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Archive for September, 2009

Online Trivia Showcase

September 29th, 2009 No comments

The mansionFor over eight years and counting, Cinepolis, the fifth biggest cinema theater company in the world, has been rewarding their customers with an online movie-trivia, where participants have a chance to compete for several prizes, among them a brand new car. In 2009, Cinepolis’ Challenge theme was an enchanted Mansion where Uncle Oscar hid the prizes before passing away.

Our team designed from scratch various locations inside the house to portray a dark scenario; each room hosted a different part of the trivia.

Click on the play on the video to see an animated demo of the trivia or visit the full demo site.

[FLOWPLAYER=/dextramedia/Flash/retoCinepolisDextra2.flv,460,280]
Work developed by IA Interactive and Dextra Media.
In case you get lost on the mansion, here is map of the games and places where they are located:

Living room

  • Suit of Armor (image clues)
  • Shield and weapons(hangman)
  • Canvas (doodle guess)
  • Stuffed bull head (crossword)
  • Tall clock (capture fairies)

Basement

  • Old chair (jigsaw)
  • Tools on wall (image clues)
  • Old vase (doodle guess)
  • Record player (hangman)
  • Wheelchair (image clues)

Kitchen

  • Old water dispenser (search object)
  • Condiments (image clue)
  • Cured meat (doodle guess)
  • Stove (hangman)
  • Copper vases (image clues)

Bathroom

  • Coat rack (doodle guess)
  • Toilet (labyrinth)
  • Left candle (hangman)
  • Mirror (image guess)
  • Bathtub (image guess)

Bedroom

  • Old chest (memory)
  • Left canvas (image clue)
  • Bed (Hangman)
  • Rocking chair (image clues)

Backyard

  • Lightpost (jigsaw)
  • Crow on tree (image clue)
  • Shovel (doodle guess)
  • Fountain (hangman)
  • Statue (catch objects)

Can you see more of what is out there?

September 22nd, 2009 No comments

Few days ago someone I talked to reminded me about a business analogy I haven’t heard in a while and I thought about putting it in writing for two reasons, because I think it’s a good analogy and because I want to see if anyone out there knows the original author to give him or her a deserved credit for it.

The story goes like this:

A shoe manufacturer wanted to increase sales and decided to go abroad. He hired two market researchers (business developer, sales rep, or any title you prefer), because as a wise man he never trusted on just one opinion. Both of them spent a month on a far far away country without talking to each other and upon their arrival, they reported their results. One of them said “There is no market whatsoever, don’t go there. No need for shoes” and the second one said “What are you waiting for! There is plenty of market there, we should start tomorrow.”

The shoe manufacturer was bewildered by the results and inquired both. The first one said: “Since I stepped down from the plain all I saw was barefoot people, no one in this country use shoes; hence no market.” The second one said, since I stepped down from the plain I saw the opportunity, we could sell at least a pair of shoes per capita, that’s a huge market, we just need some marketing”

The morale of the story, from my personal point of view is that we need to break our paradigms to see and go beyond our usual appreciation of the world around us, we might be losing a big opportunity. Think for while in your business or job or even your life, are you seeing more or the same? Are you using all you can on your different channels, markets, processes or resources.

By the way, I think the second guy was a Babson alumni 😉

If you can draw any other morale, please share it in the comments section. Thanks for reading and thank you Margarita for reminding me this analogy.

PS. Also let me know if you know who the author is.

Fernando

The importance of colors in usability

September 14th, 2009 No comments

Have you tried the following visual exercise:

Say out loud the color of the words below (not the actual words) as fast as you can:
It is difficult because the left and right parts of your brain are telling you different things, one is trying to read the color and the other is actually reading the word.

You may think this is just an optical illusion and that it has no real application whatsoever. Well, think again.
Our brains are wired to perceive several colors with an inherit significance such as red for danger or stop, green for “ok” or go, and yellow for caution. It’s everywhere.

This must be taken in consideration when you are designing for usability and here is an example of how not to do it:

In the Roku website, they make your brain hesitate over which option is better for you. Obviously for them the best option is if you buy the device with cables, more business for them right? But if you see a red button and a red button together, what does your brain think or read? It is the same as the exercise above: conflict. Which button do you think is your brain most likely to click on?

The bottom line is, when you are designing for usability and conversion is all you care about, be sure you don’t confuse your customer,don’t make them think.

Have you seen this somewhere else? Post it in the comments area.

F.

Elevator pitch in 140 characters or less

September 9th, 2009 No comments

We live in a fast world that threatens to become even faster. The way we communicate with each other has dramatically changed in the last 10 years with a common denominator: attention spans are shrinking. ADHD seems to be a popular self-diagnosed disease for those who can’t concentrate and multitask as a way of living (myself included).

As a result, the way we communicate our business’ value must change too, be more succinct. Recently I heard Guy Kawasaki comment on a company’s value proposition saying: “Really? You can’t tell me what you do on 140 characters or less?” with an obvious allusion to Twitter and a very interesting one…

So I tried to give it shot and this is the result:
Dextra Media is a digital production company for marketing agencies specializing in Adobe Technologies (Flash, Flex, Photoshop and more)

Let me know if it’s clear…
Have you tried yours? Feel free to post it on the comments

We no longer have 30 seconds for a full elevator pitch, and if you do, you should say a lot since, for today standards, it is a lot of time.

By the way is good to be back after 6 months…

Fernando.