Today’s brief covers user-experience obsessed companies and how they are successful, why the iPad is called the new iPad, getting discounts based on the size of your social network, why Pinterest is so successful, a new visual travel planner, and more. Read on!
1. Social Passport is launching a slew of new features, just in time for SXSW. One of the most interesting, however, is the “More Friends, More Savings” feature, where your discount at a business is in proportion to how big your social media network is. This is super similar to Klout’s latest Perk integration with Gilt, where your Klout score determines how much of a discount you get on Gilt. Social Passport is currently only available in NYC, but plans to expand to other cities this year. [TechCrunch]
2. Kismet, yet another location-based app that allows you to see who’s around you, might have a one-up on the other apps in the space. Instead of using the background location feature like other apps do, Kismet only gives you specific information based on those who actively check-in. Additionally, the app watches residential places you go to often and obscures them after you visit a few times, giving you an additional layer of privacy protection. There is also a map feature that lets you see all the activity going on around you. This is also similar to Sonar, which uses Foursquare, LinkedIn, and Facebook information to give you a brief overview of people around you, and how many degrees they are away from you. [TechCrunch]
3. Its all about user experience. Here are some learnings from user-experience obsessed companies, and why they are so successful. Learn and innovate with your customers, eliminate risk, know your competition, spend a lot of time with your top customers, and validate your concept before you build it. [INC]
4. Ever wonder where the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster came from? Here’s a quick 3 minute video showing how an accidental finding turned into an iconic poster. [22 Words]
5. Trippy, the social travel itinerary planner, is launching a new visual-browsing experience to its existing app. Users can flip through photos and add them to “inspiration boards”. Sounds a bit like Pinterest, huh? [TechCrunch]
6. The inside of an instrument. While that might not sound artistically beautiful, these images will make you think otherwise. There are some really incredible shots in here. [Behance]
7. Are you still wondering, like I was, why the iPad 3 isn’t called the iPad 3? Take a look at all of Apple’s other products (Macbook, Macbook Air, iPod) – none of them have a numerical system to them, indicating that the iPad and iPhone shouldn’t be devices that you replace just when the new one comes out, but something you use regularly and replace over time as needed. Essentially, consumers should not have to be sold on getting a new product because its version 2 or version 3, but should upgrade their technology frequently over various product launches. [GigaOm]
8. Another great UI story – revamping the checkout process. As an avid online shopper, I’m totally on board with this one. I can’t think of one site where I enjoy the check-out process, and its one of the most important interactions a retailer has with a customer. Its kind of shocking that no real attention has been paid (pun intended) to this process, yet. Chef Grant Achatz is attacking this problem with his latest restaurant, Next. Basically, you buy a diner ticket in advance, which covers food, tax, tip, and wine (optional). So, when you go to dinner, you just enjoy dinner. I’ve had this experience once (from a fantastic gift from our friends), where we had an entire night out and didn’t have to worry about the bill, and it was an incredible experience. Something to think about… [FastCoDesign]
9. How do you build a social sharing experience? Think like a first grader, says Edelman Digital. This article covers not just the incredible growth of Pinterest, but why and how they’ve been able to do it so successfully. [Edelmen Digital]
10. Its almost lunchtime on the West Coast so I’ll leave you with this. 100 years of history re-created with Oreos. I like the color TV photo the best. [FastCoCreate]
That’s all from me today. Submissions and comments below please!