These Guys Kick APPS: Q&A (Part 3)

These Guys Kick APPS: Q&A (Part 3) The creative forces behind TRVLAbove & Beyond: George SteinmetzPROJECTThe Final Hours of Portal 2 and more come together for one night in NYC to the SPD SpeakEasy--to inspire and inform, and give you the inspiration to kick some apps, too. 

Leading up to our Tuesday, July 26, 2011 SpeakEasy at the Helen Mills Theatre, we've asked our four presenters a few questions on the State of Apps. Wrapping up our list of questions, we want to know
How does user feedback inform your apps?

BONUS: We also asked our panel to name one essential app they use regularly--for business or pleasure.

Above and Beyond 2 share.PNG

Hip_Zeff.jpgJoe Zeff
President of Joe Zeff Design, a multidisciplinary studio that helps companies fuse content, technology and business opportunities on the iPad.   

Much more than it did in the print industry, where a letter to the editor would be brought to your attention only if you made an egregious mistake. On the tablet we benefit from ratings and reviews that contain valuable insights as to how to satisfy our audience and expand our market share. It is authentic, and it is actionable. "The Final Hours of Portal 2" contains an in-app message board that has yielded more than 2,500 comments -- every last one has been thoughtfully considered. Our iTunes reviews for "Above & Beyond: George Steinmetz," while overwhelmingly positive, suggested that users wanted more content, a way to hide buttons while listening to audio, audio feedback indicators, and more sharing options. We delivered all of that in our latest release, and are prepared to add even more photographs when the next "Above & Beyond" app is released this summer. This can't be done with a printed book. Digital content has the potential to evolve over time, acquiring value in response to user feedback.  
(Above: new content, new sharing tools and new audio pie feature added to Above & Beyond.)

I use
for both business and pleasure, intermixing work-related posts with family pictures and motorcycle diaries. User-generated content is such a vital part of the tablet experience, and apps like Friendly, Zite and Flipboard provide inspiration for those who seek to make content relevant and accessible. It's a matter of time before these apps are integrated with traditional magazines to reach mass audiences on a more individualized level, creating new opportunities not only for publishers but for designers as well.

Port_Mike Burgess.JPG
Mike Burgess
Head of Digital at Seven, a multimedia publisher in London that translates Sir Richard Branson's vision into Project

Due to issues with Google Analytics in the submission process, we had to build our own analytics system. It was a pain to begin with but is paying dividends now. We know exactly what people looked at most, when, how long for, how frequently. We even know how many interactions, video plays, at what point in the video they stopped watching etc. Great user feedback for advertisers and for editoirial.  
One surprise learning was with issue 1 was the power of audio. Our feature with Jeff Bridges where the user could tap a contact sheet of movie stills and hear Jeff, talking about his experiences on The Big Lebowski and True Grit. The users loved it and spent an inordinate length of time listening and re-listening to the clips. Each issue since, we've tried to have an audio and photo story in the app and they always perform really well.

I'm a big graphic novel reader so
is probably my most used, from a leisure point of view. Korg's electribe app is an amazing software version of the famous snyth. It is a huge timesuck and massively annoying to anyone within hearing distance. I
'm also really looking forward to Spotify's iPad app which I've heard is under development. At the moment I have their iPhone app installed and use that every day like an iPad jukebox. They say that great technology should be indistinguishable from magic and Spotify still seems like magic to me. F
or work, I use SoundNote. It's a really simple audio recorder for meetings that logs a timecode when you write a note and takes you right back to that point in the audio when you tap on the note.

Michel Elings
(left) and 
Jochem Wijnands
Founders of TRVL, an a la carte travel magazine for iPad based in Bussum, The Netherlands. Working out of a spare bedroom, they have published 25 issues of TRVL.

We love to get feedback and we get a lot of feedback though our reviews. In this update we are going to change some stuff on the software part. People sometimes felt lost in the app, not the mag. They couldn't find their way back to the store. That's not how we but also other apps would like to see it. So we want to link to our store from inside our magazine (no screenshot yet). 

from Cultured Code to get my workday going.

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THESE GUYS KICK APPS: An indie-apps appreciation night.
You know their apps. Now meet their creators, and learn how it's done.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Helen Mills Theatre
139 West 26th Street (between 6th & 7th Aves), NYC

Doors open for seating at 6:30 PM
Presentation begins at 7:00 PM
Cocktails after begin about 8:30 PM

Get on the waitlist for this SOLD OUT event here.

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