Objective understanding into the usage and mechanics of internet technology provides direction for improving overall user experience.
In the article, “Diversity in Smartphone Usage” Falaki et al. (2010) argue that smartphone usage is rapidly on the rise, however little is known about how people interact with these devices and how long interactive procedures last (p. 179). From their study of 255 smartphone users running two different smartphone platforms, Windows Mobile and Android, Falaki et al. (2010) determined that “user diversity is an overarching theme”, meaning that user interaction and length of interaction varies greatly from one smartphone user to the next(pp. 193-194). In “Identifying Diverse Usage Behaviours of Smartphone Apps”, Xu et al. (2011) argue that the rapid increase in smartphone and tablet usage is responsible for the tremendous production and diversity of available apps (p. 329). The research conducted by Xu et al. (2011) revealed three observations about “the diverse usage behaviours of individual mobile apps” that include: a considerable number of regularly used apps are local content apps (radio and news apps), diurnal usage patterns, and extensive degree of “diversity in the mobility of apps” (p. 330). Gomes and Pimentel (2011) suggest that the growing number of mobile smartphone apps, which allow users to access social networks, “allow users to experience new types of interactions in their social relations” (p. 59). Gomes and Pimentel (2011) conclude that “the identification of users applications and types of media can be very useful” for social network developers (p. 64).
To account for the rapidly growing and diverse population of mobile apps and smartphones is a problem for researchers and developers because of the lack of long-term user interaction compounded by rapid turnover.
This report provides a limited solution in the form of a written description of the trending topics about internet technology aggregated from multiple sources committed to internet technology discourse.
This report was prepared by using the tagging community delicious.com to select the top ranked blogs and syndicated sources on internet technology. Specific terms and categories were developed from the aggregated sources and were later tested for accuracy within the Google Trends database system. The Google Trends results identified a median level of performance from among the top categories tested. The following categories were identified in the sample that you can find attached to this report as an OPML file.
apps,3.80 on a scale of 5 according to Google Trends
These numbers were produced by Google Trends on May 3, 2012. The median value is 1.00. What follows in this report is a discussion about the three top performing categories referring to internet technology – apps, gaming, and smartphones – and final remarks.
With the rapid development and turnover of a profusion of mobile apps, users have multiple choices and app developers are challenged to create a lasting product.
Since app users are continually looking for a superior user experience, Lewis (2012) in an online article entitled, “UI Simplification = Confusion” states that the success or failure of apps are attributed to “the user interface and the “experience” it provides” (para. 1). Lewis (2012) says that it is important for new apps to have a familiar layout to reduce the “time spent learning” and icons that make sense (Muscle Memory section). In the article “Choose Your Own Adventure books coming to iPad,” Raby (2012) echoes the importance of apps providing an excellent user experience and specifically mentions upcoming improvements to a popular book app. He says, “with the explosion of e-books lately, there is increasing dialogue about the emergence of books that users can interact with” (para. 1). According to Raby (2012) users will experience reading in a whole new way with “links to websites, embedded videos and dynamic content” (para. 1), and other digitally enhanced features. Lawler (2012) reports about the updates and improvements to the Google TV YouTube app on the blog post entitled, “Google TV YouTube app updated for better recommendations, search and sharing” and says that users are in for a new experience (para. 1). The story that emerges from the discussion about apps is one that echoes user experience. The user is looking for apps that will meet the needs of productivity and entertainment as well as an abundance of relevant features.
Online social gaming is a way of life for many people, a culture they immerse themselves into as they connect with other players in virtual worlds.
For many gamers the virtual game environment becomes their reality full of virtual challenges and situations. Sottek (2012) expresses this reality in an online article entitled, “‘EVE Online’ economy attached by massive alliance of players” when he writes about the game’s player drama that is occurring. Sottek (2012) states that, “EVE online’s largest economic hub is currently under attack by a massive alliance of the game’s most ruthless players, infamously known as “Goonswarm,” and they may succeed in damaging it” (para. 1). Game developers are continually trying to create a product that provides the online experiences users are looking for. The developers of the MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game EVE comment about the players, “we want them to have a great time” playing the game (para. 3). Parrish (2012) clearly identifies the gaming culture by referring to the players of the game, StarCraft 2, as “StarCraft 2 junkies anxious to get a taste of the next installment” (para. 1). In the article entitled, “Super Smash Bros on WII U will use 3DS support” Raby (2012) discusses Nintendo’s upcoming console and how it’s features are something to look forward to (para. 3). The story that emerges from the discussion about gaming is one that echoes hype, competition to be the best gamer and developer, and user experience.
The war between smartphones continues to rage as new models with faster CPU’s, better screens and feature intensive updates are steadily released for public consumption.
With new smartphones released almost daily and the number of users rapidly rising, companies related to the production, marketing, sale and operation of these devices are faced with strict competition. Individual users are interested in how a smartphone looks and performs. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak commenting about the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows 7 phone said, “just for looks and beauty, I definitely favour the Windows 7 phone over Android” (Smith, 2012, Looks and beauty section). In the online article, “Five Best Android Phones” at Lifehacker.com, Henry (2012) discusses information about the top Android phones and says “they offer a great overall experience.” (para. 1). The emphasis is on the user’s experience and performance features of the smartphones. Since smartphones are considered current cutting edge technology, news about them dominates the technology circuit which is why Marshall (2012) states, “non-news such as a photo of what might be the SIM card tray from an iPhone 5 gets loads of coverage” (para. 1). The story that emerges from the discussion about smartphones is one of performance and design.
