Microsoft on a buying spree
Looks like Microsoft’s acquisition streak isn’t over yet, and their most recent purchase is a big vote of confidence for the future of the mobile experience.
Microsoft taps into trends to innovate
Through this move, Microsoft wants to expand the capacity of its core business by integrating modern innovations in trends. We saw a focus on big data through the acquisition of LinkedIn, which gives them access to a plethora of user information. They very clearly want to focus on connectivity through chatbots and app integration.
Microsoft built its business on bundling; now, they appear to be deconstructing that golden bundle. Another FastCo article states that the company has taken steps to free up their suite of Office products into component parts. This gives developers and end users more flexibility and customization.
Wand Labs’ technology would allow these products to share data with ease.
Let’s talk about the genius of Wand Labs
From what we’ve seen thus far, Wand’s abilities are impressive. With Wand, you can grant friends access to YOUR apps or services across multiple devices.
For example, Spotify playlist data could be enjoyed on YouTube or Rdio. Wand acts as the Rosetta Stone for app languages and formats.
The app turns disparate code into a master key computer language that can now transcend apps. The implications are huge. Not only can your apps talk to one another, but Wand’s interface contains plugins that allow you to use apps that you don’t even download on your device!
Furthermore, you can share app functionality with contacts, giving them access to everything from your Twitter account to your WiFi password.
What we can learn from this acquisition
While this is all well and good for Microsoft, we can learn a lot about the direction of the mobile experience from their strategic decision.
Back in the days when desktops ruled the land, you had a single portal through which you could access lots of content. The app experience dismantled that function on mobile devices Wand exists as a browser for your phone that turns messages into actions and shuffling data between apps.
Considering all this, and considering the sheer popularity of messaging apps, Wand appears to be a big part of the mobile landscape’s future. Building apps in accordance with that need for connectivity should be on the mind of anyone looking to develop an app as part of their business offering.
How to build apps without knowing how to code (it’s actually common!)
(TECHNOLOGY) No-code app-building tools are becoming more available to the everyday user, which could lead to more inventive and original apps.
“Learn to code” is a common, frustrating refrain often hurled at job-seekers, entrepreneurs, creative professionals, and others. Depending on who’s saying it, the intent could range from well-meaning to willfully hurtful.
It does, in a way, make sense. Computer programming is the foundational language that modern life is built on. And while many people use technology that they don’t understand every day—from microwaves to cars—there’s something a little different about programming. It’s omnipresent for just about anyone, just about everywhere, whether they use it for work or not. And more people use it for work than ever. It’s the single most sought-after skill in the job market.
But “learn to code” isn’t practical for everyone. Not everyone with an app idea has the time to learn how to build an app from scratch, or the money to hire people to do it for them. That’s where the low-code/no-code movement comes in. It’s all about giving the people the tools they need to execute on an idea without having to learn an entire new skill set. When you bake a cake, you probably don’t grind wheat into flour, and when you build an app, you don’t have to start with Python.
No-code isn’t really a new idea.
The fact that computers have menus and icons is the result of early programmers realizing that non-programmers would have to use a computer sometimes. You could look to tools like RPG Maker that let people build their own video games back in 1992. RPG Maker was like a Lego kit for making a video game. And not only is it still going strong, it proved itself prophetic. It turns out that giving people tools and a sand box is a great way to enable creativity.
This has been the long arc of the Internet, too. There was a time when participating in the World Wide Web in a meaningful way meant learning to program. Places like Geocities gave you real estate to set up a website. But you had to build that site yourself. We’ve moved away from that as the Internet commodified. Sites like Facebook and Twitter remove customization in the name of uniformity.
But creative tools persist. Consider “WYSIWYG,” or “What You See Is What You Get” web editors. These are tools like WordPress that reclaimed some of that Internet customization. They give you assets to build a website, and you plug them in where you want.
It’s a middle ground between building from scratch, and having everything handed to you. It’s the sweet spot of accessible creativity. (If you’ve never heard anyone say “WYSIWYG,” that’s probably because these web development tools are so common that they don’t really need a special name anymore.)
Right now, one of the biggest areas of no-code design is in app development. These app dev tools are similar to building a WordPress site. They give you the raw materials, and you customize and assemble them however you want to. Adalo, a no-code platform for building apps, lets your bring assets and ideas to the table, and gives you a framework to organize those ideas into an app.
They aren’t alone. AppOnboard, a no-code software development suite, purchased Buildbox, a leading no-code game development platform. Their combined resources represent a stunning library of assets, full of potential.
