Beer & Wine Application UX Project

World Usability Day 2015 has come and gone. I really enjoyed introducing craft beer and wine to my colleagues.

The world of craft beer and wine has just gotten more mainstream. That means there are lots of people who are trying to learn about and try these wonderful concoctions.

I just wonder how good the apps are at helping people find and track their imbibing. There are quite a few options and considering my inquisitive nature, I thought I would put together a basic competitive analysis of some beer and wine applications.

It isn’t exactly comparing apples to apples since some of these apps serve different purposes but I still hope to see some kind of differentiation and information for each.

I will be updating here as the survey continues and I invite people to let me know if you have additional applications that should be added or other feedback.

June 29 Update:

After several months of feedback on these applications, we are now going to be changing the study to reflect what people have been saying as well as include new applications on the market.

This article references a study done by Xenopsi about Craft Beer purchases and mobile usage that is related to this work.

Try one

Try one of the applications

Wallpaper Beer UX slides.002

Now rate the app

Here are the Individual QR codes and links in case its easier:

Brewery Passport

http://intel.ly/brew

qrcode (Brewery Passport)

Brewery Passport

Next Glass

http://intel.ly/next

qrcode (Next Glass)

Next Glass

Picky Pint

http://intel.ly/picky

qrcode (Picky Pint)

Picky Pint

Untappd

http://intel.ly/tap

qrcode (Untappd)

Untappd

Vivino

http://intel.ly/vino

qrcode (Vivino)

Vivino

Winery Passport

http://intel.ly/wine

qrcode (Winery Passport)

Winery Passport

2011 Darwin Awards

As usual, we should all be grateful for what we have been given, those around us who make our lives better and the love we have for our fellow human beings.

…additionally, you should be glad you are not one of these people and we can say that the world is likely at least a safer place without them.

Originally published on the Facebook Page

This year’s winner was a genuine Rocket Scientist…no jive!
Read on and remember that each and every one of these is a true story.

The nominees were:

Semifinalist #1
A young Canadian man, searching for a way of getting drunk cheaply because he had no money with which to buy alcohol, mixed gasoline with milk. Not surprisingly, this concoction made him ill, and he vomited into the fireplace in his house. The resulting explosion and fire burned his house down, killing both he and his sister.

Semifinalist #2
Three Brazilian men were flying in a light aircraft at low altitude when another plane approached. It appears that they decided to moon the occupants of the other plane, but lost control of their own aircraft and crashed. They were all found dead in the wreckage with their pants around their ankles.

Semifinalist #3
A 22-year-old Reston, VA man was found dead after he tried to use octopus straps to bungee jump off a 70-foot rail road trestle. Fairfax County police said Eric Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped a bunch of these straps together, wrapped an end around one foot, anchored the other end to the trestle at Lake Accotink Park, jumped and hit the pavement. Warren Carmichael, a police spokesman, said investigators think Barcia was alone because his car was found nearby. “The length of the cord that he had assembled was greater than the distance between the trestle and the concrete,” Carmichael said. Police say the apparent cause of death was “Major trauma.”

Semifinalist #4
A man in Alabama died from numerous rattlesnake bites. It seems that he and a friend were playing a game of catch, using the rattlesnake as a ball. The friend – no doubt a future Darwin Awards candidate – was hospitalized, but lived.

Semifinalist #5
Employees in a medium-sized warehouse in west Texas noticed the smell of a gas leak. Sensibly, management evacuated the building, extinguishing all potential sources of ignition; lights, power, etc. After the building had been evacuated, two technicians from the gas company were dispatched. Upon entering the building, they found they had difficulty navigating in the dark. To their frustration, none of the lights worked.

Witnesses later described the sight of one of the technicians reaching into his pocket and retrieving an object that resembled a cigarette lighter. Upon operation of the lighter-like object, the gas in the warehouse exploded, sending pieces of it up to three miles away. Nothing was found of the technicians, but the lighter was virtually untouched by the explosion. The technician suspected of causing the blast had never been thought of as ‘especially bright’ by his peers.

And now the WINNER of 2011’s Darwin Award; as always, awarded posthumously;

Arizona Highway Patrol came upon a pile of smoldering metal embedded in the side of a cliff rising above the road at the apex of a curve. The wreckage resembled the site of an airplane crash, but it was a car. The type of car was unidentifiable at the scene.

