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On launching Network A on our new Publishing Platform

15 Oct

Launches are always exciting. We’ve been hard at work for the last year on a new kind of publishing and content curation platform that would allow us, and anyone else, to easily create truly modern, social, and dynamic cross-platform media properties that don’t look like they were designed ten years ago or like they were built on a general CMS like WordPress.

So I’m very happy to share Network A (www.networka.com) – the first full site launched by the Bedrocket product team! We’re very happy with the great response we’ve gotten from the action sports community who have embraced our site.

Are “expanded Tweets” an acceptance of defeat? Is this a pivot or evolution?

10 Jul

Today, Twitter released their latest update to their service, which introduced their newest feature – Expanded Tweets. What does it mean when a company that has steadfastly held onto one core primary product principle (say that 10 times fast) suddenly accepts a change to that principle?

For years, since Twitter first launched, there has been much discussion about the 140 character limit. Whether right or wrong, regardless of how users actually used Twitter, they held fast to a simple core belief – that the service is best when it enforces this strict limit, which impacts how users behave. This was, in fact, what made them especially distinct in the market. And since then, we all know about their explosive growth in users and anemic growth in revenue.

Fast forward to today. On the one hand, you could look at the news as a tacit acceptance that their business model was flawed and could never work, therefore requiring the removal of the 140 character limit to introduce real revenue opportunities. On the other hand, you could say that this is just a natural evolution of a product offering new features, no different than Facebook adding Events.

The problem with the later argument is that Facebook’s core product principle was that it’s a place for real people to connect with each other, reflecting their offline social structures and making communication even easier. Twitter, on the other hand, had a much simpler principle – let people broadcast 140 character messages to anyone and anyone, without any need to qualify relationships or otherwise. Which leads me to ask, if Twitter had introduced Expanded Tweets as part of the initial product offering, would it have hindered its acceptance?

That old cliche – hindsight is 20/20 – certainly applies, but this feels less like a product maturing and more like something they should have gotten right a long time ago. It certainly is a welcome update, especially for content providers eager for ways to engage with their audience.

HBO GO – Bringing the interactive features to life for Game of Thrones on iPad

1 Apr

After months of work, it’s finally here!

When we approached the design for the new interactive features on the iPad to support Game of Thrones, we had a couple of important goals in mind – most important of which were to keep it simple and ensure that the experience was unobtrusive. Our goal was to provide you with a beautiful experience watching this amazing show regardless of whether it’s a first viewing, or a second time through. Working closely with everyone at HBO, we’re excited at the results and hope everyone enjoys trying out the new features, and stay tuned because there’s more great stuff to come.

So make sure when you watch the premiere tonight, you check it out on your iPad and turn on the interactive features!

Game of Thrones Interactive Viewing Experience

Recognition is always nice – Huge Wins Communication Arts’s 2012 Interactive Annual Award for HBO GO

17 Mar

It’s always nice when hard work pays off, so a heartfelt congratulations to my fellow teammates, and everyone else at HUGE who’s been a part of the HBO GO team!

Huge is proud to have been named a winner of Communication Arts’s 2012 Interactive Annual Award for the HBO GO mobile application. The awards honor the 35 best interactive projects of the year, and HBO GO was chosen by a panel of leading interactive media professionals as one of nine winners in the Entertainment category.

Visit Huge’s website for more info!

Designing great products on templated platforms is hard (take 2) – HBO GO on Xbox

17 Mar

When we were tasked with bringing HBO GO to Xbox we were once again presented with the challenge of making a beautiful UI and UX that transcended the limits of a heavily templated platform. There were many challenges in how we mapped HBO GO’s information architecture to make sense in the Xbox environment, and a lot of time spent trying to push the edges of what was possible. Of course as with everything we design for HBO GO, the goal is to deliver a beautiful, elegant, refined experience that doesn’t sacrifice usability.

And now we are all excited to see the results of months of hard work with the release of the first teaser for HBO GO on Xbox! Hope everyone enjoys using it when it launches.