Monday, July 30, 2007

Trialware timeout idea

Trialware is a great idea. You download an application and use it for a set period of time and at the end it becomes crippled or won't run at all. The trend seems to be to make the trial period calander based, that is you have a set period of time to use it from the date you first installed it (or in some cased first open it).

With my newfound User eXperience hat on, I have a much better idea. Let's make the trial time a bit shorter, but have the trial actually track the usage. How many times have you installed a trial then not looked at it for another couple of weeks, and then a month goes past and you try it again to find it has expired. Has the user had enough time to get a feel of the program? I know when this happens to me I usually don't bother buying the program because I don't know if it is for me. Why should the user spend the time to get to know the program on the program's terms? Wouldn't it be a much better experience if the program said "how much time do you want to try this out?" Let the user choose if they want one or two weeks to try it out, and then only count the days that they actually USE the program! Makes them feel like they are in control and they can try it out when they have the time (everyone are very busy people, give them some flexibility!)

Sure you can make the trial time shorter. 30 days is a long time if it is spread out over a year... Make it 10 days. My bet is you will get more people buying the program because they got time to use it. I don't want people paying for something they don't really need, especially if it is something I have provided. I want my users to WANT to pay for it because they think it's awesome, not fool them into buying something they dont really need or want. Knock your socks off service. What a concept. Give me some of that!

Off you go, implement my brilliant idea and give me credit. Let me know how it works out. :)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Stuff I couldn't live without...

Ok, I've been pinged by one of those viral like list things. Thanks Mike! :)

Let's see now... It's a fairly short list I think. I don't like to spread myself too thin. HA! Yeah right.

1. My Brother. He's been there in my life for as long as I can remember. People say we look alike, sound alike and act alike. We are like ying and yang. The world is not complete without us both in it. Makes me laugh so hard I practically wet myself. :)
2. Computers. It's what I do. I play with computers, work with computers, found my wife on computers, left my first wife via computers... In the last 20 years I can actually remember the few times i've not been near one and it was horrible. They are my life.
3. The Internet. See number 1. I have the Internet at home, at work, and in my pocket on my phone. I can imagine a life that is not connected and it scares the shit outta me. I choose online.
4. People. Friends, family and strangers. I like being around people. It's one thing I love about the Internet is that it lets you socialise. Solitary confinement would make me a crazy person.

I discovered while moving house recently that I had a LOT of crap, some very sentimental, hoarded away in the garage. We filled a miniskip bin that I could have fit my car in with a lot of that crap. Some of it, I had forgotten I owned. Lots of books I'd never read again. It's gone and if you asked me to list what I threw out, I wouldn't be able to tell you. good riddence!

I do like my gadets and toys though... That would probably be my number 5 on my list.

oh what? I'm sposed to tag 5 friends? right.. um... ok... not sure if they have been tagged already, i'm a bit behind on my blog reading.

Doug Paice
Alastair Waddell
Mitch Wheat
Nick Randolph
Simon Price - My brother. :)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

WPF Adventures

Well It's been a while since I've blogged. I've been twittering heaps, and messing about in Facebook. I thought it was time I did a blog entry about what I've been upto lately.

I've just started a new job this week and my official title is User Interface Developer. I'm still settling in and my responsibilities essentially lie in the UI development of a smart app. So far, I'm loving it. I'm learning things about UI that I didn't realise I had an interest in, and somehow have built up a pretty good background in UI design without even realising it.

The most exciting part is that I'll be researching a range of various UI components using WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), something I've wanted to spend more time on but have been so busy working that I've not had time. Now it's actually my job, so I'm stoked.

Some things I plan to investigate more;
Fancy UI that still has a corporate feel to it
Mapping display of data. similar to Grokker, Kartoo, Digg etc.
Styles and templates (Themes, skinning)

Still pinching myself... Awesome job!