Police investigators finally pieced together the mystery. An amateur rocket scientist had somehow gotten hold of a JATO unit (Jet Assisted Take Off…actually a solid-fuel rocket) that is used to give heavy military transport planes an extra ‘push’ for taking off from short airfields. He had driven his Chevy Impala out into the desert and found a long, straight stretch of road. He attached the JATO unit to the car, jumped in, got up some speed and fired off the JATO!

The facts as best could be determined are that the operator of the 1967 Impala hit the JATO ignition at a distance of approximately 3.0 miles from the crash site. This was established by the scorched and melted asphalt at that location.

The JATO, if operating properly, would have reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, causing the Chevy to reach speeds well in excess of 350 mph and continuing at full power for an additional 20 -25 seconds.

The driver, and soon-to-be pilot, would have experienced G-forces usually reserved for dog fighting F-14 jocks under full afterburners, causing him to become irrelevant for the remainder of the event. However, the automobile remained on the straight highway for about 2.5 miles (15-20 seconds) before the driver applied and completely melted the brakes, blowing the tires and leaving thick rubber marks on the road surface, then becoming airborne for an additional 1.4 miles and impacting the cliff face at a height of 125 feet, leaving a blackened crater 3 feet deep in the rock. Most of the driver’s remains were not recoverable.

Epilogue: It has been calculated that this moron attained a ground speed of approximately 420-mph, though much of his voyage was not actually on the ground.

 

Really…..we couldn’t make this stuff up and remember these people are all around us and not only do they have kids
but they also vote!

Aardvark Shutting Down

According to an email I got this morning:

Dear Aardvarker, 

This mail is to remind you we will be shutting down vark.com shortly, and you will no longer be able to access Aardvark.

We’re sad to say goodbye to Aardvark now, but pleased that this project has inspired so much related activity in this area.
(See http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/fall-spring-clean.html for the broader story.)
Thank you for your support for Aardvark along the way!

All our best,

– The Aardvark Team

(p.s. You can visit blog.vark.com for information about data portability after Aardvark shuts down.)

I am really bummed. I enjoyed being a part of this community for the last year and a half.

My only solace is the hope that with the fall-spring-clean, that Google can finally deliver on the projects they keep promising (I’m looking at you, Google TV!)

Here is the text of the post on blog.vark:

Goodbye Aardvark

By Max, Zoo Director | Published: September 2, 2011

As part of the shutdown of GoogleLabs, Aardvark will be shutting down at the end of September.

Aardvark began as a small experiment in a new kind of social search, and over a few years blossomed into a service that made millions of connections between people to answer each other’s questions.  It was a great experience in seeking to combine a broad vision for the future of technology with a rigorous user-centered design process.  Over this time, we learned a lot about creating and maintaining online communities, and how to facilitate sharing of knowledge between people.

We’ve been excited to share these lessons within Google over the past year, especially as part of the effort behind Google+.  It has been gratifying to see how well this project is doing — even in these early stages, Google+ has already become a great place to share knowledge online, eclipsing the original vark.com! — and there is much more to come very soon.  In this and other projects at Google, the Aardvark team remains committed to developing powerful tools for connecting people and improving access to information.

Of course, we’re also sad to say goodbye to the original Aardvark here at vark.com.  Who would have thought that a digital version of a nocturnal burrowing mammal would have engendered so much affection!  We’re very grateful to the whole Aardvark community for your support along the way.

Onwards,

Max and Damon

p.s.  In the spirit of data liberation, we want to make sure that any of you Aardvark users who would like to retrieve your past data from the service can do so.  Right now of course you can log in and manually copy anything you’d like to keep.  Or if you prefer, you can email us at support@vark.com and we’ll send you a bulk dump of your data (please allow time for us to process these).  After September 30, there will be no way to retrieve your data, as shortly after that we will delete everything permanently.

Jury Duty Scam

JURY Duty Scam

Pass this on to your grown children and anyone else you can think of. This has been verified by the FBI (their link is also included below). Please pass this on to everyone in your email address book. It is spreading fast so be prepared should you get this call. Most of us take those summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.

The caller claims to be a jury DUTY coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the Scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo, your identity was just stolen.

The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma , Illinois , and Colorado , AZ and more. This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system.

The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.
Check it out here: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm

And here on Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp
Yep! It’s true

Google Plus Adds Games

A bit less intrusive than the Facebook gaming as I hope not to get constant Farmville updates in my stream. Google+ Games

These will be available above your stream and you can choose to share scores and only see news when you choose to, vs having to view what others are playing every time you log in.