How to Use Your Android Phone as a Modem. No Rooting Required

One of the main motivations to root my phone is to get the “hot spot” functionality without the ridiculous price tag. Here is an option, originally posted on How To Geek, that may take that incentive away.

NOTE: I installed this software on my mac running snow leopard and my droid X (2.2) and it works amazing. My only complaint would be that I am still running on 3G & there is some delay on loading up all my homepages (though they do all load in under 1 minute).

I will also say that the Screencast works great too for monitoring phone calls, updates, etc as well as taking videos or screenshots of the phone. This all works even WITHOUT rooting the phone.

I feel like this exercise was a good first step and would highly recommend either tool.

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If your cellular provider’s mobile hotspot/tethering plans are too pricey, skip them and tether your phone to your computer without inflating your monthly bill. Read on to see how you can score free mobile internet. Continue reading

Design and Usability Conferences 2011

I am hoping to make it to at least a few of these conferences this year.

SXSW South by Southwest Interactive

March 11-15, 2011, Austin, TX

Conference $675 ($1150 for all access)

Flight about $325

Hotel going fast! About 160 per night ($800)

Plus food stipend

http://sxsw.com/interactive

Computer Human Interaction 2011

May 7-12, 2011, Vancouver, BC

conference cost $760 ($1360 late and for non-members)

flight about $600,

hotel 239 CAD per night ($1440)

plus food stipend

http://chi2011.org/index.html

UPA 2011 , Usability Professionals Association

June 21- 24, 2011, Atlanta Georgia

conference cost $695 ($895 for non-members)

flight about $500,

hotel 173 per night ($692)

plus food stipend

https://www.usabilityprofessionals.org/conference/2011/index.html

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The Most Valuable UX Person in the World

At this year’s IA Summit in Denver, Jared Spool is giving a presentation on measuring the value a UX person delivers, which he’s called, The Most Valuable UX Person In The World. Borrowing liberally from the Dos Equis ads, he used this as the program description:

The Most Valuable UX Person In The World

She builds her wireframes with real wire from ancient hand-smelted Ukranian steel.
Her worst personas could kick the ass of your best personas.
His pattern library is now in the Library of Congress.
When she explains good design visuals, the only thing Edward Tufte can add is “What she said.”
He’s organized his wine cellar in order of awesome.
Wikileaks is ready to release her sketchbooks just because they’re cool.
He only sketches on the front of the napkin.
He built the world’s biggest web site, using only his left hand.
Last season’s American Idol featured her concept maps.
His research finds customers desire to research his behavior.
He is the only person Don Norman agrees with.
She makes her own icons out of straw.
Software bugs specifically ask for her to fix them.
He defined the damn thing, then moved on.
Her study participants screen themselves. Out.
Her interactions are the basis for everyone else’s designs.
Scalpers sell tickets to his project kickoff meetings.
He is already coding in HTML6. And has been for a decade.

They are the most valuable UX person in the world.
“Design well, my friend.”

What would you add to this list? Leave your own ideas of the Most Valuable UX Person In The World in the comments on UIE. He’ll be sprinkling your best suggestions through out his presentation, giving you full credit.

Eric Schmidt on Mobile First Philosophy

For Google and other companies, the value of mobile phones is their sheer rate of adoption and their numbers in the hands of users. Schmidt noted that smartphone sales are growing at 30% year-over-year and will soon surpass global PC sales.

Schmidt argued that mobile Web adoption is growing eight times faster annually than Web adoption did 10 years ago for the desktop. Half the Internet connections are made by mobile devices, he said, noting that more Google searches are done on mobile devices than on desktops in emerging countries.

Other writing on Mobile first by LukeW.

Additional content of Schmidt’s talk on ComputerWorld.

More Mobile Engagement

Companies continue to improve on their mobile engagement. Here are some recent impressive numbers.

  • It took the iPhone application Instagram only three months to hit one million users. It took Foursquare a full year and Twitter two years. (source)
  • Six weeks later Instagram hit two million users. They remain an iOS-only application. They don’t even have a web presence where you can sign up. (source)
  • 3.2 million unique visitors used a Yelp mobile app in December 2010. 35% of all searches on Yelp.com came from a Yelp mobile app. Every other second a consumer generated directions to a local business and a photo was uploaded every 30 seconds from a Yelp mobile app. (source)
  • eBay’s global mobile sales generated nearly $2 billion in 2010, up from $600 million in 2009. (source)
  • 94 bids are made every minute via eBay’s mobile apps worldwide. (source)
  • 50% of Pandora’s total user base subscribes to the service on mobile. (source)

Here are some additional statistics that were recently put together in an article on UX Magazine.

  • 90% of the world now lives in a place with access to a mobile network.[*]
  • Amazon.com sold more than $1 billion in products via mobile devices in 2010.[*] EBay generated $2 billion in mobile sales, including the sale of a $75,000 Corvette.
  • 37% of U.S. smartphone users have made a product purchase on their handsets in the last six months.[*]
  • 13% of all U.S. consumers and 23% of the 18-34 age group make purchases via mobile four times a year.[*]