SXSW Day 3 – Google’s League of Extraordinary H4ckers with some Angry Birds

by Troy Grosfield
March 14th, 2011

I’m becoming an ever increasing fan of SXSW and conferences in general.  There are times when you get so tied up in your own company development ecosystem and processes that you feel like that’s the only way it’s done.  It’s great to hear other peoples views on different topics that break you out of your corporate mold.  It forces you to, once again, think outside the box.  My favorite form of thoughts :)

Designing iPad Interfaces – New Navigation Schemas

Designing iPad Interfaces - New Navigation Schemas

Designing iPad Interfaces - New Navigation Schemas

The presenter plays a video of a 2 year old girl who’s dad just placed an iPad in front of her.  She picks up the iPad functionality very well.  She is able to swipe to other screens, drag and drop, open apps, get back to home, and interact with most apps.  This is a pretty good usability test.  Place app in front of a 2 year old and see if she gets it.  If not, redesign.

When designing apps, keep a familiar web/mobile design.  Keep navigation simple and consistent.  Layers are important.  Some design apps where the content is partially cutoff on the sides telling the user they can scroll to the right or left for more content.  User should be provided with immediate feedback.  This helps with content discovery as well.

Make your apps relatable, discoverable, and learnable.

Google: The League of Extraordinary H4ckers

The League of Extraordinary Hackers

The League of Extraordinary Hackers

This Google sponsored event allowed Googler’s to demo many of their different APIs such as app engine, chrome, android, youtube, etc.

Google demoed a product that lets you create and edit web pages through the browser.  It’s a simple WYSIWYG editor.  You can easily add Google gadgets such as maps, docs, images (up to 1 GB!), calendars, etc.  Huge benefits here with the fact that you can edit your web page on the fly whenever you need.

Much of these talks are about APIs that most developers are already familiar with.  However, what’s nice is you have access to actual Google developers where you can ask more detailed questions.

Angry Birds Interview

Angry Birds

Angry Birds

The creator of the mobile app Angry Birds was interviewed and discussing next steps for the company.  He discussed where he though mobile gaming was heading and how powerful mobile apps truly are.

When asked if he would create a ‘Angry Birds 2’ he said, “No way.  That would be an easy way out”.  So don’t be expecting a squeal.

It was on a patio roof top which was a pretty cool venue.  Free food and free drinks are always a plus as well!

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