Thursday, August 23, 2012

Still on holiday

Scene captured by me at a market in the city of Tours.

I have been away for too long.

Ten days of camping near Tours in France with the kids followed by 5 days of husband and wife time, without kids, in guest house up in the mountains South East of Granada, Spain. And I'm here in this guest house now typing this post. Thinking about work. Thinking about my trip to Jakarta in a week to kick start a new project with a new client. And thinking about the bunch of new EthOS features we have been working on including a new, from the ground up, app.

Holidays are incredibly useful. In my case, I can decompress yet work and be more creative than I can be at any other time of year. Because I am given the time and space to reflect by people who think I am on holiday and not to be disturbed.

So let me share with you some of the thinking I have been doing which I may or may not develop further in future posts:

1) EthOS works by INVITING people to projects. Why can't it work by having the project already EMBEDDED into it so respondents download the app ready to go? Thousands of people download and complete tasks...

2) EthOS is a research tool; ask people to capture a video or answer a question and respondents oblige and send their entries through. Why can't we ask people, using the approach described above (1), to help solve problems or come up with new ideas?

3) We know that friends and family members looking in on respondent research outputs raise fantastic questions/observations/commets we would never have known to explore. We needs to formalise this as a feature.

4) The app must become untethered from the website to allow respondents to participate in projects without ever having to visit the website. We are close to making this happen with a phase one app being released in weeks.

5) Visceral sliders are something we have talked about but yet to implement. Imagine completing an entry and being able to instantly move a slider along a 'Starving' to 'Full up' or 'Happy' to 'Sad' axis. In an instant. And make the outputs filterable. This will be spliced into the new app. Probably in phase 3.

6) A word search engine with clever features such as word trees and other interesting visualisations.

7) Release API's so anyone can build technology to interface with ours. This has been discussed, agreed and will definitely happen. But not in 2012.

8) Why shouldn't respondents have control over their content and even charge for its use once a project has been completed? Hold this thought as we are working on a feature which will turn the issue of respondents permissions, privacy and right-to-forget, on its head.

An important note to end on. It is so tempting to look at competitors and see what it is they are working on and get into some kind of features arms race. I don't even want to see what the competition are up to (clients tell me what they are up to anyway). My strategy is to simply watch how EthOS and non-mobile projects are run by different users and focus on articulated and unarticulated needs.

More coming soon.


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