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Eran's blog

Your UI should on My side

There’s been much hoopla over Facebook’s latest redesign. Personally, I kinda of like it, although many do not. I consider that to be a matter of taste and preference and maybe being used to how things used to be. In a few months this will be so far gone you won’t even remember it was a problem.

What I do not like is some of the recent changes they’ve made where pieces of the UI that used to contain recommendations for new friends (based, I’m guessing, on factors like common friends and location) now contain what appear to be random endorsements for public pages Facebook thinks I should be a Fan of for no apparent reason (at least to me).

katy perry
I don’t even know who Katy Perry is and I’m sure as hell am not becoming her fan.

My point is, if Facebook wants me to find their UI useful they should keep it consistent. Not just in the basic UI sense where things should be where I expect them to be but also in the content sense. Placing paid content where I expect real content will only fool me for a very short time. As soon as I realize the truth, I’ll start treating that entire space as an ad and completely ignore it. This makes it a lose-lose for both me and Facebook.

I lose because that space used to contain somewhat useful information that I wont see anymore but more importantly, Facebook loses because the information that was there used to make me create new connections with people, therefore making the social network more rich, therefore making Facebook more valuable.

I understand that Facebook is trying to appear more valuable to brands but hijacking my interface is not the way to do it. It is, on the other hand, the way to make me look for another interface or another network altogether.

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Filed under: General, Social Software, , , , ,

AvaPeeps Update

AvaPeeps: FlirtNation has been progressing quite rapidly. In the last few months since we’ve launched on the web we’ve been hard at work, streamlining the user experience, making it easier to join and more fun to play.

Mobile and Web still offer quite different experiences and creating a game that works well on both and is fun and engaging on both platforms is an interesting challenge. The last couple of updates focused mostly on making the user experience on the web more fun, taking advantage of more screen real-estate and better UI options. It shows too, the game flows much better and we see more people enjoying it every day. We’ve also been noticed by the blogosphere. Inside Social Games, writes:

What is most interesting, however, is that AvaPeeps was originally a mobile game that migrated to the web space (rather than the other way around). That said, you are also capable of playing the game using T-Mobile, BOOST, Virgin, or Three (in the UK). Mobile games isn’t particularly unusual, but in this case, the game has been tied to the web version as well, allowing players to interact with each other in real time, from anywhere, regardless of whether or not they are using the web or a mobile device.

We’ve got plenty more planned for the next few months, so stay tuned!

Filed under: Projects, , , , , ,

AvaPeeps.com Launched!

Finally, after lots of hard work by many talented people AvaPeeps.com is live. Still in beta but at least it’s out there. AvaPeeps: Flirt Nation is our (by which I mean, Digital Chocolate’s) avatar based dating game. It’s a lot of fun and a cool place to meet new people. It’s also one of the first (if not the first) cross platform social games to connect Mobile and Web audiences through a shared experience.

In AvaPeeps you get to create a customizable avatar to represent you in the complex world of flirting and dating. You then get to send your avatar to various hangouts (you’ll probably find me at The Mosh Pit) to try and hook up with hotties of your preferred gender. Next, of course, comes dating. Let your peep know what you think is the perfect date and see then see the story unfold. Along the way you’ll get to make friends and exchange messages with the people behind the peeps.

Working on AvaPeeps has been (and still is) an interesting challenge. Creating an engaging experience that translates well both to mobile and the web is not easy. We’ve faced many challenges on many fronts but I think we’ve come up with a pretty good product so far. I’m looking forward to see how it evolves further and wider to live on even more platforms and interact more with the rest of the world.

Filed under: gaming, , , , , ,