iStrategyBlabs

2014 Mobile Year In Review

myir-ISLblog

Hello Internet, For the 5th year, we worked with DC based Mobile Future to recap the state of mobile technology from the year 2014. Using visual design and some really cool animation to highlight interesting data + statistics, we put together the following video. Enjoy! Some of our favorite stats include:

  • Global mobile data traffic grew by 81% this year.
  • 19 million connected wearable devices will have shipped by the end of the year.
  • Wireless carriers invested a record $33 billion in wireless infrastructure in 2014.
  • The Brazil vs. Germany World Cup game was the most tweeted sports event in history.
  • 2014 saw Queen Elizabeth II send her first tweet from a tablet.
  • Ellen DeGeneres’ 2014 Oscar selfie crashed Twitter by garnering over one million retweets.

If one year in review isn’t enough, check out 2013, 2012, 2011 and  2010.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinna-Party

BlogPost_Cover-958x360

The Cinnamon Toast Crunch (CTC) Cinna-Party was a two day livestreamed event where individuals played CTC-themed online games to gain points and trigger real-world activities. As players achieved specific accomplishments online they saw real-world results play out on a customized set. The Cinna-Party was a huge success — becoming the longest viewed page on the client’s website with more than  200,000 views in just 2 days.

Experiential campaigns such as this are comprised of a number of non-traditional components and a lot of out-of-the-box thinking. Here’s an overview of a few elements we focused on:

Set Design + Construction

Screenshot 2014-11-10 17.08.57

We designed and constructed a set centered around a large milk-bowl and raised platform from which a human-sized Cinnamon Toast Crunch square was periodically blasted with “cinnamon” and “dunked” into the bowl. Special set considerations included a primary “cinnamon meter”, secondary activation indicators, and the cinnamon blaster design and function. These were designed for optimal viewing on a live-streaming web video.

Costume Design:

 

Screenshot 2014-11-10 17.08.45

We sourced the design and fabrication of human-sized Cinnamon Toast Crunch square costumes and actors to fill them. These characters populated the set and played out on-set activations throughout the entirety of the live event.

On-Set Activations

actications

Periodically throughout the engagement, in-game accomplishments online triggered real-world activations on our physical set. These included the primary cinnamon blast and milk bowl dunk and secondary intermediate activations.

Enjoy our Cinna-Party? Check out some similar projects: Nickelodeon SpongeBob Skill Crane and Miller Coors’ Redds Apple Ale launcher.

DoubleTree App Redesign: Behind The Scenes

DoubleTree iPad App Design

DoubleTree Hotels first approached us in 2013 to redesign Home & Away, their app that acts as a concierge for business travelers staying at DoubleTree properties. When we initially looked into redesigning the app, we wanted to stay close to the core strategy.

The concept is simple: tell the app which bank, gas station, coffee shop, pharmacy, rental car, etc. that you, as an individual, prefer, and the app will effortlessly map your brand preferences around your hotel.

That core mission has stayed the same, but DoubleTree enlisted us to redesign the app once again this year based on updates to iOS. After research, design, and user testing, we were able to completely revamp the app with added functionality and a greatly improved user experience. The following is a look at the key features we updated.  You can also head over to the app store to check it out.DoubleTree iOS7 iPad App Design

The Map

The original app featured a map with an omnipresent sidebar allowing the user to select their favorite brands for each of the available categories (banks, pharmacies, etc). Once selected, the app will remember your favorite brands no matter which hotel you’re searching from. For the redesign, we wanted to make the map even larger — after testing it was revealed that the main area of interaction was the map, and we were losing a lot of space to the wood-grain texture. We designed a slide-away tray that is accessible from the icon menu, hiding the brand favorites tray when not in use, creating a more immersive experience. We’ve also pulled in search results from Yelp, so if  users are looking for something that’s not featured in one of the sidebar categories, they’re able to search the map for anything they can dream up. DoubleTree iOS7 iPad App Design

The Styling

The wood grain was warm and inviting, but took up a large amount of real estate on the main map screen. During the redesign we were able to take advantage of the advances made in increased interface familiarity, removing the wood texture and skeuomorphic buttons in favor of a minimally-styled side and top bar. We also added a plethora of animations to the app to enhance the character of an otherwise lightly designed interface. To display the favorites bar, the user swipes their finger to the right on an icon. You can check out all of these new features by downloading the app today.

DoubleTree iOS7 Updates from iStrategyLabs on Vimeo.