What does this mean for coders? Probably not much. Specialized skills are still in high demand. But for the rest of us, a slow democratization of development is taking place, and it’s exciting to watch it take shape.
Recall announced by Daily Harvest via aesthetic post, gets major backlash
(BUSINESS) Trendy meal delivery service, Daily Harvest, sticks to branding by announcing a serious food recall via Instagram, met with obvious backlash.
What NOT to do when things go south.
We can learn a lot from other businesses’ mistakes. Check out Daily Harvest, for example.
Daily Harvest is a trendy food home delivery service. They are under heavy backlash from their customers following a recall on their lentil and leek crumbles meal. Multiple customers have reported stomach issues after eating this meal.
Users across social media accounts such as Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram have complained about nausea, vomiting, and liver damage symptoms after consuming this dish. Several customers even reported hospitalization.
a food poisoning scandal is sweeping the dtc meal kit influencer space and i simply cannot look away pic.twitter.com/ISPQEFwiHB
— paris martineau (@parismartineau) June 21, 2022
How did Daily Harvest react?
As entrepreneurs, we are all aware that things are going to go wrong from time to time. And as humans, we know that how we respond to these issues determines the future of our business.
Well, Daily Harvest’s social team didn’t get the memo as you’ll see by their response on social.
They issued a recall notice by using a vague aesthetic product image of the questionable lentil meal with a caption that read “UPDATE 6/19: An important message regarding our French Lentil + Leek Crumbles. Link in bio with details.” Daily Harvest’s inability to take control and react with clear communication to aid their customers shows us how NOT to handle an urgent situation. Their ambiguous caption provides no real information or help to their consumers and they have noticed.
They have since deleted the original post from Instagram, but we all know the internet never forgets. This is how they launched their product recall.
As of 10:58 – June 22, 2022 this is how the notice appears on the main page of their website:
Upon further examination, I can find hardly a mention of the recall other than the home page and the actual product listing itself. I did confirm that I was not able to purchase the product through their web-based system at this time. Maybe most of their traffic lands on the home page, but why not go ahead and put the banner at the top of every page until this gets resolved? Not to mention how it appears at the top of the home page. It’s barely noticeable.
If you click on the details, the notice on their website details the steps Daily Harvest claims to be taking to handle the sickness reports from the voluntary recall, to direct consumer communication, and the investigation with the FDA along with current results.
What’s the takeaway?
Do better than Daily Harvest and you’ll already be a winner.
No, seriously you will!
But first, consider posting eye-catching imagery or text for your consumer. The text should be in the image posts themselves and in the captions. Pin it to the top of your social media accounts. Share it to stories. Make sure every page on your website has a banner and it’s noticeable. Over-communicate with your customers.
Do all of these and you’re already beating Daily Harvest.
Make your current tech tools as useful as possible with these productivity hacks
(TECHNOLOGY) No downloading obscure apps to increase your production here. This site gives you productivity hacks to utilize the tools you already have.
If you find yourself searching for productivity hacks on the internet, chances are you’re already procrastinating. We’ve all been there and sometimes you do need to invest a little time upfront in order to save time long-term. The problem is that most “productivity hacks” recommend you download a new app or software which means you need to invest time in learning how to use it. All of this strays you further and further from your original goal of working more efficiently and saving time.
A new website called Productivity.so is designed to save you time by better utilizing the tools you’re already using. The websites founders are self-proclaimed productivity lovers who have devoted their own time to collecting a pool of productivity hacks for you iPhone, computer, Gmail, and more. No downloading obscure apps to increase your productivity here.
This website focuses on helping you make your current technology as useful as possible.
It’s a safe bet that there are dozens of ways you could be using your phone, computer, or tablet more efficiently. No one stops to read the instruction manual and even if you did it would only be so helpful because modern technology updates. Everything from your computer to your favorite social media app is constantly pushing out updates with new productivity hacks just waiting to be found.
It’s impossible to keep up on your own! Earlier today I realized you can switch between Twitter accounts by holding down the home button. I use this app every day, but I couldn’t tell you if this a new feature or if I just noticed it.
Productivity.so could be a great way to stay up to date on the latest UX tricks that will help you and your team speed up your workflow. The website currently hosts a small library of hacks that users can browse through. The next great breakthrough in your productivity could be waiting.
The website also offers a free weekly newsletter which promises to send you two new productivity hacks each week. These hacks will be simple tricks like switching between Gmail accounts by holding down your avatar. They’re easy enough that you can start implementing them into your daily routine right away.
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