Archive for July, 2005

I was trying to remember the name of this company the other day…


Nothing epitomized the dot com era more than Kozmo.com. You could order a
candy bar online and they’d deliver it in an hour. I can’t imagine why this business
model didn’t work.

Oh how I miss the fun and innocence of the late 90’s.

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When will a designer take on the challenge of making a wheelchair that looks
great? Instead, everywhere you look, they are made of harsh looking metals and
awkward moving parts. It’s wonderful that people are trying to develop a chair
that makes life easier for the handicapped but does it have to look like some
strange robotic gizmo? What would this same chair look like if Apple or Herman
Miller designed it?

Picture taken from Mike Davidson’s Blog

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The next frontier for web access is from our cars. This has the potential to
drastically change how web developers build sites.

Most automotive manufacturers provide navigation systems with touch screen
displays. Now imagine using the web on this screen. The possibilities of this
technology are endless. You could pull into a drive through and place and pay for
your order from your car. You could spend the day traveling and use your GPS to
book a hotel room in an upcoming city. You could view the upcoming gas stations
in the next town and view gas prices before deciding where to stop. Of course
these great new opportunities have the potential to expose several design flaws
with web.

Over the past several years minimum screen resolution has increased but with
in-car touch screens the resolution will decrease both horizontally and vertically.
This makes it more important than ever to build your site using style sheets that
can alter the look of your site based on the display device.

Usability is another factor that needs to be taken seriously. Sites will need to be
designed to take advantage of voice recognition and screen readers. Screen
readers like JAWS still remain outside of most site development plans. Although
a significant number of people rely upon this software to use the web every day,
many sites are not built to support it. In car web navigation may be what is
needed to push screen reader development into the mainstream.

Navigation and layout will be another factor in site development. With touch
screens, mouse-over effects will become more annoying than useful. We’ll have
to rethink how we navigate people through the site. Less content on more pages
will reduce screen scrolling but overwhelm navigation. The right balance will have
to be found. Large font sizes and line spacing should be used but this too will
reduce the amount of content on the screen.

Over the next couple of years we’ll be entering a very exciting frontier on the web.
Web access from the car will drastically change how we view site design and
development and open up all kinds of new business potential. I can’t wait for this
to happen.

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Alex Barnett blogs about the continuing decline in email open rates.


The worst part about this for email marketers is that this is based on the open
rate. Open rates are a biased number to begin with. You have no idea if the
person read your email or if it popped up in the Outlook preview panel before the
person deleted it.

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