The Size

One of our client’s goals was to reduce the size of the app, which in its original version featured images of each of their  370+ hotels in 32 countries across 6 continents, leading to a gigantic app. Size is a huge factor in apps, because large apps lead to longer download times. We removed the images from the app, reducing the size from about 300MB to just 30mb. DoubleTree iOS7 iPad App Design

This decision mainly impacted the hotel selector screen, because the first version of the app each hotel was shown with its own photos. The photos looked beautiful, but were not a necessity for the app experience. In the new version, the hotel selector screen has been reworked to allow the content to come to the forefront. DoubleTree iOS7 iPad App Design

The Hotel Selector

The hotel selector screen has been changed dramatically as well. On scroll, the title bar fades away and the hotel tiles take over the screen, featuring a slight color fade as the rows of hotels slide by. Our hypothesis was that users are not interested in photos of the hotel. Presumably, users are already staying at a DoubleTree hotel; when they’re scrolling, they’re looking for a specific hotel location. Listing the hotels alphabetically and offering a pleasing color fade allows the user to scroll at will and without distraction. The app also offers a search based on text or current location. DoubleTree iOS7 iPad App Design

Testing & Iteration

In early rounds of testing, we realized that users were confused about the goal of the app, especially in relation to the DoubleTree brand. We recognized this as a huge problem, and came up with an elegant two-fold solution to teach our users about the benefits of the app. When the app is launched, the user is met with a welcome screen, a short description of the app, and a large button that entices them to “explore” the map. When they enter the map view for the first time, they’ll see a brief three part tutorial, complete with an animation. The tutorial explains how to use the app and then drops off the screen. In our second round of testing, we saw that although the tutorial worked well for some, about half the users swiped through the tutorial without reading it and were still confused. So, we added one last cue to help our eager users — a one-time interface hint that pops up to guide the user through their first interactions in the app. They can tap the bubble to be walked through the action, or perform the action on their own to get rid of the cue. Our last round of testing was highly successful. All of our cues did the trick, and users were having a great time navigating around the app. The animations were a big hit, delivering a surprise dose of fun for people who might otherwise not be so happy (if they’re on a business trip).

Check out the app in the App Store today!

DoubleTree Home and Away App

The Facebook “Mentions Box” Goes Live At The Emmy Awards

Fallon-Header-958x360

Facebook, already the biggest brand in social media, was looking for a better way to bridge the gap between celebrities and fans, specifically at live events. Behold: The Facebook “Mentions Box” which just debuted at the 2014 Emmy’s — allowing celebrities to “shake” the device to surface a fan question (pulling directly from the event’s Facebook Page) and immediately record a video response back.

At the Emmys, the Mentions Box was used by everyone from Jimmy Fallon, to Matthew McConaughey, to Ty Burrell and Jason Biggs — to stars from Game of Thrones, Orange Is the New Black, and HBO’s Silicon Valley (see below!).

Matthew McConaughey - Mentions Box

After many discussions, brainstorms, and rapid prototyping efforts focused on how to best represent the Facebook platform in physical space, we landed on a simple concept drawing inspiration from mediums people already know and enjoy (landing on something between a Magic 8-Ball in function and an Etch-A-Sketch in form).

MaggieWinters-FacebookDevice-ISL_9032

Ultimately, we settled on a tablet encased in a polycarbonate form factor, with a luxury car finish.

MaggieWinters-FacebookDevice-ISL_9110

MaggieWinters-FacebookDevice-ISL_9075

We started the process by concepting potential types of physical devices that talent would be able to easily (and quickly) interact with — using cardboard and simple materials to play around with various form factors.

MaggieWinters-FBPrototype-ISL_2991

The admin console (primarily a question moderation tool) sources questions from specific Facebook posts and then pushes approved questions straight to The Facebook Mentions Box.

MaggieWinters-FacebookDevice-ISL_9081

Leading up to the Emmy’s, The Mentions Box was featured on Access Hollywood by hosts Billy Bush and Shaun Robinson:

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 5.51.08 PM

FMB-Billy

FMB-MM

More pics of the Mentions Box in action, straight from the Access Hollywood Facebook Page!

 

 

 

 


Update
:

On September 5th, Facebook teamed up with Stand Up To Cancer to utilize the Mentions Box to connect celebrities with donors supporting the live charity event.

FMB-su2c
su2c_mentions 2

su2c_mentions 1

 

The Mobileys: Now Accepting Applications!

Announcing The Mobileys


Attention, attention, The Mobileys are here
Calling all mobile app entrepreneurs far and near
Apps that benefit our nation will compete
And be judged by some of the industry’s elite
For the chance to win $10,000 dollars in seed money
No… I swear… we’re not being funny
So tell all the developers and app creators you know
themobileys.com is where they should go.

 

But actually tell everyone you know. Thanks.

 

For the 2nd year in a row, Mobile Future is working with the team at iStrategyLabs to run The Mobileys, a mobile app competition that gives out $20,000 in seed money and the opportunity to work with an experienced and influential judging panel to a mobile app, service or other product that makes our world a better place. If you or someone you know has an app, service or product that fits the build, we’d HIGHLY recommend applying or telling them to apply to The Mobileys.

 

And while you’re here, check out this Venture Beat post about it!

 

mobileysparty mobileysinuse Mobileys1