Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Smoothly does it

Two weeks ago we had a kick off meeting with a credit card client here in Brussels and I had my key team members for each market in town to meet the client. All arrived on Sunday and I made a delicious family Sunday dinner with wine, dessert and a cake to celebrate my wife tolerating 11 years of marriage to me.

On finishing dinner, Varinder went to prepare the cake while I brought my laptop to the table to demo the App and web App. I had my iPhone at the ready and the website displayed on my screen.

My colleagues, slightly too relaxed after all the wine we had downed, looked on.

Me - So here I am videoing you all and the food on the table... Now I click 'use'... now I choose the poject... the themes... and click 'send'! And in a second we'll see the entry appear on the website.

The team - *Eyes on stalks*

Me - *Confident smile*

Me 4 minutes later - *Less confident smile*

Me 7 minutes later - *Head clouds up*

Then something happened to me. I snapped. I jumped on the phone to the developers. I forgot about the cake Varinder brought to the table to celebrate our anniversary. I forgot about our guests.

Me to developers - I though you tested this?

Developers - We did! And so did you! Have you checked your log in details?

Me - They are correct.

I went to settings and re-checked. All looked fine.

Then came the words which completely embarrassed me.

Developers - Log in is case sensitive!

I checked settings again to find I had used upper case with the first letter of my email address and password. By then two hours had elapsed, colleagues had left for their B&B for the night and Varinder was in bed.

But I was so relieved and happy that it was not an API issue or something even more horrible.

The App works! It works so well that I have started to worry about other things to do with capturing events. Concerns such as: how good will users be at holding the camera steady? Might sound trivial but most video cameras are stabilised. The iPhone, Blackberry and Android are not. Shaky video is incredibly painful to watch and analyse. Especially when you have hours to go through. And although it is possible to smooth video over using Final Cut and the like, it's another layer of time and money which the app designed to eliminate.

Last week I jumped on the call to my Denmark director. I wanted to know how good our people would be at filming with these devices. I also mentioned that there was nothing even remotely helpful to do with filming tips on Google using iPhones. And that we had an opportunity to create a 'how to' film for videoing with the App and devices.

The problem isn't fixed place filming where you can stand in one place and hold steady. What was worrying me was when we had to follow people around. Every time I tried to film and walk the result was all over the place.

Bernabe (Denmark director) reassured me that there was no problem with filming on the move and that it would be easy to teach respondents too.

Make me a film; show me, I asked.

Below is a short clip he sent me using the App. See what you think. I'm pretty happy with it. Question is: what will people use more - photos or video? Watch this space.


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