The discussion regarding internet technology in this report echoes a consistent message of user experience, product performance, and usability. The success or failure of a smartphone affects the popularity and production of apps, games, and accessories for a specific device or product line. A possible problem associated with the buzz of internet technology such as smartphones constantly in the news is the lack or avoidance of important news about topics not technology related.
Falaki, H., Mahajan, R., Kandula, S., Lymberopoulos, D., Govindan, R., & Estrin, D. (2010). Diversity in smartphone usage. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, New York, 179-194. doi:10.1145/1814433.1814453
Gomes, A.K., & Pimentel, M. (2011). Measuring media-based social interactions provided by smartphone applications in social networks. Proceedings of the 2011 ACM Workshop on Social and Behavioural Networked Media Access, New York, 59-64. doi:10.1145/2072627.2072644
Henry, A. (2012, April 29). Five best Android phones. Retrieved from http://lifehacker.com/5906041/five-best-android-phones
Lawler, R. (2012, April 28). Google TV YouTube app update for better recommendations, search and sharing. Retrieved from http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/28/google-tv-youtube-app-updated-for-better-recommendations-search/
Lewis, B. (2012, April 27). UI simplification = confusion. Retrieved from http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/27/2982227/ui-simplification-confusion
Marshall, G. (2012, May 4). Phone wars: Galaxy S3 joins the fray. Retrieved from http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/phone-wars-galaxy-s3-joins-the-fray-1078662
Parrish, K. (2012, April 28). StarCraft heart of the swarm playable at MLG event in June. Retrieved from http://www.tomshardware.com/news/StarCraft-Major-League-Gaming-Heart-of-the-Swarm-Public-Demo-Spring-Championship,15476.html
Raby, M. (2012, April 28). Choose your own adventure books coming to iPad. Retrieved from http://www.slashgear.com/choose-your-own-adventure-books-coming-to-ipad-28225165/
Raby, M. (2012, April 29). Super smash bros on Wii U will use 3DS support. Retrieved from http://www.slashgear.com/super-smash-bros-on-wii-u-will-use-3ds-support-29225177/
Smith, C. (2012, April 29). Wozniak: Windows phone is ‘more beautiful’ than Android and iOS. Retrieved from http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/wozniak-windows-phone-is-more-beautiful-than-android-and-ios-1078082
Sottek, T.C. (2012, April 29). ‘EVE online’ economy attached by massive alliance of players. Retrieved from http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/29/2986110/eve-online-economy-goonswarm-attack
Xu, Q., Erman, J., Gerber, A., Mao, Z., Pang, J., & Venkataraman, S. (2011). Identifying diverse usage behaviors of smartphone apps. Proceedings of the 2011 ACM SIGCOMM Conference on Internet Measurement Conference, New York, 329-344. doi:10.1145/2068816.2068847
Appendix: OPML file of the sources used in this sample. You can copy-paste the following to a text file and upload it into OMPL supported reader, e.g. Google Reader, Netvibes.
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<title>PCOM530 [PROFCOM-MA 2011-1] – Internet Technology OPML</title>
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<outline text=”. NewTek TriCaster News”
title=”. NewTek TriCaster News” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Advertising Age – DigitalNext”
title=”Advertising Age – DigitalNext” type=”rss”
<outline text=”AnandTech” title=”AnandTech” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Bits” title=”Bits” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Engadget” title=”Engadget” type=”rss”
<outline text=”European Technology Blog | TechRepublic”
title=”European Technology Blog | TechRepublic”
<outline text=”Fast Company – Technology”
title=”Fast Company – Technology” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Geek.com” title=”Geek.com” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Geeks Digital » Technology”
title=”Geeks Digital » Technology” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Gizmodo” title=”Gizmodo” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Lifehacker” title=”Lifehacker” type=”rss”
<outline text=”MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories”
title=”MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories”
<outline text=”Macworld” title=”Macworld” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Mashable!” title=”Mashable!” type=”rss”
<outline text=”News Tom’s Hardware US”
title=”News Tom’s Hardware US” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Open Source Technology Blog”
title=”Open Source Technology Blog” type=”rss”
<outline text=”O’Reilly Radar – Insight, analysis, and research about emerging technologies.”
title=”O’Reilly Radar – Insight, analysis, and research about emerging technologies.”
<outline text=”ReadWriteWeb” title=”ReadWriteWeb” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Slashdot” title=”Slashdot” type=”rss”
<outline text=”SlashGear” title=”SlashGear” type=”rss”
<outline text=”SpaceCollective posts”
title=”SpaceCollective posts” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Tech Blog” title=”Tech Blog” type=”rss”
<outline text=”TechCrunch” title=”TechCrunch” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Techmeme” title=”Techmeme” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Technology in the Arts – Blog”
title=”Technology in the Arts – Blog” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Technology Review RSS Feeds”
title=”Technology Review RSS Feeds” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Techradar – All the latest technology news”
title=”Techradar – All the latest technology news”
<outline text=”TechSpot” title=”TechSpot” type=”rss”
<outline text=”The Register” title=”The Register” type=”rss”
<outline text=”The Verge – All Posts”
title=”The Verge – All Posts” type=”rss”
<outline text=”Wired Top Stories” title=”Wired Top Stories”
type=”rss” xmlUrl=”http://feeds.wired.com/wired/index” htmlUrl=”http://www.wired.com”/>