STORIES ABOUT HOW TECHNOLOGY IS MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.
The hottest real estate market isn’t Austin or Miami -- it’s the link-in-bio...
On Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, the link-in-bio supply is low. As in, you only get one. So, naturally, the demand to develop this valuable slice of social media real estate is high. That’s why a bevy of startups -- led by the lion of link-in-bio, Linktree -- are transforming the humble link-in-bio into an interactive, customized, mobile-optimized hub. Influencers, content creators, and, increasingly, brands (like Red Bull, Nike, and The New York Times) are using these personalized “mini-sites” to include everything from product pages; to newsletter sign-ups; to NFT collections; to curated videos, photos, and music; to virtual tip jars. It’s all about funneling followers towards extra features and content…and, often, monetizing engagement, too.
Swipe right on UX simplicity…
Tinder is the undisputed Heavyweight Dating App Champ of The World. It’s perhaps best-known for dropping “swipe right” into our cultural lexicon (and, for those who are less fortunate, the dreaded “swipe left”). But other elements of Tinder make it a fascinating study in simple, delightful mobile UX. From initial sign-up to scoping out your dating prospects, card stack design and in-app gestures make navigation and content organization intuitive, minimizing the need for a bunch of gratuitous buttons and endless scrolling down. Check out this breakdown of how Tinder creates a straightforward, fun, dopamine-inducing user experience that keeps you engaged with the app for as long as possible (so that maybe one day you can get engaged, too).
The metaverse OG on building a betta meta…
Back in the good ole days of 2003, Second Life popularized the concept of virtual living. Today, we’ve been instructed to call it the metaverse. This immersive digital world (Second Life still exists today) was created by Philip Rosedale, who understood what drew certain people to create a life outside of physical reality -- building and traveling through virtual spaces, socializing with other avatars, and using Linden dollars to buy and sell virtual property, goods, and services. In this interview with WIRED, Rosedale lays out the dangers of behavioral ad targeting in the metaverse, shares why your iPhone is probably better at metaverse-ing than a VR headset, and gets real about the big challenges that still need solving in the virtual world (think: expressive gestures, spatial audio, and gathering hundreds of people in one place).
Our Team’s Pick for App of the Month: Upkept by Consumer Reports
Home is where the app is…
When was the last time you dusted your refrigerator’s condenser coils? (Be honest: Did you even know you should do that?) Many homeowners, especially new homeowners and Millennials, don’t know how or when to do basic tasks like switch out air filters, check smoke detectors, or even reset the collider breaks on their hiloscope fuse (OK, we made that last one up!). That’s why we’re obsessed with Upkept, an “all-in-one home management app” by Consumer Reports. Sleek and seriously smart, the app lets you create custom to-do lists that remind you throughout the year what needs doing around the house and when, with step-by-step instructions on how to DIY-it or, if it’s a task above your pay-grade, when it’s time to call a pro. Take that, Tim Allen.
Thinking of going codeless? (We did.) Here’s what we learned
Only 0.5% of people in the world know how to code. This shortage of skilled web and mobile app developers is why entrepreneurs, businesses, and marketers are increasingly turning to no-code and low-code platforms -- like Webflow, Wix, and Squarespace -- to design and build digital things. And we decided to join them (we know, we know…going no-code sounds anathema to a software dev shop!). Our latest website design was built completely on a no-code platform. There are clear upsides of going no-code -- like cost, speed, and savings on resources. But there are clear drawbacks, too -- like the inability to customize, CMS constraints, and web security that’s only as good as the no-code platform you use. The business decision to use a no-code platform depends on many factors. But in the end, it could be a decision that’s well worth it.
'The Next Great Thing' Podcast -- Next season dropping spring 2022
Tune in to 'The Next Great Thing', an exploration into new digital products and experiences -- and conversations with the people making them great.
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