Peter Merholz at WebVisions 2005

15 July, 2005

Designing for the Sandbox -- Peter Merholz
peterme@adaptivepath.com
photos to web?
-Cannon Powershoot S60
-iPhoto
-to blog
-need hosting
-difficult
->flickr
-no assumption towards prints
-uploadr
-Frasier Speers: api
->plugin for iphoto
-better than flickr's own tool
-20mb bandwidth limit
->buying an account
-api usage-created app resulted in increased usage, resulted in sale
-reliquishing control
-What Flickr is: relation between databases of Images, People, and Tags
-they supply one (lean) interface and let other people provide other (richer) ones for other applications
-What is the sandbox?
-sand: information/content (images, video, sound, real objects [amzn], data)
-people: folks doing stuff online (value increased by connections between people)
-tools: allow people to manipulate info in a way that is valuable to them
-->old: clikcing a link, form elements (shovels)
-->new: AJAX, flash, rich media (earth movers)
Philosophy:
"Let go, Luke!"
-let other poeple create experience that are meaningful to them with our material
-sandboxes are open (all there is is sand)
-designers HATE letting go
-specifying to the nth degree
"design reaching out into environment"
http://www.knemeyer.com/dk.cfm?a=cms,c,292,1
-->scary: like a theme park or a casino
-Getty sitting in the middle of LA
Portals:
-search engines found value in page views
-tried to control behaviour by cluttering home page (keep you on their site to increase page views)
-lock-in vs. providing value: "stickiness"
-"stickiness" is user hostile
->Google ("a white light appeared")
-one page view with no ads on it, but they've got revenue
-value in not dictating behaviour
-fits in the context of what you're doing
Theme: "When you relinquish control, you receive value"
The Five Planes
(Jesse James Carrot (sp?) The elements of user experience)
-Strategy (business plan)
-Scope (direct objects: content and functionality)
-Structure (info architecture)
-Skeleton (interface design)
-Surface (visual design, brand expression)
-Web as software interface v. web as hypertext system
Surface
-don't take over the screen
-not too much graphic design
-allow skinning
Skeleton
-CPK map
-too much gui (scroll bars, etc.)
Structure
-simple hierarchies (top down)
-a bunch of metadata orgainzed into parallel hierarchies (faceted classification)
-->TAGS (Flickr, del.icio.us)
-user-created structure
Scope
-the Long Tail
-no curatorial filter
-Google Maps v. Craigslist Mashups (Paul Raddobocher [sp?])
-->commerical value from api implementations?
Strategy
-how businesses approach the market (relinquishing control)
Netflix:
-created new market in documentaries
-no late fees
Craigslist
-What eBay could learn from Craigslist
-->1/5 of of ebays traffic with 18 employees
-->letting community decide business model
What Is Your Sandbox?
-Barnes and Noble attempting feature parity with Amazon
-->not utilizing physical presence
-Blockbuster late fees fiasco (v. Netflix)
-Wallmart dropped rental DVDs attempt (made an agreement with Netflix)
What about convergence?
-we don't know what else is going on when someone is using our product
-don't try to provide some kind of monolithic experiec