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Using LISMO with Flickr

Yesterday, I was trying to upload AU mobile phone pictured photos to flickr using AU’s LISMO software. It went something like this:

1) Download LISMO to my computer (WIN PC, in my case), obviously.
2) Sync photo files in my mobile phone with PC using USB enabled cord.

3) Photo images appear in the LISMO screen (below)

lismo

Like i-TUNES, this LISMO looked like a big silo as Doc Seals once so characterized i-TUNES. Then, I called AU customer support for assistance, asking how I can find the photo files in the windows explorer ’cause I knew I might need it in flickr interface.

The answer was: START=>right-click on MY COMPUTER=>Explorer=>C=>Documents and Settings =>All users=>ApplicationsData=>KDDI=> auMusicPortUserData=> AccountData=> 001=>Album=>2006=>7 (in case of photo taken July, 2006)

When I complained it is tedious, the support stuff agent agreed and was kind enough to offer the alternative way. Export that “Album” folder by right clicking on it to Desktop. The solution was somewhat OK to me. I thanked him and hanged up the phone.

When I actually uploaded the photo, I happened to have remembered that flickr has its own uploader and tried it with LISMO with the drag and drop of the photo from LISMO to Flickr uploader. It worked just fine (below).

lismo_flickr

Why we take photo with mobile phone to begin with? To me, to share them with with friends and family on the Internet. Why would they provide the interface with your mobile phone device and PC (or Mac)? Displaying them in the proprietary software called LISMO in the PC is only half way and definitely not the end; uploading them in the public photo sharing site is the goal to me. I think AU should know the tips beforehand and educate the support stuff about how a user can easily integrate with flickr and the like. That’s what taking photo with mobile phone is all about.
Seek vertical integration and proprietary profits later on, but focus on usability and openness earlier. It won’t happen overnight. Nonetheless, I am sure Yahoo mobile of Japan soon will provide the much easier interface with flickr (uploader). Note: flickr is a subsidiary of yahoo corporation.

LATER: I noticed the fundamental mistake of LISMO; it forgets to ask the email address of a user, which ideally can be asked at the time of sign up/download (well no sign up process, in fact). So it basically lacks the communication gateway such as mail magazine with a potential user except for mobile mail. But, since they downloaded LISMO it is the sign and indication the user is also a PC (or MAC) user and willing to integrate the mobile with PC (or MAC). For what it is worth, iTUNES and SONY MYCLIP even regularly email me with new release information.

The cost of a click

I am not talking about Cost Per Click (CPC) to an advertiser. I am talking about the cost or the efforts associated with moving the mouse so that the mouse pointer rests on the link in a given web page.  Below is the very first page of now famous social networking site, mixi.jp, of Japan:

 The cost of a click1

Despite of its all-by-invitation only membership, it has the “sign up” button, which, upon click, leads you to the following note:

The cost of a click2

The note basically is saying, among other things, “..we regret to inform you that, to sign up, you have to wait for someone to send you an invitation.” Personally, I’ve found this user interface quite disturbing, since i’d imagine that by clicking on “sign up” button in the previus page, any first-time visitor would have expected to become a member. Every time the expectation goes up, mixi turns it down.

People DO BOTHER to click on something in expectation of experiencing something else in the next page accordingly.  So please do not betray them.

del.icio.us hotlist

Have you noticed del.icio.us has the new feature hotlist upfront, which focuses more on new last 1 hour tagged items.

Interesting to see the difference on one hand services like technorati focuses on top 100 or my favorites EVER, on the other hand del.icio.us fouces on recent last one hour. I think the time is the new dimension, with which those tools can guide us in the new direction.

What gyao doesn’t get

Gyao.jp is one of Japan fastest growing free of charge video streaming services, with a registered membership of 9.6 million+. Despite its self-proclaimed success, it, too, has the typical “directory” type user interface, akin to Yahoo’s. Might be comfortable to those who are accustomed to viewing TV by channel. At the same time, it will limit its growth in its own right. What a significant contrast to the user interface of YouTube.

Update: graph In addition, if they’d listen to what Joshusa Schachter preaches here (via himazu blog), gyao.jp would not have made it a mandatory for a new user to fill in all the profile information at the time of registration. It is a total waste of every opportunity; by no means worth the effort of anybody. But I understand a client generally likes it; but it is our job to convince the client not to pursue whatever won’t work. Note amazon would not ask any of these. Nor does flickr, nor does del.icio.us, dor does youtube, so on and so forth. It’s only tagging, not profiling.

docomo i-mode user interface

By far the most terrible user interface I’ve experienced in my entire life.
Cost me about 20 steps only to change the mobile package plan online (what they call “i-mode”).

This terrible UI has been around for years; still docomo has kept its dominant position in Japan (>50%).

I know they inherite the DNA of NTT, Japan’s ATT. A dinaour, which is another story. But, now that Yahoo Japan / Softbank enters the JP mobile market taking over vodafone, docomo has no choice but to focus on their UI. Or, die.

The bottom page

It might not be Yahoo alone, but most of us have long been accustomed to organizing information in a hierarchical manner, breaking the whole into pieces or parts by directory, so that we are comfortable calling the starting page “the top page.” toppage

It is time to think in the opposite. Why not call it “the bottom page,” from which we initiate queries and update our boundaries as we move up along the way.

bottompage

Update:

reminded me of my favorite quote by Kevin Kelly, which Tom Peters often uses in his presentation slide  (see p19):

The wealth in not gained by perfecting the known, but rather imperfectly seizing the unknown

User interface is a passion

“User interface is a passion.”

No, he didn’t use that phrase in his presentation. Or, might not even think so by himself. But that’s what I read from the presentation made by the founder of del.icio.us, Joshusa Schachter. Somewhat technical, but nothing technical in the spirit, worth listenning even if you are not a web programmer (and I am not) but seriously concerned with the user interface of any consumer technology tool. Follow the link the future of web apps for MP3 audio (about 40 minutes, February 2006), via himadzu blog.

And here is Steve Rubel’s interview with Joshusa Schatcher, December 2005, for your reference.