Events for this week

This week is packed with some interesting events i’ll be attending:

The Web 2.0 Expo Europe is coming up and the guys at lifestream.fm and at TechWeb thought it is time to party. One week before the official start of the Web 2.0 Expo there will be the Pre-Web 2.0 Expo Europe Drinkup on Tuesday evening in Mitte.

Thursday will be a very interesting event for all upcoming founders. The HPI.Connect student club is hosting a full day Startup Workshop with many speakers from a VC, several support programs for entrepreneurs, and a divers list of founders (including myself). This will give you a nice overview on the different ways of funding the first months of your company.

The weekend is the huge BarCamp Berlin 3. With over 600 registered attendees this one will be equally big as the BarCamp Block in Palo Alto last year. And I guess it won’t be any less fun. We’re still thinking about giving a presentation, maybe on some JavaScript stuff. We’ll see…

Whether or not we’ll meet this week, have a nice one!

A new face at pidoco°

Since today we are happy to have Philipp working full time from our office in Berlin. Although he has accompanied the company for a while, he was busy finishing his studies the past months. Working together in one place will ease the communication a lot.

Since our students are occupying the office during the next two weeks, he had to move to our kitchen. But it wouldn’t be a successful startup if the CEO doesn’t work at a kitchen table. 😉

Welcome aboard, Philipp!

EuroIA 2008

Last weekend I attended the EuroIA in Amsterdam. EuroIA 2008 was a conference about Information Architecture. Besides professional information architects the conference addressed project managers and application developers, too. These target groups often need to structure information or create taxonomies.

The conference was a great experience for me. Most talks and sessions had quite practical topics, which is why I learnt a lot during these two days. Being a developer I found many intersections with computer science. Often IA and IT examine very similar problems and just address them from a slightly different angle. I am sure that both of us can learn a lot from each other if we dare to look beyond our own nose.

Presentations ranged from very good overviews about current methods and techniques like Chiara Fox’s “Content Analysis” to cutting edge and future trends in personalization in “I’m not you” by Bogo Vatovecca. In the next days you’ll find most of the slides presented at the conference on slideshare tagged by euroIA2008. You’ll find some nice pictures in Stefans flickr stream.

Apart from learning I met a lot of exciting people and had some interesting chats. So thanks to the organization team for the conference to proceed so smoothly and to the IA community for sharing this informative event.

Silvan

pidoco° as a Desktop App?

Almost. However, if you do not have Firefox or Safari installed on your Windows machine, or if you do not have the necessary rights to install either of these browsers, then the pidoco.exe is the solution for you. Simply download and run the file on your windows desktop.

Download and execute pidoco° from your desktop:

Get pidoco° for your desktop

Requires Windows 2000 and newer, and a connection to the internet. Administrator rights are not required.

What is inside? The .exe file contains a lightweight browser called Prism from Mozilla, which is extracted to your temp folder and opened with the pidoco° page. Nothing will be installed on your machine and you do not need any administrative rights to run pidoco°. The file does not contain any viruses, malware or spyware.

How to crash Safari

Sometimes, life as a web developer is not that easy. Especially when dealing with browser issues that have to be bypassed somehow. And some issues are rather critical, because they lead to an entire browser crash. However, it feels good if you can locate the bug and find a solution.

During the past weeks it may have occurred that your Safari crashed while visiting pidoco°. Today, we installed a bug fix in both the preview and the productive version, which is supposed to prevent Safari from crashing.

Although the source of the problem was not in our code, we don’t mind if you are angry about our tool as long as you tell us whenever you feel something is going wrong with pidoco°. You can use the feedback form within the editor or send an email to contact (at) pidoco.com. Otherwise we have no chance to fix the problem.

Luckily, our system is designed to store all your data instantaneously. This way, you cannot loose any work except for up to 5 seconds. You don’t have to worry about your work, although it is annoying to see a browser crashing.

For the ones that are interested in the details: SVG includes the use-tag which allows for duplicating certain shapes by reference rather than copying them. However, the rendering engine of Safari and Chrome, WebKit, has a problem if the referenced shape is modified via JavaScript. In our case we changed the css class which lead to the crash.

A first conclusion

Being back in Berlin and having unpacked our car, we can draw a first conclusion of our first conference as a sponsor: judging from now it was a very successful time in Lübeck. We had many fruitful discussions and have talked to many more interested people than we expected.

We would like to thank all the attendants for the inspiring feedback. We started evaluating all the ideas we got and couldn’t stop discussing different ways to implement them. Therefore, you can be sure to see new features based on your suggestions.

Even during the conference we had the first ones to open their free account of pidoco°. Please be aware that our Prototype Creator is currently only fully functional in Firefox. With Safari and Opera we still have some issues to solve. However, the best way to help us discovering all bugs and support us in solving them is to send us feedback. You can use the feedback form that we included into the editor.

Thanks again for these great days in Lübeck and hope to see you all at some of the upcoming events like the BarCamps in Munich or Berlin, the World Usability Day, or the UPA Europe conference in Turin.

Others use Powerpoint, we use pidoco°

Yesterday we had a very successful presentation here in Lübeck with about 60 attendants. Thank you for having attended our session.

In this session we made an experiment with our tool: Tino used a prototype as presentation slides and was able to integrate the prototyping features within the presentation. After all, we got the feedback that it was great that we used our tool and showed a real demo instead of just some powerpoint slides.

So next time you need some slides, use pidoco° 😉

Thanks again for all the feedback after the session.

Live at Mensch und Computer

After some work this morning our booth is ready for all the visitors. We have set up the live collaboration of the Prototype Creator, such that you can see on our second laptop what we are presenting at the first one. We are excited to get the first feedback for this feature, since we have installed the feature on friday.

In addition, we are playing the Usability Quartet. It is definitively fun to play this game. From time to time we will post the highscore in here. Come over and play with us!

Remember: on monday, 4pm, Tino will present our tool in room AMS2. Hope to see you there!

New Features II: Image Cropping

The second feature I would like to present is image cropping. At first I didn’t see the big value and Tino had to convince me to focus on this feature. But having used image cropping it is lightning fast to assemble a prototype out of a sample image of interaction elements.

The screenshot below shows in the center the stencil image in its full size. Around this image there are four copies of the same image with different cropping. When you have opened the editor, set the url of an image to your favorite stencils. Then start resizing the image. By pressing the shift key you keep the ratio of the image. By pressing the control button you start cropping the image. You can start cropping or resizing and to both actions in any order for several times until you have the right section of the image.

In case you need a button, take such an image, select the right section and then use a click area on top. The click area then specifies the target of the fake button. No matter whether you use some iPhone stencils, your own design, or the corporate design of your customer, it is very easy to get a prototype with some initial graphical design.

Use image cropping and accelerate your prototyping!