My iPhone 5 stopped charging the other day (the Thunderbolt dock failed), so I made a Genius Bar appointment, and they handed me a new phone and sent me on my way. In five minutes I was back up and running as the phone restored itself from my iCloud backup. Though I had 10GB of data to recover, my settings, contacts and text log came down immediately, and (with the exception of my still-downloading apps and content) I had full use of my device. I texted Justin about how thrilled I was with the outcome, and he responded, “It just works.” He’d gone through the exact same experience the week before.
The Secondary Experience
It dawned on me that I’d just had an excellent secondary experience. If the primary experience of a product is its intended use (making calls and using apps, for example), then the secondary experiences are all the functions that support the primary experience (setting up, dealing with problems, etc.). Instead of “just working”, my phone had just broken, and it was the customer service — and a deceptively-simple-feeling backup infrastructure — that had made my day by turning a potentially disruptive event into a painless business transaction. Someone had correctly anticipated the path I would take and had smoothed it out perfectly for me, no doubt at significant development cost.
Read more on Making it “Just Work” – UX for Secondary Experiences…
As developers, we prefer to automate wherever possible. Usually we automate computers, but it’s also possible to automate humans. Humans, after all, come with their own built-in automation system called “habit formation,” and we can cultivate helpful habits if we understand how habits form. Here’s an example from personal experience.
At Atomic Object, we’re very dedicated to test-driven development. The project I’m currently working on has 113 files of tests for a project with 154 files of logical code. Most code files are verified by a corresponding test file, so it’s important to update the appropriate tests before making changes to the code. Coming from a project that put more emphasis on full-stack integration tests rather than file-by-file unit tests, it was easy to forget to update the unit tests before diving into the code. Correcting this tendency required a bit of habit hacking.
Charles Duhigg’s excellent book The Power of Habit lays out a three-step framework for forming a habit. First, you need a trigger, something that cues you to carry out a routine. When you finish the routine, you need to receive a reward. Once you know the trigger, the routine, and the reward, the habit will start to form.
Read more on How to Automate Your Human – Forming Good Development Habits…
ReapSo, the latest Atomic Object-designed iOS app, has hit Apple’s App Store and is now offering rewards to customers at 30 participating businesses in the Detroit area.
With the free ReapSo app, users visit participating businesses, scan codes called ReapTags with their mobile phones, and win deals and collectible media items. They can also get rewards through ReapSo’s website and social media.
ReapSo is currently offering rewards through 30 businesses in Royal Oak — including restaurants, boutiques, and pet salons — plus a handful of merchants in Detroit, Southfield, and Troy. And the list is growing fast.
Read more on Atomic Delivers ReapSo, a Unique Rewards App for iPhone…
Atomic Object engages with customers of all types and sizes. Each project is a little or a lot different from projects we’ve completed in the past. Beyond the different problem domains, technical challenges, and design needs there are different customers. Different customer cultures. Different sizes. Different organizational structures. Different personalities. Each customer needs to be engaged in a unique way and while we work to solve technical challenges, design great user interfaces, and uphold standards of quality we also adapt our engagement style and responsibilities to the specific needs of each customer. This is one story of how we adapted to the needs of one specific customer, taking the pain out of and streamlining the process of building a new software product. Read more on Project Stories: HealthInSite…
Atomic commonly uses story maps for organizing application features and release planning. In a story map, we include all tasks necessary to complete an activity that meets a user’s goal. When designing features that help users accomplish their tasks, we occasionally find it is best allow users to accomplish some tasks outside of the software application.
Read more on Manual Override…
Pomegranate Studios, the masterminds behind the international ArtPrize contest, worked closely with Atomic Object to develop an application to let voters use their iPhone to participate in the event.
ArtPrize is a radically open competition where the winner is decided by public voting. Starting on September 23rd, the contest will run for two weeks with the final winner announced on October 8th.
Read more on iPhone, Meet ArtPrize…
Posted in Project Stories Tagged iOS
Just today someone told us he heard you can’t do real development in Ruby. Funny – the AGI Goldratt Institute paid us a whole bunch of money for nothing then. It must be that their brand new, multi-platform, JRuby-based desktop simulation app doesn’t exist. Pity.
Read more on Ruby for Desktop Applications? Yes we can….
More client news:
The idea came to Rick DeVos while he listened to church leaders describe how they were going to use email to help people get involved in church activities.
Read more on TheCommon.org in the News…
So far the 2-year-old firm based out of Franklin has three full-time employees and has raised more than $1.3 million in seed money from venture capital firms and angel investors.
Read more on CircleBuilder in the News…
We started working with a really interesting new client recently, Realius. Realius is a new gaming site specializing in Fantasy Real Estateâ„¢. We’re their application development team.
Realius’ Fantasy Real Estate games use real-world data to drive the games. Realius has some big plans and cool ideas; it will be really interesting to see how things unfold. A significant update to their first game Price Me Nowâ„¢ will be available soon. See their website and blog.
Read more on Realius & Fantasy Real Estate…