Friday, June 15, 2012

MosoConf Day #2

See: MosoConf Day #1

Day two of MosoConf proved to be just as fun and informative as day number one. Here is how it went.

Speaker 1: Dan Martell

Dan kicked the day off with an insightful talk about being an Entrepreneur and whats needed to succeed.

What I took away:

  • Motivation is Everything - You don’t need to know anything to do something, you just need the motivation to do it.
  • By knowing what your customers want, you can become very successful. Don’t assume you know what they want, actually talk to them and find out.
  • Hustle to Help - Don’t hesitate to help people out, who knows what can happen as a result.

Speaker 2: Saul Colt, M. Jackson Wilkinson, and Jennifer Fraser

The first select-a-session I went to on day 2 was a Q/A session discussing User Experience. While Saul directed the questioning, Jackson and Jennifer fielded the answers. With Jackson being a startup guy and Jennifer being from a large scale business, their answers were quite varied, but both very informative.

What I took away:

  • You need to understand the problem at hand. You must know how your users are currently dealing with an issue (if at all). Communication is key. Sometimes what they think/say are not actually the problem(s) the user is facing.
  • It is impossible to test everything.
  • When adding extra users to usability testing is no longer providing extra information to your testing efforts, it is probably time to stop. Make sure to deal with "I don't knows".
  • Dealing with habits - Users will develop habits when using a system. Changing how they do things, even its making things easier for them, will (at least at first) cause panic. Unless the changes are really bad, people will be generally be ok with the changes soon enough.
  • Gamificaiton - Can be really useful if it helps your users solve their problems. However if it is just added on to make things fun, then its probably not needed.
  • Be diligent about the tools you can use - Don’t use tools just because they are easier than other, use them because they are the right tool for the task you’re trying complete.

Speaker 3: Ryan Holowaty, Jordan Schidlowsky, Ty Bader, and Lee Vermeulen

This session was my one personal choice for the conference. Video Games are a fairly large part of who I am so I had to take a few minutes to go to my roots. This Q/A session was run by Arlin Schaffel.

What I took away:

  • Testing on a fragmented marketplace (in regards to Android) - You simply cannot test on 1600+ devices, you just cant, but you can test weird edge cases on certain hardware/software combinations you are told about.
  • Making money on mobile - The first step is building a community. This typically involves giving games away for free. Later on, once you've built a name and brand for yourself, you can charge for new apps.
  • Other mobile money grabs - In-app purchases and producing 'lite' and 'full' versions of apps.

Speaker 4: Brendan King

Brendan gave us an interesting talk about managing your online reputation. In an effort to not repeat the lessons of speakers from the day before, a good chunk of his original talk was very quickly passed over. However, this gave us the opportunity to see his company's StepRep software. While he wasn't trying to turn the talk into a pitch about his product, it was pretty interesting to see what kind of data one of his real clients was receiving.

What I took away:

  • Online Reputation is what you say about yourself (digital footprint) and what others say about you (digital shadow).
  • Mistakes will happen - how they are dealt with is what can make/break you.
  • You don't have to participate in online interactions about your organization, but you need to at least know what's being said.

Speaker 5: Rob Swick, Albert Jame, M. Jackson Wilkinson, and Mark O’Sullivan

This "talk" was the speakers taking viewer's websites and critiquing them. Since it was an ever changing talk, I just noted some of the website building things that could apply to any site

Random Points:

  • Main page carousels - make each slide more interesting so people will interact with them. Make buttons on carousel more easy to access (bigger).
  • A lot of sites will "degrade" the further into them you get. Ensure inner pages look the same as main pages.
  • Ensure your corporate logo is easy to read!
  • Who are you? What do you do? Are you taking advantage of H1s and H2s (they help SEO too)?
  • Don’t use too much text to describe who you are
  • Change default link colors, even if it is just to tone down their intensity
  • A/B testing is key!

Speaker 6: Saul Colt

The final presentation of the conference was all about influence and how to really make an impact on your audience. Saul, with his quirky fashion sense, gave us an excellent talk about how to make a statement by having your customers make it for you.

What I took away:

  • "People don’t like to be marketed to but they sure like to buy stuff." If you can create a great experience for your clients and they’ll market the product for you!
  • Do interesting things - People want to live your brand, they don’t want to hear features, they want to hear stories.
  • K.L.T. - To be truly influential, you have to truly Know, Like, and Trust someone.
  • 4 E’s - Execute Extraordinary Experiences Everyday
  • Having 100,000+ untargeted followers is not as influential as having 200 very targeted followers

All in all, I thought MosoConf was a very enlightening experience. I'd love to attend it again in future years. Thanks to my employer for covering the cost of the tickets.

My Social Experiment

I decided to run a social experiment on the second day of the conference. Seeing as the vast majority of attendees are smartphone wielding techies, I was certain if I put a QR-Code on my chest I would have people randomly walking up and snapping a shot of my nipple all day. I was very mistaken. The only person who actually 'clicked' my code was my coworker... and he only did it cause I told him to. So since the vast majority of people I talked to thought it was silly combined with fact that basically no one took advantage of it, perhaps its a sign that QR codes are in fact dead. On to the next big thing I suppose.

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