conference proceedings, maps of Turin, etc. Using the spotme device, you can write messages to other attendees, exchange virtual business cards, spot certain people or get informed once they are close to you, you can make appointments, and you can receive news from the staff including feedback questionnaires. All together makes it a very interesting device to play with during the whole conference. I think there was not anybody who didn’t play with the spotme device.

As everything has also its disadvantages, I’m still wondering whether I will get the business cards that I exchanges. I was promised to receive an email sometime next week with all my data. And this made me think the whole conference: why is spotme only useful with having this device? Why is there no online experience before, during and after an event? Before the conference I would liked to have a look at who else is coming to make some appointments for the pre-conference evening. During the conference it would be nice to be able to see you collected business cards online to be sure to really have them. This would encourage people to use spotme event more extensively, because many people doubted to really get their data. And the experience after the conference might start next week, although I have no clue what to expect.

Therefore, I will wait to receive this email in order to have the opportunity to stay in touch with some people. Depending on how this experience will be, I might ask spotme for an offer for our UXcamp next year, because the device itself was fun to use.

UPA Europe in Turin

On Wednesday I will fly to Turin in Italy to attend the first european UPA conference. I am sure that it will be a very interesting event with many people to meet and sessions to attend. pidoco° will also be presented in a poster session.

To me, this conference will be a special event, since it is the first time that I can tell people that we have a product on the market. Up to now it was always about talking to people about this project and our Prototype Creator in beta phase. Right now, we have launched the new web site, we opened registration to the public, and everybody is invited to use pidoco° for prototyping.

In case you are attending the UPA Europe as well, feel free to leave a message (volker at pidoco.com) and I’d be happy to meet you in Turin.

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…