Hooked written by Nir Eyal is the book everyone in silicon valley is talking about. The real reason that draws my attention is the book’s contributing writer, Ryan Hoover, who is the founder of Product Hunt.
This book is highly recommended by the industry leaders. If you don’t have time to read the whole book, like me, you can read this infographic, the 2000-word summary or watch a speech at TNW Conference, a TED talk by Nir Eyal (the author).
After learning about the Hook Model, I realize that many successful apps are using these principles to build their Habit-Forming products. If you are building your products, make sure you follow the 4-step Hook Model – “Trigger”, “Action”, “Variable Reward”, “Investment”.
The rumours are true! Google is tapping into the huge travel market by introducing its brand new mobile travel application named “Google Trips”.
I am fortunate to be selected as one of the travellers to beta test the new app. I would like to share how I feel when I first opened the app.
Great User Interface
The quality is expected as it is developed by Google.
Google automatically extracted all the trip-related data from my emails and generated ‘My Trips’. No input is required. It’s like Magic!
All saved places in one folder
I like saving places that I intend to go on Google Maps. With Google Trips, I can now see all my saved places in one place, without opening the Google Maps.
[Suggestion: It would be great if I can manually organize (add, delete/hide & rearrange) the saved places according to my itineraries.]
The ‘Reservations’ feature is amazing
All the important information of the flight and accommodation (e.g. Flight number, departure & arrival time, duration, confirmation code etc.) are all beautifully organized. I can also view the relevant emails if I want to.
[Suggestion: Real-time data showing which boarding gates I am going]
More than Wiki
Similar to Wikipedia, I can find the basic information that I need to know before departure, such as transportation, currency and emergencies.
[Suggestion: Please add a section to show what kind of sockets is using in the country.]
‘Things to do’
There are a million of “Things to do’ checklists out there. Lonely Planet, Wikitravel, Tripadvisor, Local guidebooks, bloggers, local magazines, friends’ recommendations are all my sources to plan for “Things to do”.
[Suggestion: I hope Google is not just another list but clever enough to generate a personalized ‘Things to do’ list that suits my needs.]
‘Food & Drink’
I like the ‘Wiki-style’ of ‘Overview’ where I can get a brief understanding of a city’s food culture.
[Suggestion: Allow users to add private notes to review the restaurants. ]
In general, I like the idea of ‘Google Trips’. Google is making a right move. Although there are lots of travel apps and the market is quite established, no single one app impresses me. Google still have a great chance to grab the market share from other competitors based on its giant user base who are already using other Google products like Google Maps and Gmails every day.
Think with Google is one of my favourite resources to learn and get inspired. Recently, Google has released some tips on designing a retail app or site. Here’s a checklist of Dos & Don’ts when designing a retail app.
Provide clear utility before asking users to register.
Speak the same language as your users.
Use effective search indexing.
Don’t let promotions steal the show.
Provide full product details.
Let the user control the level of zoom.
Show users how much they’re saving on discounted products.
Show in-store availability on product pages.
Display shipping costs and delivery dates on the item page.
Allow user reviews to be viewed and filtered.
Encourage consumer-generated content.
Surface related products at opportune moments.
Allow shoppers to continue shopping after adding an item to the cart.
Let shoppers edit the cart.
Resurface promotions, deals, and coupons at checkout.
Let users purchase as a guest.
Show users the checkout process is secure.
Provide multiple third-party payment options.
HK Mobile Apps Industry
Are you curious about the landscape of Mobile Apps industry in Hong Kong? Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association (WTIA) just released the “Report of the Industry Survey on Hong Kong Mobile Apps Industry 2016”.
Based on the data in the report, I have created 2 interactive infographics by using a data visualization tool called “Infogram”. which you may find them easier to read. One is about the company and the other one about the founder & the funding.
Learn by Doing
I didn’t learn design in school. Instead, I learn by reading, doing and sharing. I read lots of articles and videos online. One of my favourite blogs that inspire me to take my first step to start designing is InVision Blog.
Recently, I have learnt that InVision is releasing a new tool called “CRAFT”. As I have followed InVision blog for a long time, I trust the team behind InVision and I decided to dive in.
What is Craft?
In short, Craft is a groundbreaking set of free plugins for Sketch and Photoshop to bring real data and lightning speed to your design workflow. You can learn more in this documentation and this intro video.
Craft is a suite of plugins, including, LIBRARY, PHOTOS, TYPE, DUPLICATE and PROTOTYPE (Coming Soon).
The first plugin I tried was PHOTOS. As you can see from the mockup screen above, there is a beautiful landscape photo as the background image. I was using the PHOTOS plugin to import this beautiful image from Unsplash.com, directly in Sketch. I can choose which category of photos to import, such as ‘people’, ‘nature’, ‘technology’ etc. It was impressive!
In the coming months, I will dive into UI/UX design with Sketch, Craft and InVision.