Saturday, May 31, 2008

Microsoft's Zune Still Searching For a Persona

Gamestop has stopped selling Microsoft's wannabe-iPod-killer, the Zune. They have done this after 18 months of carrying the device. Here are some of the reasons people have given:

  • "It just did not have the appeal we had anticipated."
  • "Lack of customer response."
  • "It is still very much a music-focused device, and for a gaming-focused retailer, it doesn't necessarily fit into their product mix."
  • "They may have originally elected to carry Zune with the expectation that it would become more gaming-focused over time, and that really hasn't happened."

The group of people at Microsoft that designed the Xbox are the same folks that produced the Zune. Is this why they assumed that the device would have the same customer archetype? This seems to be a strange correlation. I guess that is why it was funny to see the image of the guy in the tattoo parlor getting the Zune logo inked on to his arm. It's hard to see imagine the persona who loves this product as much as an Apple or Harley product.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Andy Budd's 7 Habits of Highly Effective User Experiences

Andy Budd from clearleft spoke at the Web Directions South UX conference in Melbourne and provided his definition of what makes a great user experience. He is the author of CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions. Although he is a technologist, his presentation focused less on computer screens on more on the actual overall user experience. On making first impressions count, he discusses how unpacking your iPod is like "undressing your girlfriend for the first time". How often do you have something like that in your product’s business requirements?

  1. First Impressions Count
  2. Attentive Service
  3. Personalization and Customization
  4. Attention to Detail
  5. Feedback
  6. Make it fun
  7. Create the perfect environment

You can view the entire presentation and podcast here:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Online Users & Criminals Really Love Pizza

I recently saw the news that Papa John's has just surpassed $1 billion in online sales. It took seven years to accomplish this, and they think that they will reach their second billion in less than 3 years. There was also news recently that Pizza Hut's had 50 million visits on their website since introducing their online ordering technology, "Virtual Waiter" last year. Pizza Hut now offers SMS & mobile web ordering as well. It's interesting how they borrowed the "playlist" concept that remembers your previous orders so your next order is only one-click away from this list.

Numbers like 1 billion and 50 million really surprised me when it came to ordering pizza online. This flew right under my radar. It really is a great indication of where consumers are moving things and how Web 2.0 and beyond can shape things.

On a weird note...
While doing research on Pizza Hut's virtual waiter, I was surprised at how many stories there were on Pizza Hut robberies in the search results. Here are a bunch of headlines that came up:

  • Scottsdale pizza driver punched, robbed
  • Police arrest four for planning Pizza Hut heist
  • Alleged purse snatcher caught after Pizza Hut heist
  • Authorities Probe Pizza Hut Robbery
  • Pizza Hut co-worker threatened
  • Pizza Hut Driver Robbed at Gunpoint
  • Man robbed delivering pizzas in South Bend
  • Man, Teen Accused Of Using Rifles In Pizza Hut Robbery
  • Two Peoria teens indicted in robbery of Pizza Hut driver
  • Pizza Hut Delivery Driver Fired For Shooting Armed Robber

Maybe this was the inspiration for Galactic Pizza, where the delivery people dress up in super hero outfits.